WATCH: Wolves killing livestock in Northern Minnesota a major problem
JT Thaden | Jun 1, 2018 AT 2:28 pm
KITTSON COUNTY, MINN. (KFGO) - The wolf problem in one of Minnesota's northern-most counties shows no sign of going away.
Kittson County Sheriff Steve Porter calls it "a bad situation." He says last year there were 21 confirmed cases of calves killed by wolves. 15 other "kills" went unreported by ranchers who were probably unaware they could be compensated for their losses by the state DNR. Federal trappers did help, taking 25 wolves. Porter says his survey of another 40 ranchers in the county reported 118 calves were missing when herds were brought in from pastures last fall. While unable to confirm, many were believed to have been taken by wolves and he says it looks like another bad year. There have already been five confirmed cases of calves killed by wolves in the past couple of weeks.
Porter says the worst problems last year were north and east of Lancaster and within a half mile of the city limits of Karlstad where there were "pockets" of wolves.
While wolves are federally protected, Porter criticizes the federal wolf policy as an "overreach" and says the DNR should administer the policy and allow a limited wolf season.
A federal appeals court ruled that wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan should remain on the endangered species list, which blocked those states from allowing limited hunting. Minnesota did allow hunting and trapping seasons for three years prior to that federal decision a year ago.