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Trapping wolves in Kittson County

Byron Cole, part-time federal trapper and resident of Badger, shared his experiences in trapping the biggest pest that cattle farmers have to deal with: Canis Lupus, the Gray Wolf.

Wolves have been on the federally protected list for years. From about 2012 to 2014, they were taken off the endangered list, and a lottery license system was set up so that they could be hunted by the lucky few who got a tag. The number of wolves was a little over 4,000 in 2012, according to the DNR website, and the hunting season was set for October through January. In 2014, Judge Beryl Howell ruled against the removal of the wolves from the endangered species list. Since that time the wolf population has grown, but it is hard to pin down the exact size of each pack and how many packs there are.

“In the spring when the wolves have their pups, the size of the pack doubles,” Cole says, “but only about 20-30 percent of the pups will survive the year.” Cole has been the part time federal trapper since September 10, 2010. His part time title means that he traps from April 1 to the end of October each year. The counties that he covers are Lake of the Woods, Roseau, Beltrami, Marshall, and Kittson. But Kittson County is the only county that has a special law to help cattle farmers regain some of their losses to the wolves.

For more on this story, see this week’s edition of the North Star News!


  1. Josh on September 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

    “pests”?? Way to drag the bottom of the barrel for something to write about.

    We could do with more wolves and less eco-terroristic trappers.

  2. Tonia buchanan on September 29, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Need to stop killing wolves, ranchers can put up fences!

  3. Valerie Bear on September 29, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    Well with MONTANA, IDAHO, and WYOMING having their gruesome KILL seasons, the WOLF population will DECREASE RAPIDLY!!! AND if the Senate passes the KILL BILLS and ALL WOLVES are delisted… they will become EXTINCT!!

  4. Debra Thaisen on September 29, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Trapping should be illegal! It is also barbaric too. This isn’t the Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett days anymore 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺

  5. Dagmar Riddle on October 1, 2017 at 4:24 am

    Trapping is animal cruelty, causing much suffering, injurirs, stress. Most trapped animals are not used as food, but for a trophy or their furs. Trapping should be ilkegal. Wolves shiuld not be trapped or hunted. They are innocent victums. Stoo killing our wildlife for fun or profit. Eat what you kill, or don’t kill it. You can’t eat wolves, so stop hu ting and trappibg them. Also, trappers have dizens, even hundreds of traos on many miles, usually a hundred miles or more, on public lands, resulting in large numbers of animals killed, and endangering the general public. Wildlife and public land belongs to all of us, not jyst for hunters and trappers. Illegalize trapping. Wildlife should not

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