Minnesota’s inaugural wolf season might just become its final wolf season, at least for the next five years, if hunt opponents who successfully lobbied a state senate panel to approve a five-year hunt moratorium can continue that success.

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_Opponents of wolf hunting won a victory Thursday as a Minnesota Senate panel voted 7-6 for a five-year moratorium on future wolf seasons. An overflow crowd made up mostly of wolf hunting opponents heard several people argue before the Senate Environment and Energy Committee that the state acted too hastily when it decided to resume sport hunting and trapping after the region’s wolves came off the endangered list early last year. Hunters and trappers then killed 413 wolves during the state’s first wolf season, which ended in January.

__Supporters of the hunt testified the state’s wolf population has recovered enough to allow for properly managed hunting and trapping, and they said years of study and legal battles preceded the hunt. The bill now goes to a Senate environment budget committee, where its prospects are uncertain. No hearing has been scheduled for a similar bill in the House.