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MINNESOTA SPORTS BRIEFS: DNR reduces wolf hunt numbers

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MINNESOTA SPORTS BRIEFS: DNR reduces wolf hunt numbers
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

ST. PAUL -- Total allowed harvest in this fall's wolf hunting season will be about half what it was last year, because the DNR's latest survey showed a drop in Minnesota's wolf population.

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The agency's Dan Stark says because of the biology of wolves, there's not a major concern about a moderate harvest level and they can make adjustments. He says the agency will be radio-collaring more wolves this winter to track the population. Stark says deer density in northern Minnesota is down about 25 percent, and notes there's a strong correlation between the deer population and how many wolves the landscape can support. 

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The Minnesota Vikings practiced in full pads in yesterday afternoon's training camp practice in Mankato. This was the first time the Vikes geared up since training camp began last Friday. Head coach Leslie Frazier says it is important to watch his team practice in pads so they can evaluate some of the players on how they tackle and block on defense and how they shed blocks and break tackles on offense. The team will have two workouts today. 

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Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier says he believes tight end John Carlson of Litchfield can be a contributing factor for the team this fall. Carlson struggled through an injury-plagued 2012 season that limited him to eight catches in 14 games played. Frazier says health will be a key for Carlson this season. He says it will help if Carlson can stay on the field for training camp so he can develop a comfort level with quarterback Christian Ponder. Carlson missed most of training camp last season with a knee sprain.

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University of Minnesota wide receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts has walked away from the Golden Gopher football team and will concentrate on his college track career at the U of M. Crawford-Tufts has struggled through injuries in his career, playing in 21 games in two years and caught 24 passes for 345 yards. He made a touchdown grab in last year's bowl game in Houston against Texas Tech. Crawford-Tufts joined the track and field team last February and finished fourth at the Big Ten Championships in the 60-meter dash. Crawford-Tufts is from Edina. The Gopher team begins fall camp on Friday on campus.

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The Minnesota Twins were off yesterday and will open up a six-game homestand tonight against the Kansas City Royals. The teams will play three games before Houston comes to town for three contests. Mike Pelfrey will take the mound for Minnesota in this evening's series opener. He is 4-and-8 with a 5.15 earned run average this season. KC will counter with Ervin Santana, who is 6-6 with a 3.06 ERA on the year. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. at Target Field in Minneapolis. 

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The official logo for the 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be unveiled this afternoon (Tues 2pm) at Target Field. The Minnesota Twins are hosting next year's Midsummer Classic on July 15th. Twins owner/CEO Jim Pohlad, President Dave Saint Peter, the mayors of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and 2013 All-Stars Joe Mauer and Glenn Perkins are among those taking part in today's news conference. The Twins have hosted two previous All-Star Games -- in 1965 at the old Met Stadium and in 1985 at the Metrodome. 

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The WNBA Minnesota Lynx return to the hardwood for a game on Friday night against San Antonio. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. at the Target Center in Minneapolis Tickets are still available for the contest. The Lynx have the league's best record at the All-Star Break.

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