The provincial environment ministry will open up wolf hunting in selected regions starting Dec. 15, to "reduce wolf populations in these agricultural areas," according to an emailed release sent out Wednesday. 

The two regions, referred to as wildlife management zones, include areas around Hudson Bay and Weekes (zone 49) and areas around Big River and Shellbrook (zone 53).

The hunt will run until Mar. 31, 2016.

"We recognize livestock predation caused by wolves is still a significant challenge for producers in some areas and there is a need to extend the program for another year and expand it to an additional zone," Environment Minister Herb Cox said in the release.

"This program is another tool to help control the wolf population and address predation issues in these areas," he said.

According to the release, the goal is to "push the wolves back into the forest, into their natural habitat, and away from farms and ranches."

The program will also support the work of trappers. Trapping is the primary method of controlling the wolf population across the province.

The ministry will make 200 hunting licences available. They'll be issued on a first-come, first-served basis at environment ministry offices in Big River, Spiritwood, Nipawin, Hudson Bay and Greenwater Lake Provincial Park.

Each licence will allow a hunter to hunt two wolves.