Wisconsin Committed to 2021 Wolf Hunt

Wisconsin Committed to 2021 Wolf Hunt
The Wisconsin DNR will issue 130 tags to wolf hunters this fall, but back-to-back hunting seasons raise concerns and controversy. (Photo: DNR)

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, has set a quota for grey wolf at 130 animals for the fall hunting and trapping season. This follows a court-ordered hunting season that culled 218 wolves earlier this year.

Originally scheduled for 2020, the wolf hunting season was delayed until February of this year. The DNR set the quota at 119 animals, although the season ended in just four days after hunters culled 99 wolves over the limit.

The decision to add a wolf season to Wisconsin’s hunt was approved by the DNR after the grey wolf was removed from the endangered species list. Another estimated 100 wolves died or were killed over the winter, with poaching as the main suspected cause.

A majority of the wolves allocated for hunting are typically reserved for Native American hunters. In the previous hunt, 81 of the 119 wolf tickets were set aside for Native American tribe members, including the Ojibwe tribes, who hold the rights to resources on the Ceded Territory of Wisconsin.

Since 2020 the Wisconsin wolf population has dropped by nearly a third, from around 1,100 animals down to six or seven hundred, although estimates do vary. While the DNR plans to revise the wolf hunt rules to reflect changes in the population, the updated plan won’t be in place until 2022.

Due to the proximity of the hunts, some biologists are concerned about longer-term effects on the grey wolf population. Because of the late hunting season, wolf pack cohesion and wolf reproduction was disrupted going into the breeding season.

“I think 130 is too high given the unknowns we have out there,” said Adrian Wydeven, a former wolf biologist with the Wisconsin DNR.

“The Wisconsin DNR has successfully managed gray wolves for decades and will continue to do so in accordance with the laws of our state and the best science available,” said the DNR, and that this season starting in November will be “a harvest that maintains the long term sustainability of the population.”

SEE ALSO: Wisconsin Wolf Hunters More Successful Than Anticipated

The DNR expects to have new rules in place for the fall hunt, including a shorter reporting window, to help prevent exceeding the set quota. The fall 2021 season starts Nov. 6 and runs through Feb. 28, although the wolf hunt portion will likely be much shorter.

“The DNR is preparing for a Fall 2021 wolf harvest season through a transparent and science-based process,” the department said. “The DNR has convened a 2021 Wolf Harvest Advisory Committee to provide input on the management objectives and harvest quota for the fall season.”

“The committee will consider the current management plan, state statute and the February 2021 season report in providing input to the department,” they continued. “In addition, the DNR will coordinate with our Tribal partners and will seek further public input on harvest objectives.”

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  • Wisconsinite August 10, 2021, 12:26 pm

    “Propagandist by Inclination” certainly seems to fit this article. I have to believe that Max doesn’t live in central or northern Wisconsin nor has he visited or talked with locals.

    The wolf population in Wisconsin has exploded over the last 5 years or so due to the court victory of the environmentalists groups. The wolf is simply a political hot potato here and with a limp wristed democratic governor controlling the DNR, no reliable science based data is used… As such, the DNR’s media statements simply ignore the facts of the matter and twist their politically based statements to meet the left wings Madison/Milwaukee voting base.
    Maybe instead of simply posting the DNR’s media cut sheet, Max should actually do some fact checking.
    Here are some “facts”.

    1, 40% of any approved annual hunting quota goes to the “ceded territory” Native American tribes who do not hunt wolves.

    2, The DNR’s 2020 population modeling shows a population decrease in 2020-2021 after a record population the previous year, a mild winter and no hunting season in 2020! It doesn’t ad up…

    3, There were a “minimum” of 256 wolf packs that had pups in the spring of 2020. I believe that a pack typically has 5 or 6 wolves and typically 2 or 3 breading females. Maybe no pups were born last spring?

    4, After the previous 2015 to 2020 ban on wolf hunting was struck down in court late last year, the DNR refused to establish a 2020 season although by Wisconsin statutes, it was the law. The DNR had to be sued in court then ordered by a judge to have a hunting season opened within a 2 week period last February, 2021. The DNR issued 200 permits, of which 81 went to the tribes and 119 to Wisconsin hunters. It was supposed to be a 1 week season but the season was closed after the second day as the hunting quota was surpassed with 218 wolves taken in just 2 days! What does this say about the actual population?

    5, Wolves are actually starting to “push” recreational people out of the woods with the pack surrounding them at fairly close range and “walking” them back to their vehicles. Hair raising experience at the least.

    6, Wolves in Wisconsin no longer fear humans and as such, farm animals are being slaughtered, people enjoying the outdoors are being tracked and people in the northern regions fear for their children and will not let their youngsters out of their site in rural areas. There have been incidents of wolves tracking their children when walking out to the school bus since lot of rural homes sit back from the roads.

    Max, please do a little work for the money that you earn instead of simply passing on propaganda. A good place to start would be “Wisconsin Outdoor News”, 8/6/2021 issue and past issues with a vast amount of information, articles and data. This list could go no and on but enough said!

    I’m pretty sure that the editor, Dean Bortz would be happy to talk with you at 800-535-5191…. that is, if you’re actually interested in good reporting…

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