The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that the statewide quota for the upcoming fall wolf season has been set at just 130 wolves. That’s despite the fact that the state’s natural resources board approved a higher limit of 300 animals at its August meeting.
According to a press release sent by the agency on Monday, the department claims it has the final authority to make decisions on hunting quotas based on state statutes.
“In determining the quota, the department considered the best available information and scientific modeling, as well as the input from the Wolf Harvest Committee, the Natural Resources Board, and the many groups and members of the public who provided comments to the department and the board,” the release stated.
The DNR and citizens-based natural resources board have been at odds over the kill quota after hunters and trappers exceeded the department’s limit within 24 hours during the February 2021 harvest. That’s when 218 gray wolves were killed–about 82 percent more than the quota for that particular season.
Monday’s announcement indicated that state-licensed hunters and trappers will be authorized to harvest 74 wolves within the six zones established by the agency. The department will also honor the Ojibwe Tribes’ treaty right within the Ceded Territory of 56.
Meanwhile, a federal judge last week scheduled a hearing for October 29 on the future of Wisconsin’s fall wolf hunt after six Chippewa tribes filed a lawsuit to stop it. They claim hunters killed too many animals during the February hunting period.
The next wolf hunt is slated to begin on November 6.
Wisconsin Ag Connection – 10/05/2021