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Wisconsin wolf hunt set to begin next week

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 3:07 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources will issue 4,000 licenses for a wolf hunt in the state that begins one week from today.

The permit application process starts just after midnight tonight. You can apply through a Go Wild account (CLICK HERE), or by visiting a license agent (CLICK HERE to find a location near you.) The DNR says the application permit fee is $10, plus $49 for Wisconsin residents for a wolf license if selected, and $251 for non-residents.

Acting on orders from a Jefferson County judge, the Natural Resources Board voted unanimously today to authorize a wolf hunt for the last week of February.

The board approved the DNR’s recommended quota of 200 wolves from non-tribal lands, and according to the DNR, that harvest number would stabilize the wolf population which is estimated to be around 1,200.

“Quota recommendations to maintain the current population were developed by department staff in consideration of several factors, including the most recent population estimate, the population’s response to harvest in prior seasons, the current management plan, the scientific literature and estimated impacts of various harvest quotas resulting from population model projections,” says Keith Warnke, DNR Fish, Wildlife and Parks Division Administrator.

After the federal government returned management of gray wolves back to the state in early January, some lawmakers pushed for an immediate hunt, but the Natural Resources Board voted to wait until next November amid concerns the DNR had not consulted tribal nations and didn’t have time to set quotas.

But after a lawsuit from a national hunting organization, a circuit judge ordered the hunt, saying the agency had violated hunters constitutional rights.

While the DNR proposed issuing 2,000 licenses for the upcoming hunt, the board upped it to 4,000 given the shortened season and feeling more hunters in the woods would make it more likely to hit the quota.

“The application period for harvest permits will begin Tuesday, February 16, at 12:01 a.m. and close Saturday, February 20, at 11:59 p.m., customers who win in the drawing will be able to review the results on February 22nd, drawing winners can begin hunting and trapping when they have purchased their license and printed their carcass tag,” says Warnke.

Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt since 2014 will run through February 28.

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