Wisconsin wolf hunt to run Feb. 22-28

Wisconsin wolf hunt to run Feb. 22-28 Photo: WDIO, File

Updated: February 15, 2021 12:35 PM
Created: February 14, 2021 02:54 PM

A court-ordered Wisconsin wolf hunt will run from Feb. 22 to 28 under a plan approved Monday by the state Natural Resources Board.

The plan sets a recommended quota of 200 wolves from non-reservation lands. Up to 4,000 hunters will receive licenses for the wolf hunt.

The agency said it set the quota of 200 using the most recent population estimate, the public response to earlier harvests, the current management plan, and other research. The quota may be reduced if tribes use their treaty rights to declare a portion of the quota in ceded territory, which is the area outside of reservations where tribes retained the right to hunt as part of treaties.

The quota will be divided among six zones. The highest quota of 62 wolves in Zone 1, which includes Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, and Iron counties and parts of Washburn, Sawyer, Price, and Rusk counties.

Hunters can apply for a license at gowild.wi.gov during a window that will be open from 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20. The DNR will announce the winners of licenses on Feb. 22, and drawing winners will be able to begin hunting and trapping as soon as they have purchased their license and printed their carcass tag.

Wisconsin law mandates the DNR run a wolf season from November through the end of February. Federal wildlife officials in January removed wolves in the lower 48 states from the federal endangered species list.

The Wisconsin DNR had initially planned not to have a hunt until November, but was ordered by a judge to hold a hunt immediately after a Kansas-based hunting group filed a lawsuit. Republican lawmakers had also demanded the impromptu start because they are worried that President Joe Biden will restore protections for wolves before November.

The application window for the November wolf hunt will begin March 1.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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