DNR Board Votes Unanimously For Higher Wolf Hunt Quota


The Department of Natural Resources Board today approved a significantly higher quota for Wisconsin’s second wolf hunt.

Meeting in Wausau, the board voted unanimously to increase the harvest quota to 275 wolves, up from 201 last year. That first hunt failed to reduce the wolf population, which is more than double the target of 350 animals.

Wildlife manager Bill Vander Zowen says the DNR has moved from wolf recovery to wolf management. But not everyone is happy. Howard Goldman of the Humane Society of the United States says the increased hunting pressure could be devastating.

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Goldman: “People care about wolves. We’re not talking about stalks of corn to be harvested. We’re talking about highly intelligent and social creatures. We’re so fortunate to have wolves in this state.”

But Al Lobner of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association says the increase is warranted because of the conflicts between wolves and people.

Lobner: “Get that wolf population down to a more acceptable number, then we feel the depredation will stop, and the dislike that some people have for wolves will diminish.”

The quota of 275 animals includes 115 for the Ojibwe Indians in the ceded territories. But last year, the Ojibwe didn’t kill any wolves because of their religious beliefs. Vander Zowen says if that happens again, the state may be able to give some of their quota to other hunters.

Vander Zowen: “Legally, we believe that only a declaration for harvest purposes meets the court ruling.”

There were no tribal representatives registered to speak at today’s hearing.