Wolf Kill Total, Climbing At Rapid Rate, Is Now At 116

Quotas Have Been Exceeded In Some DNR Hunting Zones

Four wolf hunting zones are now closed in Wisconsin. Photo: Jethro Taylor (CC-BY-SA).

The Department of Natural Resources said that hunters and trappers have killed 116 grey wolves during this year’s hunting season.

Ninety-seven wolves were killed in the first seven days of the hunt, and at least 22 more wolves have died since. Four of the six wolf hunting zones are now closed.

The wolf kill happened so fast that in two zones, the quota was exceeded by a total of 18 animals. DNR wildlife biologist Dave MacFarland brought the matter up with the Natural Resources Board on Wednesday.

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“We obviously take this issue very seriously and we’re exploring ways to prevent this issue in the future,” said MacFarland.

MacFarland said the state is looking at ways to slow the pace of the hunt. Melissa Tedrowe of the Humane Society of the United States said the DNR should close the remaining zones early to keep the wolf kill to 150, and give hunters far fewer than 24 hours to report a kill.

“It makes sense that in the 24 hours it takes to report a wolf, a lot more damage can be done — a lot more wolves can be killed,” said Tedrowe.

Tedrowe said she’s also concerned that hunters have only slowed down on killing wolves this week, to save some for hunters who want to use dogs to chase wolves starting Dec. 1.