February 13, 2016

Natural Resources Board takes up wolf hunt

The controversial wolf hunt is being discussed Tuesday.

The Natural Resources Board is taking several things into consideration at their meeting in Stevens Point, including the Department’s proposal regarding the wolf harvest quota for the 2012 season.

Kurt Thiede, DNR Lands Division Administrator, says managing the population is a balancing act. “Between social interests and, in the case of the tribes, cultural. And also with those that want to make sure that we have a viable population of wolves on the landscape.”

The quota proposed for this year is 201 animals of the approximate 850 wolves in Wisconsin. Indian tribes up north are eligible for up to half of the allowable harvest, leaving a smaller kill number for non-tribal hunters.

Thiede says the idea of a wolf hunt is a very passionate issue for people in this state. “We understand that trying to come up with this rule and quota is very much like walking a tight rope, trying to balance all the various desires. There’s many that would like to see us go further in this first year, and others that would like to see us not be quite as aggressive, so it’s definitely been a balancing act.”

Thiede believes the proposal before the board takes into consideration everyone’s opinions and wishes. The Board will discuss the proposals and immediately vote on whether to approve the emergency rule, zoning, and the proposed quota. The wolf hunting season would begin in October.

The Natural Resources Board meets at 9am at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, Stevens Point. It is open to the public.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:32

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