July 23, 2014

Wolf season quota set at 156 for 2014

Photo: Wisconsin DNR

Photo: Wisconsin DNR

The 2014 wolf season quota is set at 156.

Members of the state Natural Resources Board hear arguments on both sides of the wolf hunt issue. The Board votes (6-1) to approve the DNR Wolf Advisory Committee’s proposal to cap the number of wolves that can be killed in the upcoming hunting and trapping season at 156.

AUDIODavid MacFarland, DNR Carnivore Staff Specialist. (:16)

AUDIOMadison Democrat and longshot gubernatorial candidate Brett Hulsey wants an independent scientific review. (:11)

Several individuals providing testimony say they did so on behalf of the wolves, who weren’t invited; a couple folks invoke the name of environmentalist Aldo Leopold; and many of those testifying blame special interests for pushing the hunt. Some argue the population goal is based on outdated information; and others point to numbers of wolves killed by causes other than hunting and trapping, including illegal kills, livestock depredation, disease, and vehicle collisions.

The quota of 156 animals is down from the previous cap of 275 in 2013. State hunters and trappers harvested 257 wolves in 2013.

The state estimates the current late-winter wolf population was between 660 and 689 animals. The eventual goal is 350 wolves.

The Board met in Milwaukee Wednesday.