The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announces the closure of Wolf Harvest Zones 6 and 3 to hunting and trapping of gray wolves, effectively ending the third modern-era wolf harvesting season.
The natural resources board established the harvest quota of 150 animals back in June of this year. The total number of kills has already exceeded that goal with 151 animals taken and that number could be higher before it’s all said and done.
Tom Hauge is DNR Wildlife Management director. “There is the potential that some addition wolves could be reported as well as trapped, so that number could change before it’s sort of final final, but our actions are an attempt to have the final harvest come as close as we could to the harvest established by the board.”
On Monday of this week the controversial ban on using dogs to track down wolves was lifted. It was thought that the wolf season would end long before now, making the issue of using dogs a moot point. “It’s my understanding that some of the recent harvests that have been reported have been taken with the aid of dogs and so folks have started to use that methodology.”
Hunters are not allowed to let their dogs kill the wolves, just track the animals. Even so, some say it’s inhumane because wolves could easily turn on the dogs and the situation could get violent. Wisconsin Indian tribes haven’t reported harvesting any wolves. The estimated wolf population before the hunt was 650 animals.
Zone 6 closes at 8 am Friday. Zone 3 at noon on Friday.