The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources holds its wolf lottery this morning.
A total of 16,672 wolf hunters or trappers applied to receive a permit or a preference point for the upcoming wolf hunting season.
Dave MacFarland, large carnivore specialist with the DNR, explains wolf licenses are allocated through two drawings. “First, 50 percent of the tags are allocated by a random drawing of all applicants. The remaining 50 percent are allocated based on random drawing by preference point status.” Those with unsuccessful attempts to receive a wolf hunting permit this time around will earn the so-called preference points to better their chances in the next lottery.
Considering the tribal harvest quota adjustment, MacFarland says just 2,510 permits will be drawn for state hunters and trappers. “After the applicants are selected for authorization to purchase a permit, they will then be mailed a letter notifying them of that authorization and telling them what they need to do in order to obtain a license. Those will go out as quickly as possible. So we would anticipate that selected applicants would receive their notifications by the end of August at the latest.”
The DNR has set the quota at 275 wolves for the season that begins October 15th and ends February 2014. However, Chippewa Indians have claimed 24 animals as part of their centuries-old treaty rights, leaving 251 for everyone else. The application fee is $10. If a license is awarded, it’ll cost $49 for Wisconsin residents and $251 for non-residents.
About 5,000 fewer people applied for wolf permits this year, than during the inaugural season in 2012. Out of the total 16,672 applicants this year, 12,108 applied for a permit and 4,564 applied for a preference point. According to the DNR, this compares to 20,270 applicants for 2012, with 17,377 applying for a permit and 2,893 for a preference point.
There will again be six harvest zones, identical to 2012. Quotas by zone for state licensed hunters and trappers will be: Zone 1 – 76; Zone 2 – 28; Zone 3 – 71; Zone 4- 12; Zone 5 – 34; Zone 6 – 30.