Hunters are preparing for the state’s second wolf season, which begins Tuesday.
“Most hunters are glad the wolf has been reintroduced back in the state, just like we’re glad the elk has been reintroduced,” says George Meyer of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, who supports the Department of Natural Resources wolf hunt, “but like any wildlife species, it needs to be maintained within ecological and social carrying capacity.”
Meyer says the wolf hunt helps manage the size of the wolf population in the state.
It was not that long ago when wolves were an extreme rarity in Wisconsin, says Meyer, who notes how things have changed since the 1970s when wolves were re-introduced in the state.
“This really is a success story for the federal and state Endangered Species Act.” He says, “In fact, their goal for de-listing by the federal government — taking off the federal Endangered Species list — was 100 animals in northern Wisconsin and the upper peninsula of Michigan. You can see we are greatly in excess of that, maybe as much as ten times.”
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. Hunters killed 117 wolves last year during Wisconsin’s inaugural wolf hunting season.
This year’s wolf hunt beings Tuesday October 15th and is scheduled to run through February. It could end sooner, if hunters and trapper reach the quota of 251 animals.
Wolf lottery decides who hunts