Wolves and Humans: A Deteriorating Relationship?

Nov 21, 2012

With the state's first wolf hunt underway, a Wisconsin researcher looks into the animals' relationship with people.

The state's first wolf hunt is underway.
Credit P McConnell

Thousands of hunters are up north this Thanksgiving week for Wisconsin's annual deer hunt.  Meanwhile, the state's first sanctioned wolf hunt is still going on – it's been underway for more than five weeks.

As of Tuesday, hunters had killed 90 wolves, meeting the quotas of two zones - in the far northeastern corner of the state.

Just over two dozen wolves remain to close the first season in the state, in which 1160 permits were issued.  Minnesota is also holding a wolf hunt, and issued 36-hundred licenses.

The map of permitted wolf harvesting zones in Wisconsin.
Credit Wisconsin DNR

UW – Madison associate professor of environmental studies Adrian Treves studies wolves – and our relationships to them.

Treves tells WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence he's been monitoring a progressive change in human attitudes toward wolves – and the shift is not positive.  The study he co-authored with Lisa Naughton will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal Conservation Biology.