Wolves

MICHELE WOODFORD

Updated 10:38 a.m. CST

Wisconsin hunters and trappers killed nearly double the number of wolves as the state allotted for a weeklong season, and they did it so quickly that officials had to end the hunt after less than three days, according to figures released Thursday.

Nontribal hunters and trappers had registered 215 wolves as of midday, blowing past the state's kill target of 119. The state Department of Natural Resources estimated before the hunt that there were about 1,000 wolves in the state, and its population goal for the animal is 350.

KARLOS LOMSKY / FOTOLIA

Updated 2:16 p.m. CST

Wisconsin wildlife officials opened a wolf season Monday after hunting advocates sued to move the start date up from November amid fears that the Biden administration might restore protections for the animals.

The hunt will run through Sunday across six management zones. The DNR set the kill limit at 200 animals, with 119 allocated to the state and the other 81 allocated to Wisconsin's Chippewa tribes as per treaty agreements. However, the Chippewa regard the wolf as sacred and will not hunt it, leaving the working kill limit at 119.

DR. MIHA KROFEL

Wisconsin's wolf hunt will begin next week with up to 200 animals to be harvested, the state Department of Natural Resources Board determined at a hastily called meeting Monday in reaction to a court order requiring a hunt this month.

The unanimous board vote came even as the state was asking an appeals court to stop the hunt by putting last week's court order on hold. The state Department of Natural Resources and the board, represented by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, filed the motion Friday in state appeals court.

HKUCHERA / FOTOLIA

Updated Feb. 12 at 5:10 p.m. CST

A Wisconsin judge ordered the state Department of Natural Resources on Thursday to start a gray wolf hunt this month rather than waiting until November.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed wolves in the Lower 48 states from the federal endangered species list in January, returning management to the states. The move was among Trump administration actions on the environment that President Joe Biden has ordered reviewed.

MICHELE WOODFORD

The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) say natural resources officials ignored state law when they failed to schedule a wolf hunt season this winter. The gray wolf was delisted from the Endangered Species Act in early January 2021, returning the wolf to Wisconsin DNR management and triggering a 2011 state law that requires a hunting season between November and February.

UW-Stevens Point

The controversy over how the gray wolf, humans, livestock and pets can coexist is not new. The wolf has been on and off of the federal endangered species list within the last decade.

Adrian Wydeven

Wisconsin is due to resume management of the gray wolf, including a hunting season, as the animal loses federal protection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced the gray wolf's successful recovery, setting the stage to delist in all lower 48 states.

In Wisconsin, the gray wolf has swung between state management and federal protection for more than a decade.

HKUCHERA / FOTOLIA

The Trump administration's decision to remove gray wolves across most of the U.S. from the endangered species list means Wisconsin wildlife officials must reinstate a wolf hunt.

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Thursday that wolves would come off the list, a move designed to appeal to rural voters who have long complained that wolves are preying on their livestock. The delisting is expected to be effective in January.

Gray wolves, a species that has long been vilified and admired, will no longer receive federal protections under the Endangered Species Act in the Lower 48 U.S. states, the Trump administration announced Thursday.

Michele Woodford

The presence of gray wolves in Wisconsin is considered a success story. The wolf is native to the Great Lakes and other parts of the U.S., but by the 1950s, the population was teetering on extinction. The gray wolf was placed on the federal endangered species list in 1975. By 2012, its numbers had rebounded and the gray wolf was taken off the list.

hkuchera/Fotolia

More updated story: Gray Wolves To Be Removed From Endangered Species List

Right now the gray wolf is federally protected in Wisconsin. But a bill making its way through Congress aims to lift that protection here and throughout the lower 48 states.

Some people view the gray wolf as an important part of a functioning ecosystem. Others consider wolves a looming threat.

Dr. Miha Krofel

A bill making its way through committee would end the Wisconsin DNR’s monitoring of wolves. The legislation would also prohibit law enforcement officers from taking action if a wolf is poached or harmed by things like traps.

At a heated public hearing Wednesday before the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage, Senator Tom Tiffany (R) of Minocqua said the bill is designed to force Congress to remove wolves from the federal endangered species list.

Karlos Lomsky / fotolia

The Tuesday U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. ruling protects wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

The ruling comes after years of debate, as well as decades of disagreements over the size and management of the wolf population.

In the early 1900s, Wisconsin instituted a bounty to keep the number of wolves down, in hopes of bolstering a dwindling deer population. By 1960, wolves were declared extirpated from Wisconsin.

stock image

The Milwaukee Film Festival includes a whole series of films with Wisconsin themes or made by Wisconsinites. That includes a film called From Mass to the Mountain, which features the environmental work of a priest from Ripon, dubbed Padre Pablo by the people he helps in Panama.

Benjamin Haas / Wolf Patrol

Wisconsin hunters need more protection. That’s the adamant opinion of some Republicans who control the state Assembly. They’re pushing a bill designed to prohibit individuals from impeding or obstructing a hunter from his or her sport.

The Assembly Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage Committee held a public hearing Wednesday at the state capitol to discuss the legislation.

P McConnell

Wisconsin’s divisive wolf story is taking on a new twist. A Congressman from Wisconsin is spearheading legislation to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region.  

S Bence

Walker's budget would freeze the state’s stewardship program designed to conserve land and unique habitats; and would cut back the DNR's science staff.

WI DNR

The ruling by a federal judge also bans the hunting and trapping of gray wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.

WDNR

Earlier this month, six researchers from around the country issued a letter of concern about the management of Wisconsin’s wolf population. 

A group calling itself the Great Lakes Wolf Patrol will head into the woods along with hunters Wednesday, as Wisconsin's third wolf hunt begins.

Geoff Chandler

Wisconsin's third annual wolf hunt begins Wednesday.

In less than four months, Wisconsin’s third wolf hunt will commence. The quota will be 156; nearly 100 less than last year’s.

P McConnell

Wisconsin’s second wolf hunt reaches a turning point December 2. Licensed hunters can now use up to six dogs to help track wolves. Wisconsin is the only state to allow the practice. Some celebrate the rules and others take to court.

Wolf Hunting Closes in More Zones

Nov 5, 2013

Wisconsin's second annual wolf hunt has now closed in four of six zones in the state.

State officials say Wolf Harvest Zone 2 in northeastern Wisconsin will close to hunting and trapping at 3:00 Wednesday afternoon.

Tuesday the second wolf hunt season in Wisconsin commences. In the meantime, scientists continue to probe the complexities of balancing conservation and human’s varied interest and tolerance of the animal.

Researcher: State Wolf Hunt Is Unsustainable

Aug 21, 2013
Photo by Corel Corporation

A UW researcher is growing increasingly concerned about the plight of the gray wolf on Wisconsin’s landscape.

Hopeful Hunters Await Word on Wolf Permits

Aug 14, 2013

The Wisconsin DNR will conduct a drawing on Thursday to select who will qualify for a wolf hunting or trapping license.

DNR pilot Phil Miller

Hunters will be able to harvest 275 wolves when Wisconsin’s second season begins on October 15. That’s a 37 percent increase over last year.

Michele Woodford

The clock is ticking ever closer to Wisconsin’s “still hotly debated” second wolf harvest.

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