Wisconsin wolf hunters exceed quota in abbreviated hunt

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The results are in — and Wisconsin wolf hunters overshot their target by more than 80%.

Wisconsin’s recent wolf hunt, the state’s first in seven years, ended early on Wednesday after the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) determined that 69% of the state’s 119-wolf quota had been harvested in just two days. But hunters and trappers out in the field were allowed a grace period of 24-hours, effectively extending the hunt through the following afternoon.

As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, the Wisconsin DNR confirmed that quotas had been exceeded in all six hunting zones, for a total of 216 wolves taken — a number far exceeding the 119 limit originally set by the DNR.
"It’s easy at this point in the game to say, yeah, maybe we should have closed it a little bit sooner," said DNR Wildlife Management Director Eric Lobner at a Thursday news conference. "There were so many unknowns about how the season was going to play out… How far we went over goal was not necessarily our objective."
Officials say fresh snowfall on the first few days of the hunt aided hunters in tracking the wolves, as did hunting dogs — which accompanied approximately 90% of the successful hunters. The special hunt was a desirable one for outdoor enthusiasts in the area, too. The DNR was reportedly flooded with over 27,151 applications, with only 2,380 permits available.
Wolf hunters in Wisconsin had been waiting seven years for this hunt, too. Gray wolves were listed as an endangered species prior to Jan. 4, when they were removed from the list by the Trump administration and population management rights were returned to the state. Wisconsin mandates that the DNR open a wolf hunt from early November to late February when gray wolves are no longer listed as endangered or threatened.

DNR officials had planned to wait until November to begin the hunt, but Republican lawmakers feared President Biden would relist the wolves as endangered before it could take place, the Associated Press reported. A hunting advocacy group called Hunter Nation later won a court order to open up Wisconsin’s wolf hunt in February.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s hunting advocates and conservationists were at odds over the hunt, with the former arguing that the wolf population was decimating farmers’ livestock, and the latter worrying that the gray wolf’s relatively small numbers (officials estimate there are roughly 1000 in the state) were already too small.

It’s possible that Thursday’s tally doesn’t encompass the total kill count of this year’s hunt, either. Wisconsin had allocated an additional 81 wolves to the Ojibwe Tribes within their Ceded Territory, in response to a declaration made by the tribes ahead of this year’s hunt. However, it’s possible the tribes had made the declaration without having any actual intent on killing the wolves, which the Ojibwe have historically held as sacred, the AP reported.
A representative for the Wisconsin DNR was not immediately available to comment on plans for future hunts, although it's said the DNR is still moving forward with a wolf hunt in November if needed to control the population.

"The Wisconsin DNR has successfully managed gray wolves for decades and will continue to do so in accordance with the laws of our state and the best science available," the department writes on its website.
 

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Randy F

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I live in central Wisconsin and unfortunately I didn’t draw but a neighbor just down the road got a 143 lb male.
We see them often enough on and around the farm. The day before the hunt we found a dead deer right next to the road in one of our fields. The kill sight was huge. She put up quite a fight but there were two wolves on her. The really crappy part was that killed her but other than the wounds, the carcass was untouched...they didn’t eat her...didn’t kill her because they were hungry. There are a ton of wolves here and I would love to take the anti’s out there to show them the bloody areas spread over a full acre of the kill zone where she succumbed to them after what I assume was a long pursuit.
 
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Randy F

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The results are in — and Wisconsin wolf hunters overshot their target by more than 80%.

Wisconsin’s recent wolf hunt, the state’s first in seven years, ended early on Wednesday after the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) determined that 69% of the state’s 119-wolf quota had been harvested in just two days. But hunters and trappers out in the field were allowed a grace period of 24-hours, effectively extending the hunt through the following afternoon.

As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, the Wisconsin DNR confirmed that quotas had been exceeded in all six hunting zones, for a total of 216 wolves taken — a number far exceeding the 119 limit originally set by the DNR.
"It’s easy at this point in the game to say, yeah, maybe we should have closed it a little bit sooner," said DNR Wildlife Management Director Eric Lobner at a Thursday news conference. "There were so many unknowns about how the season was going to play out… How far we went over goal was not necessarily our objective."
Officials say fresh snowfall on the first few days of the hunt aided hunters in tracking the wolves, as did hunting dogs — which accompanied approximately 90% of the successful hunters. The special hunt was a desirable one for outdoor enthusiasts in the area, too. The DNR was reportedly flooded with over 27,151 applications, with only 2,380 permits available.
Wolf hunters in Wisconsin had been waiting seven years for this hunt, too. Gray wolves were listed as an endangered species prior to Jan. 4, when they were removed from the list by the Trump administration and population management rights were returned to the state. Wisconsin mandates that the DNR open a wolf hunt from early November to late February when gray wolves are no longer listed as endangered or threatened.

DNR officials had planned to wait until November to begin the hunt, but Republican lawmakers feared President Biden would relist the wolves as endangered before it could take place, the Associated Press reported. A hunting advocacy group called Hunter Nation later won a court order to open up Wisconsin’s wolf hunt in February.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s hunting advocates and conservationists were at odds over the hunt, with the former arguing that the wolf population was decimating farmers’ livestock, and the latter worrying that the gray wolf’s relatively small numbers (officials estimate there are roughly 1000 in the state) were already too small.

It’s possible that Thursday’s tally doesn’t encompass the total kill count of this year’s hunt, either. Wisconsin had allocated an additional 81 wolves to the Ojibwe Tribes within their Ceded Territory, in response to a declaration made by the tribes ahead of this year’s hunt. However, it’s possible the tribes had made the declaration without having any actual intent on killing the wolves, which the Ojibwe have historically held as sacred, the AP reported.
A representative for the Wisconsin DNR was not immediately available to comment on plans for future hunts, although it's said the DNR is still moving forward with a wolf hunt in November if needed to control the population.

"The Wisconsin DNR has successfully managed gray wolves for decades and will continue to do so in accordance with the laws of our state and the best science available," the department writes on its website.
It’s my understanding that the tribe was NOT given “an additional 81 wolf allocation”, they were given 81 of the quota. Big difference when they don’t intend to take any wolves.
 

Randy F

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Sounds like plenty of wolves to go around. Was the hunt available for residents only?
I believe so. But hey! I have a point for the next draw now. :Woot:
(Along with a few thousand others that didn’t draw for the few hundred tags)
:confused:
 

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If the Wolves have not been hunted for 7 years then this year would have been the easiest harvest. Next year will be a bit more work me thinks.
 

leslie hetrick

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the coyotes around here(lots) do a job on any thing they take down, i hate to think what a large amount of wolfs would do to our deer herds. a large deer taken by coyotes.

DSCN0420.JPG
 
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If only the libs in Minnesota would allow a wolf hunt!! My friends there say that the deer in northern MN have been annihilated. They see more wolves than deer and the moose are almost gone.
 

Randy F

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If only the libs in Minnesota would allow a wolf hunt!! My friends there say that the deer in northern MN have been annihilated. They see more wolves than deer and the moose are almost gone.
Yep. I’ve got a buddy that owns 1500 acres in northern Wisconsin. He deer hunts down by me because the deer herd up there is nearly nonexistent. But it’ll be great wolf hunting if we get another season.
@BRICKBURN, I think the next one will be every bit as easy. We didn’t even touch the population. The more money state keeps spending on paying for wolf killed cattle, the better chance we have of getting another hunt.
 

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Yep. I’ve got a buddy that owns 1500 acres in northern Wisconsin. He deer hunts down by me because the deer herd up there is nearly nonexistent. But it’ll be great wolf hunting if we get another season.
@BRICKBURN, I think the next one will be every bit as easy. We didn’t even touch the population. The more money state keeps spending on paying for wolf killed cattle, the better chance we have of getting another hunt.
They will keep eating cattle because the deer have been devastated. Too bad these damn wolves don’t eat each other more!
 

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I have not followed wolf hunting carefully but I do remember one early case where the wolf advocates were freaking out because Wyoming sold a bunch of wolf tags. The idea being that if everyone got a wolf it would decimate the population. I forgot the numbers but the vast majority of the hunters were unsuccessful. Why I don't know.

I suspect wolf hunters are figuring things out better now that wolf hunting more widely available.
 

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It’s kind of ironic that the pack of six wolves that came down to northern Colorado from central Wyoming are in Colorado due to hunting in a way. For years, the Red Desert in WY acted like a geographical buffer because the WY mountains are separated from the CO mountains by the Red Desert. Even with high populations of wolves in west central and northwestern WY, the wolves just were not making it down to CO, except for the occasional single wolf. Once wolf hunting started in WY, the packs started moving around and a pack set up shop near the Snake River. I heard that some WY hunters shot up the Snake River pack pretty good, causing some of them to disperse and end up in Colorado now. I’m definitely not blaming those hunters for going out wolf hunting but it is ironic that these wolves crossed the Red Desert likely because of hunting.

The soon to be developed new wolf management plan for CO is being discussed. The Chairman of the CO Wildlife Commission is a friend and tells me he hopes to see “triggers” put in the plan that will automatically trigger wolf hunting seasons and quota when populations increase. Time will tell.
 

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By the numbers harvested and the time to do it, sounds like someone did there wolf count sitting at a desk!
And I think the DNR did the same with the black bear estimates until a few years ago, grossly undercounted (according to my Wisconsin grouse hunting buds).
 

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