Wisconsin wolf hunt ends early after 82 wolves harvested in less than two days
Canadian wolves air-dropped in Michigan national park to deal with moose
Four Canadian wolves air-dropped in Michigan national park to keep moose population in check.
Those who missed the mark are probably howling at the moon.
Wisconsin's first gray wolf hunt in seven years ended early after participants harvested 69% of the statewide quota in less than two days, prompting wildlife authorities to shut it down.
Hunters and trappers registered 82 gray wolves in the first 39 hours of the special season, which began Monday and was scheduled to run through Sunday if harvest quotas were not met. However, outdoor enthusiasts were apparently right on target, surpassing the kill goal in two of six management zones across the Badger State, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) closed the hunt on Wednesday.
Hunters and trappers registered 82 gray wolves in the first 39 hours of the special season, which began Monday and was scheduled to run through Sunday if harvest quotas were not hit. (iStock)
"I'm a little bit surprised with how quickly [the season] went," George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, told the outlet. "I think the snow had a lot to do with it and conditions were good. The use of hounds and trapping have had high success in the past, and it's likely they did this week, too."
The Journal reports that the 82 kills represent 69% of the statewide harvest quota of 119 wolves for the season. Hunters and trappers must report their harvest within 24 hours of the time of kill.
The special hunt was a desirable one for outdoor enthusiasts in the area, too. The DNR was reportedly flooded with over 27,151 applications, ultimately selecting 2,380 hunters and trappers in a drawing.
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Gray wolves were officially removed from the federal Endangered Species List on Jan. 4, giving states the leeway to determine how to manage local populations. Wisconsin mandates that the DNR open a wolf hunt from early November to late February when the wolves are not listed as endangered or threatened, and the department planned to start the season in November. However, a hunting advocacy group called Hunter Nation pushed back in state Court of Appeals earlier this month, arguing that the wolf hunt should open up this winter – and they won the case.
The Journal reports that the 82 kills represent 69% of the statewide harvest quota of 119 wolves for the season. (iStock)
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The Midwestern state most recently held a wolf hunt in 2014, during which 154 wolves were killed. From there, a federal judge ruled to return the wild animals to federal Endangered Species Act protections.
By DNR estimates, the Badger State had 1,195 wolves in 256 packs during the late winter of 2020.
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This year’s hunt was controversial in that it was the first wolf hunt in state history held during wolf breeding season. Animal advocates voiced concern that the hunt would disrupt "pack dynamics and killing of pregnant females during this time," the Journal reported.
The DNR did not release further details on Tuesday regarding the sex or age of the wild animals.