STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) - Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt received its final approval today from state officials.
The Natural Resources Board voted unanimously in Stevens Point to set a quota of 201 wolves for the initial hunting season from mid-October to end of February. At a six-hour public hearing, environmentalists said the quota was too high. But hunters and others said it was too low to make a real dent in the wolf population – which was estimated earlier this year at 850 statewide.
DNR officials said they realized the quota was low, but they want to move cautiously in the first year of the wolf hunt. There are six zones in the state for wolf hunting, and wildlife officials said the quotas are higher in places where wolves cause the most problems by killing livestock and other animals.
DNR Land Manager Kurt Theide says hunters will get to start submitting applications next month. “We'll be getting those online and at our usual electronic retail outlets that you usually buy licenses.” Applications will cost ten dollars, and the DNR is expecting to hand out 2000 licenses in total for the hunt.
The governor and Legislature approved the wolf hunt earlier this year, after the federal government removed the grey wolves in the Upper Midwest from the endangered species list.