Wolf Hunting Coming Back in Wisconsin for First Time in 7 Years

by Emily Morgan

Wisconsin hunters have much to look forward to in 2021. The state recently announced its first wolf season since 2014 will take place in November 2021.

According to Fox Nex, the decision comes after officials lifted federal protections and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the endangered species list in October.

“It is tremendously important to us to have a good, robust, strong population of wolves and we know we can do that,” said Keith Warnke, Administrator of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Division for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). “We’ve managed hunting seasons in the past and we’ve maintained a good, strong population of wolves.

While the state is still deciding about a quota for the season, officials will include “public input and consultation with the state’s Native American tribes,” according to Fox News. WDNR reports a steady population of wolves in Wisconsin, with estimates at about 1,000 animals.

Wisconsin Groups Anticipate Decision On Wolf Hunting

After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act, interest groups have wondered when the agency would allow wolf hunting. Groups such as animal protectionists, American Indian tribes, and hunters have been eager to know the details surrounding the decision.

Wisconsin law requires the DNR to hold a hunting and trapping season if certain species are not under federal protections.

In early January, the state will issue management authority for the wolf population.

Although the new statute allows hunting through February, officials did not expect to implement a harvest on such short notice.

According to the DNR, starting the hunting season next November would provide “adequate time not only to develop a science-based harvest quota but also to engage the public and tribal partners in the development of a season plan that adequately reflects the interests of diverse stakeholders throughout Wisconsin.”

The department also said it would begin to update its wolf management plan. The program, written in 1999 and updated in 2007, has needed revision for many years. The DNR has not updated it as the species was under federal protection.

[H/T GoHunt]