Officials called the quota conservative and said the goals of the first season are simply to provide wolf hunting and trapping opportunities within the state, to begin to move the wolf population toward the established goal of 350 and to monitor, learn and adapt for future seasons. There were an estimated 815 to 880 wolves in Wisconsin this winter.
“The department is committed to managing the wolf as a sustainable native species in Wisconsin. Our wolf management will be guided by the management plan, science and social considerations,” DNR Wildlife Ecologist Bill Vander Zouwen said in a release. “Wolves are very important to many people both because of their values and concerns for their impacts. The DNR will continue to involve a wide diversity of stakeholders in management discussions as we move forward.”
The proposed quota includes seven wolf harvest zones with quotas for each zone. The map included above illustrates the proposed zones and quotas. Harvest zones would be closed to hunting and trapping when the quota is approached in each zone. License holders would be allowed to hunt in any zone.
Hunters and trappers will be able to apply for wolf licenses from Aug. 1 to 31. The DNR is expecting to offer five times as many tags as the final wolf quota number, which has not yet been determined. There will be a $10 application fee. Those who draw tags will receive notice in early September. Licenses will cost $100 for resident hunters and trappers and $500 for non-residents. The wolf hunting and trapping season begins Oct. 15 and runs through February.
The Wisconsin DNR is looking for feedback on the quota, zones and other aspects of the wolf hunting and trapping season now. For more information on providing feedback, read the full release on the Wisconsin DNR website. Final DNR recommendations are expected to be made by early July.