MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- New estimates show Wisconsin's wolf population has stopped growing and may have slightly declined after last fall's inaugural hunt.
Department of Natural Resources estimates released Monday put the wolf population at between 809 to 834 animals, still far above the agency's goal of 350. The 2012 count estimated 815 to 880 wolves roamed the state.
Hunters killed 117 wolves during Wisconsin's first organized wolf hunt last fall. The DNR says another 126 wolves were killed through depredation control, car crashes, illegal kills and unknown causes.
DNR carnivore specialist David McFarland notes the wolf population nearly doubles each spring when pups are born and then shrinks. The population counts are conducted in late winter, the period when the population is at its lowest point.