MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A fifth wolf-hunting zone is closing in Wisconsin, leaving just one open.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said Thursday that hunting and trapping of wolves in Zone 6 covering most of the southern two-thirds of the state will be closing at 5 p.m. Friday.
That leaves just Zone 3 in central Wisconsin open to wolf hunting. The quota in that zone was 18 wolves and seven have been harvested.
The quota in Zone 6 was 18 wolves. The 18th wolf was harvested on Wednesday, which triggered the closing process.
The goal was to harvest 116 wolves during the state's inaugural hunt this year which began Oct. 15 and will close Feb. 28 or when harvest goals are reached.
MADISON, Wis. (DNR NEWS RELEASE) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has closed Wolf Harvest Zone 6 to hunting and trapping of gray wolves effective 5 p.m., Friday, Dec.14, 2012.
Wolf Harvest Zone 6 is the fifth zone to be closed this season. The harvest of wolves currently remains open only in Zone 3. The department will continue to closely monitor the harvest in that zone. Wolf hunters and trappers should check daily to determine when the zone is closed.
“The harvest trend in Zone 6 has been slow during the initial wolf season. But harvest picked up during the deer season, with half the quota harvested during that time. Now with the quota achieved, we will close the zone to any additional harvest,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR Lands Division Administrator. “This is Wisconsin’s inaugural season. We are learning much about hunter and trapper success rates that will help us draft permanent rules that continue to move the wolf population down toward goals set in our state wolf management plan.”
“We will be considering harvest trends as we approach the quota in Zone 3 as well. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the wolf population by 116 animals, distributed across the landscape,” said Thiede.
The state wolf harvest quota for Zone 6 was set at 18 wolves and the closure process was initiated when the 18th wolf was harvested on Dec. 12, 2012. Wolf hunters and trappers are advised that they can continue to pursue wolves in Zone 3. Seven wolves out of the zone’s quota of 18 remain to be harvested.
When the remaining zone is closed, DNR will announce the closure by news release, notification on the DNR web site,dnr.wi.gov, search keyword "wolf," and on the wolf call-in number, 1-855-299-9653. It is the hunter’s and trapper’s responsibility to check for and know about zone closures. DNR encourages hunters and trappers to check the website or the call-in number daily.