NEW INFORMATION: Hunters report 4 wolf kills in state

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Hunters have reported killing four wolves over the opening 24 hours of Wisconsin's first organized wolf hunt.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, hunters reported taking one wolf in the far northwestern management zone, one wolf in the far northeastern zone, one wolf in the mid-northwestern zone and one wolf in the central zone. Hunters haven't reported killing any wolves in the mid-northeastern zone or the southern zone.

The hunt opened Monday and is scheduled to run through February, although it could end sooner in management zones where hunters meet zone-specific kill quotas.

The DNR has set the overall statewide quota at 116 wolves.

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Wisconsin's first organized wolf hunt season opened Monday morning, raising many questions and opinions.

Some are saying killing wolves will put them back under the endangered species category, and some can't wait to get a permit, to take the wolves out of the area.

"If we had a hunting permit and could take out wolves… That would be something I would definitely do”.

Diane Brask has been hunting in Northern Wisconsin for more than 30 years. Brask says the deer population has been dropping because of wolves, especially in the last 5 years.

"Being a hunter I don't want deer population to go down and funds run into the ground, that's taking out our deer population, as well as possibility of attacks on just farm animals in the community as well," said Brask.

The DNR division administrator Kurt Thiede says wolf population control is exactly why the hunt was opened in the first place.

"There are around 830 wolves in Wisconsin today. That number is past DNR manageable goal. We are using the hunt to control wolves population."

"For me wolf hunt is wrong because it's just a numbers game and DNR needs to find other ways to control population,” said hunter Cindy McDonald.

Some hunters say people already shoot wolves with no permits, and now with one thousand one hundred and sixty permits that were given out by the DNR, wolves might be in trouble.

"You need better ways of controlling population, whether it'd be relocation the wolves, educating people that live in the area with wolves, maybe decrease the amount of deer you allowed to be killed, so there is more deer and other animals available for the wolves to kill, rather than just issuing permits for the hunt,” said McDonald.

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- After months of contentious debate, Wisconsin's first organized wolf hunt is finally set to begin.

The hunt officially begins Monday morning and will run through February. The law establishing the hunt allows hunters to use bait and traps and hunt at night after the November gun deer season ends.

Animal advocates have argued for months that Wisconsin's wolf population is too fragile to sustain a hunt. State wildlife officials have limited the total kill to 116 animals, a fraction of the 800 or so wolves they believe roam the state, and awarded only 1,160 permits.

A Madison judge also has temporarily blocked a provision allowing hunters to use dogs, taking one of their most effective tools off the table until at least late December.

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Governor Walker Statement on Inaugural Wolf Hunt

Madison—Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt in modern history launched this morning, just before sunrise.

Governor Walker released the following statement on the inaugural hunt:

This is a landmark day in Wisconsin. Thanks to the conservation efforts of wildlife officials and the Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin’s wolf population grow from just a few animals migrating back from Minnesota and Michigan, to healthy and thriving. We have now reached the point where this public harvest is necessary to maintain a safe balance. This hunt will ease the burden on state residents, farmers and visitors who have been faced with the loss of livestock and pets. I want to thank all of the hunters and trappers who are participating in this challenging, historic event.

Through a lottery system, 1,160 people were granted the option to buy a wolf permit out of approximately 20,000 applicants. As of Monday morning, 599 state permits and six out-of state permits had been purchased.

Up to 201 wolves can be harvested in this inaugural season, 85 of which are reserved for Native American tribes within the ceded territory of northern Wisconsin. This leaves a quota of 116 for harvest by state licensed hunters and trappers.

Wisconsin’s wolf hunt is set to run until February 28, 2013, but will end earlier in zones should harvest levels reach their quota.


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