Only a small percentage of those who have applied for one Wisconsin season will soon find out if their going to be hunting wolves this winter.
The lottery to select which hunters will be allowed to hunt wolves was completed Wednesday. October’s wolf hunt has been getting alot of attention, both from people for the hunt, and for those against it
The random lottery that will decide who will be able to try and harvest one of the animals this season has been completed. The lottery, which was done randomly by a computer, selected 1,160 hunters from around the state and nation that will be able to hunt this season.
Area Department of Natural Resources offices-- including one the Oneida County office-- one of the zones that will be able to harvest the most wolves this season-- says they have seen hundreds of people apply for the tags.
Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz says, “We've had alot of interest, walk-ins, phone calls, emails, people wanting to learn more about the hunt. Here we've had hundreds of people come in the last month and purchase a wolf permit. Some have even come in trying to save a wolf. Many of them are interested in participating in the harvest though."
Wisconsin state DNR offices say they received more than 20,000 applications from interested hunters. The majority of those are from Wisconsin, but some applications came in from as far away as California and Texas.
The legislation creating the hunt allows hunters to use dogs to track down wolves following the November gun deer season. A group of humane societies filed a lawsuit alleging DNR emergency rules enacting the hunt failed to include reasonable restrictions on dog use, which they argue could result in brutal wolf-dog confrontations in the woods.
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter Anderson last month temporarily blocked wolf hunters from using dogs while he considers the lawsuit. He's expected to take up a DNR motion to dismiss the case on Friday.
DNR officials plan to send letters to lottery winners alerting them to the dog ban and launch a media campaign to raise awareness of the prohibition.