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Application for wolf hunting permits opens Tuesday, season to begin Feb. 22

Hunters that win the lottery will be notified on Feb. 22. Lottery winners can begin hunting once they have purchased their harvest tag. The wolf hunt will end Feb. 28.
Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 11:23 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (AP/WSAW) — The state Department of Natural Resources met Monday to discuss the state’s wolf hunt. The agency approved a harvest quota of 200 wolves.

Hunters can apply for permits at 12:01 a.m. Feb. 16. Zones may close earlier if the quota is met. Four-thousand permits will be issued.

“Because there’s such a short window here to accomplish this harvest by the end of February, by upping the number of hunters in the field, it will give us a better shot at filling that quota,” said Greg Kazmierski.

The board estimates there will be one hunter for every 4-square miles -- versus the 10 hunters for every square-mile when compared to deer season. The reason they are allowing 20 times the permits for the wolf season is that the season is much short than other hunting seasons. They hope by allowing that number of permits they’ll meet their quota.

Hunting permits will cost $10 and licenses will sell for $49.

Slide presented Feb. 15, 2021
Slide presented Feb. 15, 2021(WSAW)

Hunters that win the lottery will be notified on Feb. 22. Lottery winners can begin hunting once they have purchased their harvest tag. The wolf hunt will end on Feb. 28.

The agency explained over the weekend staff arrived at the number after considering several factors, including the most recent population estimate, the public response to earlier harvests, the current management plan, scientific literature, and population model projections, the Journal Sentinel reported.

“It is near the center point of what the models would estimate will result in stabilization, and so there is some probability that it will lead to population decline, and some probability It will lead to population increase,” said David Macfarland of the Wisconsin DNR.

Wisconsin Wolf Population
Wisconsin Wolf Population(Wisconsin DNR)

Wisconsin law mandates the DNR run a wolf season from November through the end of February, but Republican lawmakers demanded the impromptu start because they are worried that President Joe Biden will restore protections for the animals.

A citizen advocate says she’s glad hunters will have a season.

“They need to protect the people from the wolves, and they need to protect the wolves from the people,” said Laurie Grosskopf.

She thinks hunting may help drive them out of more populated areas.

“We will have wolves. The question is where are they appropriate? Is it in the deeply forested areas? That would be better,” she said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.