Wolf season getting started in WisconsinDULUTH, Minn. — Wisconsin hunters will see a wolf season starting Oct. 15 and continuing through the last day of February, according to a bill passed in the Wisconsin Legislature. Department of Natural Resources officials are now developing rules, harvest levels and an application process for the hunt.
By: Sam Cook, The Dickinson Press
DULUTH, Minn. — Wisconsin hunters will see a wolf season starting Oct. 15 and continuing through the last day of February, according to a bill passed in the Wisconsin Legislature. Department of Natural Resources officials are now developing rules, harvest levels and an application process for the hunt.
As in Minnesota, wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list in January, and the state assumed management of the species. DNR officials estimate the state’s wolf population at about 800.
Here are some details of the hunt, as outlined in state law:
- The DNR may limit the number of licenses issued and the number of wolves to be harvested.
- License fee is $100 for residents and $500 for non-residents. A license authorizes both hunting and trapping.
- Season: Oct. 15 to last day of February for both hunting and trapping.
- Each license will come with one carcass tag.
- The DNR may close the season early if it feels that is necessary for wolf management.
- A person may hunt wolves using dogs and with the aid of bait beginning with the first Monday that follows the last day of the regular season that is open to hunting deer with firearms and ending when the (wolf) season closes. No more than six dogs in a single pack may be used.
- A rifle, a muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun that fires slugs or shotshells, and any other firearm that is loaded with a single slug or ball is legal for hunting wolves. Hunting wolves with shot that is larger than size BB, such as buck shot, is legal.
- A person may hunt wolves without hunting hour restrictions, but only during the period beginning on the first Monday after the last day of the regular gun deer season and ending when wolf season closes.
- The DNR is required to administer a program under which payments may be made to persons for death or injury caused by wolves to livestock, to hunting dogs other than those being used in the hunting of wolves and to pets.
- A restitution fee, charged to people who kill wolves illegally, is $87.50.
- Cable restraints, or snares, will be legal for trapping wolves.
Minnesota proposed wolf season
As reported earlier, the Minnesota House on April 3 approved a wolf season that would begin this fall. The Senate is considering a bill that has similar language and may act on that bill this week.
Under the House bill, the wolf license fee would be $26 for residents and $250 for non-residents. The hunting and trapping season would begin the first day of the firearms deer season.
The DNR may limit the number of hunters and trappers and establish a lottery system to select them. Under the House bill, the DNR also may set a harvest quota and close the season when the quota is reached. Snares would be legal for trapping.
The restitution fee for illegally taken wolves would be set at $500.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources had proposed a wolf season beginning after the firearms deer season when pelts are prime. DNR officials prefer to treat the wolf as a big game animal to be taken in a season separate from the deer season, rather than being taken as an incidental kill during the deer season.
Cook is a reporter for the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.