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WI – HUNTING – The Wisconsin DNR has set a date for the return of wolf hunting season in fall 2021

The next Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season will begin Nov. 6, the Department of Natural Resources announced Friday. Various interest groups, including animal protectionists, American Indian tribes, livestock producers and hunters and trappers, had wondered when the agency planned to reinitiate a public wolf harvest after a late October decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in the Lower 48 states. Wisconsin law requires the DNR to hold a hunting and trapping season if the species is not under federal protections. The state is scheduled to assume management authority for wolves in early January. Although the statute allows a wolf harvest season through February, the DNR was not prepared to implement one on such short notice this winter. In a statement, the DNR said beginning the season next November would provide “adequate time not only to develop a science-based harvest quota but also to engage the public and tribal partners in the development of a season plan that adequately reflects the interests of diverse stakeholders throughout Wisconsin.”

The agency also said it would begin work to update its wolf management plan. The current plan, written in 1999 and tweaked in 2007, has been in need of revision for many years but the DNR has resisted work on it as the species was under federal protection. The agency said it would work “collaboratively and transparently to create a new wolf management plan to reflect our increased understanding of the biological and social issues relevant to wolf management. The new plan will ensure sustainable management of Wisconsin wolves for the future.” One significant change in wolf management will occur in early January, however, as lethal control of wolves near farms and other depredation sites will once again be allowed. [full article]

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