Wisconsin’s Green Fire February 2021 Wolf Hunt Preliminary Report

Photo of a Wisconsin gray wolf credit Snapshot Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Green Fire (WGF) has released a preliminary assessment of the February 2021 Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season. Our report reviews impacts of the hunt on Wisconsin’s wolf population and provides recommendations to ensure that future wolf management is informed by science and best practice.

Key findings in our report include: 

• During the February hunt wolves were removed primarily from core habitats on public lands where conflicts with pets, livestock or human safety are rare. Based on currently available information and our understanding of wolf populations and behavior, there is little evidence that the February 2021 wolf hunt will significantly reduce human – wolf conflicts. 

• Based on loss of bred females and alpha males, it is reasonable to estimate that 60-100 of Wisconsin’s wolf packs may lose all pup production due to the February hunt. If this impact is realized it will represent 24-40% of the expected reproduction from 245 known wolf packs outside of Indian reservations in Wisconsin. 

• The lack of consultation with Wisconsin Ojibwe Tribes over the February hunt failed to meet the state’s responsibilities for meaningful consultation to assure tribes maintain their longstanding rights to natural resources within Ceded Territories. The relations between the State and the Wisconsin Ojibwe Tribes have been damaged and will take time repair.

• Despite current law requiring annual wolf harvests, the WDNR retains authority to establish quotas and, within statutory limits, to regulate the form, timing, and methods of harvest. The WDNR should use its authority more fully to prevent the kind of unwanted outcomes experienced in February from being repeated. 

WGF Cons Bulletin Feb Wolf Hunt 04-28-2021

People & Wolves Talk Show Topic: WI Wolf Hunt with Guest Adrian Wydeven

Air Date: On Wednesday April 14, 2021, 06:00 PM CST
Host Alexander Vaeth talked with Adrian Wydeven about the recent February 2021 wolf hunt in Wisconsin. Adrian Wydeven is a retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist. Wydeven led the Wisconsin DNR Wolf Recovery Program from 1990 through 2013. Adrian grew up in northeast Wisconsin, and has a BS in biology and wildlife management from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976), and an MS in wildlife ecology from Iowa State University (1979). His master’s research was on the ecology and food habitat of elk in the Wind Cave National Park, SD. He worked as a wildlife manager in Missouri and Wisconsin from 1980-1990. He retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in 2015 after nearly 33 years. Adrian continues to be actively involved in wolf surveys and conservation through the Timber Wolf Alliance and Wisconsin Green Fire.
Host Alexander Vaeth is a volunteer wolf tracker with the Wisconsin DNR, and a Spanish teacher by training. He completed his graduate studies in Spanish at Middlebury’s language schools in Vermont, USA, Madrid, Spain, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and volunteers as a medical interpreter in the city’s community clinic. Alex spends nearly all his free time in the woods tracking and monitoring wildlife with remote cameras and is also keenly interested in wolf advocacy and research. The show was produced by Rachel Tilseth, a Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin News Media

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