Tag Archives: stop trophy hunting

Post Wolf Hunt: The Latest News Concerning Wolf Depredations in Wisconsin

Photograph credit John E Marriott

In February 2021 WDNR was forced by a conservative advocacy group, Hunter Nation Inc, lawsuit to hold a wolf hunt. Needless to say it was disaster for gray wolves in the midst of mating season. I’ve been keeping a close eye on WDNR wolf depredations after the hunt. I was reading through the WDNR Wolf Depredations Report 2021 and wanted clarification on two of the counties, Bayfield & Marquette. Specifically, I wanted to find out if these depredations were due to losing pack members in the February 2021 wolf hunt. In Bayfield county there were 2 confirmed wolf depredations of beef calves on two separate dates post hunt (2-22-21) and (3-08-21). Then in Marquette county one calf on 3-23-21. I contacted Randy Johnson The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Large Carnavore Specialist to ask him about depredations in these two counties and was it tied to packs losing members in the wolf hunt.

He said, “In both cases, I see no reason to believe these conflicts were triggered by the harvest season.”

The following is Johnson’s email response regarding confirmed wolf depredations in the two counties.

There are no (Wildlife Services) WS efforts underway in Marquette County. There were 7 harvested in the south-west part of the county in Feb., including a collared adult female, but the depredation is in the north-west part of the county and well beyond the range of the collared female. The livestock producer is being issued a wolf removal permit which allows the individual to take a number of wolves (I’m not sure the #, often it’s 2 wolves) but this is a much less effective route than WS targeted removal efforts.

There are recent (Wildlife Services) WS removal efforts underway in northern Bayfield County. These are in response to 6 verified conflicts on 3 farms, some of which occurred well prior to the Feb season. WS attempted similar removal in January but were unsuccessful. There were 10 wolves harvested in Bayfield, 9 of which were in the southern part of the county (away from the conflict) and one in the north.

In both counties the depredations occurred after the February 2021 wolf hunt. Marquette county depredations were not in the area were hunters took a collared female wolf. Depredations happened in the north-west part of Marquette county from a different wolf pack. Along with the two depredations Bayfield county that have been occurring prior to the February wolf hunt.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources shut down Wisconsin’s February 2021 wolf hunt after only three days. Licensed hunters had killed 216 wolves, 82 percent more than the 119 quota, in three days. The DNR rules allowed hunters to employ bait in trapping, to hunt at night, and to use dogs to pursue the wolves. Trappers could utilize cable restraints and foot-hold traps. Since the timing of the hunt was during the wolves’ breeding season, and with hunters wiping out 20 percent of the population, wolves may end up on the endangered list again.

Public is Invited to Comment at a Special Natural Resources Board Meeting: As GOP Legislators Push to Establish a Trophy Wolf Hunt

Photograph credit John E Marriott

This Friday January 22, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will meet virtually for a Special Meeting to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021. Im a wolf tracker and founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, was glad to hear the DNR is holding off on a wolf hunt. WPR I oppose a recreational hunt on wolves because we have to take a look at the species and manage the species for its health. I would like to see an updated wolf management plan that includes broad public input along with an updated survey on public attitudes toward wolves. And so would many Wisconsinites. Wisconsin’s Green Fire released a report outlining its recommendations for wolf management. Source.

The following news article is from Wisconsin Public Radio 

Adrian Wydeven, a former DNR biologist, now serves as co-chair of the wildlife work group for Wisconsin’s Green Fire. He said in a briefing on the report before the DNR’s announcement that the group is proposing the agency maintain the wolf population.

“Until a new wolf conservation plan is in place, we encourage (them) to maintain the population near current levels, which are estimated to be between 866 to 1,034 wolves,” said Wydeven. 

He said it’s important the wolf population not be drastically reduced until a new management plan is developed.

Fellow group member, Peter David, a wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, said during a briefing on the report that they’re also making recommendations that the state have separate wolf committees and wolf stakeholder groups in the development of a wolf management plan.

“That’s really in the best interest, I think, of the Wisconsin public,” said David. “It also, frankly, I think, serves the tribes better to separate out some of the best science recommendations and those social recommendations and keep those distinct from each other until some sausage has to be made with them in the end.”

The group is also recommending changes to state law to ensure the agency has authority over the wolf harvest and wolf management. They also want to ensure that tribal rights and interests are considered in management plans since the wolf is culturally significant to Wisconsin tribes.

Wisconsin hunters killed 528 wolves in the three seasons a hunt was held in the state before the animal was placed back on the endangered species list.

In the following, press release from WDNR, the public is invited to submit comments.

Press Release from Wisconsin Natural Resources Board announces special meeting Jan. 22

Contact: Laurie Ross, NRB Board Liaison
Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov or 608-267-7420
DNR Office of Communications

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will meet virtually on Friday for a Special Meeting to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021.

The virtual meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, originating from the Public Meeting Room G09, State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St., Madison, Wisconsin. The Board will act on items 1-2 as listed on the agenda.

The public can watch the Special Meeting via Zoom here. If the meeting is at capacity and you are unable to join, the Special Meeting will also be livestreamed here.

Although the public will not be allowed to attend the meeting in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the public is encouraged to participate. The deadline for remote public appearance requests and written comments is 8 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.

Please submit written comments on the agenda item to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021 here. More information on how to testify before the Board is available here.

The NRB will also meet virtually for the upcoming board meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 to consider several proposed emergency rules and donations. The Board will act on items 1-4 and 7-8 as listed on the agenda. More information is available here.