New Wolf Hunt Coming for Wisconsin in November, 2021

Gray Wolf iStock-966118392
New Wolf Hunt Coming for Wisconsin in November, 2021 IMG iStock-966118392

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- On 11 August 2021, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board held a meeting that had, as one part of the agenda, the setting of a quota for the number of wolves to be harvested in the November 2021 hunt.  The board took testimony from over 50 people. The meeting took over six hours.

Link to youtube of Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Meeting on 11 August 2021.

At about 5:43:00 Board member Greg Kazmierski gave the number of wolves killed in previous years, which he read from a “green sheet” presented by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to the Board. The numbers were for the three hunts which were held in 2012, 2013, and 2014, before the wolf hunts were stopped by the lawsuit.

There were 224 wolves killed in 2012, 358 in 2013, and 207 in 2014.

The wolf population before the hunts were started was reported at 809. After the hunts, the wolf numbers was reported at 866. In spite of 789 wolves being taken over three years, the overall wolf numbers increased. In 2013,  the DNR stated the goal was to put “downward pressure on the wolf population”. According to wisn.com:

The state’s wolf management plan, developed in 1999, calls for a population of 350 wolves. MacFarland said that plan will be updated in 2014.

An article year later, in the 2014 jsonline, showed the policy of the department was to reduce the wolf population, and the goal was a population of 350 wolves.

With state management restored, the DNR announced its desire to reduce the wolf population to a “biologically and socially acceptable level.”

The 1999 Wisconsin wolf management plan established a wolf population goal of 350 animals.

The three hunts from 2012 to 2014, in spite of 789 wolves being killed, had not reduced the wolf population. Natural increase had been more than the 789 killed.

In 2013 and 2014, when the wolf population was well below what it is in 2021, the DNR goal was to reduce the wolf population.

After midwest wolves were finally delisted from the endangered species list, seven years after a lawsuit put them back on the list, 218 wolves were harvested. The DNR had set a goal of harvesting 200 wolves.

The actual harvest was only 9% over the desired number. Many outlets claimed it was almost double the desired number. The discrepancy comes because there are treaty obligations with the tribes in Wisconsin. The treaty has been interpreted to allow the tribes to take about 40% of the hunting quota.

This would not be a problem if the tribes actually harvested wolves. The tribal council decided to play politics instead. They take the quota permits, then do not issue any permits to tribal hunters. Thus, the tribes, which have no responsibility to manage wolf numbers, attempt to prevent the State from managing them. From wsau.com:

Peter David with Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission gave some perspective from the tribes. “I think from a cultural role there’s a feeling that it’s really not actually our place to decide what’s suitable for wolves or not. Wolves are quite capable of making that decision on their own,” said David.

The non-tribal permits were 119. Because of the near-perfect conditions for the hunt in February of 2021, 218 wolves were harvested before the hunt was stopped. Many outlets claim 99 wolves were over-harvested. In fact, the original goal was to harvest 200 wolves. The harvest was only 18 wolves over the goal.

Even 218 wolves did not move the total toward the stated goal of a population of 350 wolves.

In the 2021 meeting, the DNR stated 350 wolves was never the population goal.

The current DNR claimed 350 wolves was the lowest acceptable limit for the wolf population. There was a clear dispute among the board members over what the goal was. There is no dispute the DNR, in 2013 and 2014, wanted the wolf population to be less than 800. In the latest measured numbers, the population was estimated to be much higher than 800. From ironmountaindailynews.com:

According to the DNR’s modeling, the state’s packs had 1,136 wolves before the hunt. The agency estimates the population could range from 944 to 1,377 wolves across their range. Data collected from wolf survey and monitoring efforts from November through Feb. 21 indicates the population was stabilizing before the abbreviated wolf season.

This chart, from the Wisconsin DNR shows the wolf population increase in Wisconsin, 1980 to 2012. The middle line is the number of packs.

Given the history of the increase in wolves in Wisconsin, Greg Kazmierski, a board member, recommended a quota of 504 wolves to accommodate the tribes treaty rights and to harvest enough wolves to move the population back toward the 350 goal. He stated to do otherwise would be to abdicate the board’s responsibility to follow the management plan.

A DNR attorney said such a move might not be defensible in court.

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress recommended a quota of 300 wolves. The DNR recommended a quota of 130 wolves to be “conservative” to “stabilize” the existing population, at about a thousand wolves. After several votes, the board agreed on a compromise quota number of 300 wolves.

It appeared this is another conflict between people who have to live with wolves and people who mostly live in urban areas who do not want to see any wolves killed. These conflicts did not exist when most people in urban areas had rural roots. The problem is exacerbated because the federal government insists on managing state affairs.

These conflicts did not exist when the federal government was kept within the limits of the Constitution.

It is easy to want a high wolf population when you do not have to live with the wolves.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Rowboat
Rowboat (@nathan-hale)
3 months ago

Politicians managing wildlife works about as well as politicians running a war.

Russn8r
Russn8r (@russn8r)
3 months ago

Is TEX/Will/FORD Will et al posting all this spam to cover replies to its lame posts?

Last edited 3 months ago by Russn8r
Duane
Duane (@duane)
3 months ago

The meetings and quota were set after one had to apply for a wolf tag.