Wolf hunting permit applications top 3,000 in 2 daysThe state Department of Natural Resources has received 3,277 applications for wolf hunting permits in the first two days of the application period, which started Wednesday.
By: By Ron Seely, The Wisconsin State Journal, Superior Telegram
The state Department of Natural Resources has received 3,277 applications for wolf hunting permits in the first two days of the application period, which started Wednesday.
By noon Wednesday, just a few hours after the agency started taking applications, the DNR had already received 1,800 permit requests, according to Scott Loomans, a DNR spokesman.
"I guess we really didn't know what to expect," Loomans said. "But it sounds encouraging. We're hoping to get as many applications as we can."
Loomans said the agency did not yet have a breakdown of how many applications were from in state and how many were from elsewhere.
The controversial wolf hunt is scheduled to begin Oct. 15 and run through Feb. 28, 2013. The agency has set a statewide quota of 201 wolves out of a population of about 800. The DNR could issue as many as 2,010 permits, but the season would be shut down once the quota is reached, according to agency wildlife officials.
Permits will be good for any of the six management zones set up by the DNR. Quotas are different for each zone, with quotas higher in those areas where wolf predation on livestock has been a problem.
The final number of permits will not be known until the Chippewa tribes declare how many wolves they intend to kill. The tribes, under their treaties, are entitled to half of the wolf hunting quota in the ceded territory -- about the northern third of the state. The final number of permits will be set at 10 times the statewide quota once the tribal quota is subtracted. Based on wolf hunts in other states, agency wildlife experts expect about 10 percent of hunters with permits to actually kill a wolf.
The DNR will be accepting applications for wolf hunting permits through the last day of August. A drawing the first week of September will determine who gets permits. Loomans said the agency expects to announce the results of the drawing the second week of September.
The hunt has been controversial because the wolf was just removed from the endangered species list in the last year.
Also, because the state Legislature set many details of the hunt, the DNR has had little control over how the hunt will be conducted, other than setting quotas.
The law setting up the hunt allows hunters to both trap and shoot wolves, attract wolves with bait and hunt at night. Most controversial was a requirement that hunters be allowed to use dogs, making Wisconsin the only state where dogs can be used to hunt wolves.
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