The state’s wolf hunting season begins next week. People hoping to harvest a wolf have already applied for and received their permit.
About 2500 permits were awarded in mid-August based on a lottery system. DNR Carnivore Specialist David MacFarland says the number of applications dropped from 20,000 last year, to less than 17,000 this year.
“So we had a slight decline in the number of applications. We don’t know why that is. It may be that in 2012 with it being a brand new activity, there was a lot of interest. And that interest waned as it became more of something you could do every year.”
The DNR said Friday that just over 1000 hunters and trappers have bought their licenses so far. More than twice that many are authorized to purchase one. Wolf season will continue until Februrary 28th, unless quotas are met early. MacFarland says that’s likely.
“Last year quotas were met relatively quickly. The first season closed in mid-November. And the last season closed on December 23rd. We anticipate season closures prior to February 28th this year.”
Up to 251 wolves can be taken this year in Wisconsin. But the state is divided into six zones, each with its own quota. The purpose of the zoning is to allow more hunting in areas with greater likelihood of wolf- human conflict, and to prevent too many wolves being harvested in certain places.
When a wolf is taken a hunter must notify the DNR within 24 hours.