Wolf hunt

Wisconsin DNR

David MacFarland   received the Wisconsin DNR  Wildlife Management's 2014 Wildlife Conservation Excellence Award at their annual statewide meeting.

MacFarland was recognized for his dedication to wolf management in Wisconsin. Officials say  MacFarland's  grasp of the complexities of wolf biology, state and federal law, history, and sociology have contributed to the award.

From Rhinelander, MacFarland coordinates the department's efforts to update the Wolf Management Plan which will be used to help guide wolf conservation through the next decade.

Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Despite about a hundred and fifty wolves taken in a wolf hunt last winter, Wisconsin’s wolf population has increased. 

Preliminary numbers from the state DNR have put last winter’s population between 746 and 771 wolves.

That’s a thirteen percent increase from the year before, when numbers were as low as 660.    

Carnivore Specialist Dave Macfarland says the number is on the upper end of what biologists expected when they set a hunting quota last year. 

 

ifaw.org

A coalition of animal rights groups is pushing to downgrade federal protections for the gray wolf, hoping to compromise with opponents who want to remove protections altogether.

The groups are asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gray wolf as threatened rather than endangered.   

Wolves are currently endangered in Wisconsin and Michigan, thanks to a court ruling in late December that put the wolf back under federal protection. 

But some members of Congress are pushing to change that status through legislation.    

Wisconsin.gov

Hazelhurst Republican Tom Tiffany thinks Wisconsin's federal representatives should take action following a federal judge's decision to put wolves back on the federal endangered species list. U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell  ruled that it was "arbitrary and capricious" to take gray wolves off the federal endangered species list. While Wisconsin's wolf hunt ended a few days prior to the ruling, it ended wolf hunts in the region for the future.

Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Wolves are once again considered an endangered species in Wisconsin.  

A federal judge Friday ruled in favor of the Humane Society, and called the 2012 delisting of wolves “arbitrary and capricious.” 

Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe says the Humane Society is happy that wolves are back under federal control. 

en.wikipedia.org

The public is expected to provide input on a  new DNR wolf management plan.

DNR carnivore specialist David MacFarland outlines what the agency will be doing...

"....the Department is in the process of developing a new wolf management plan that will serve as a guide to future management. We're at a point where we're going to be releasing a public draft. That will be done in early January...."

MacFarland says after that will be a public input period which will include written comments on the plan.

Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Wisconsin’s third wolf hunt is probably nearing its end as hunters approach the season’s quota.

As of Wednesday a hundred and forty two wolves have been taken out of the total licensed quota of 150. 

But some opponents are crying foul, saying the hunt is overly aggressive toward the state’s wolf population.

Wisconsin state Director of the Humane Society Melissa Tedrowe says the population can’t sustain the harvest.

commons.wikimedia.org

Michigan voters Tuesday clearly backed not hunting wolves in Michigan, but wolf hunt supporters say the votes mean little, as a hunt has been authorized for March.

One measure removed the wolf from the state endangered list and classified it as a game species. The other empowered the appointed Natural Resources Commission to decide whether wolves should be hunted. The outcome of Tuesday's election voids both laws. But the Legislature passed yet another wolf hunt bill this summer that  remains in effect.

Caninest via http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4029/4394675343_2e347e32c6.jpg

A total of four zones will be closed to wolf hunting by the end of the day Monday.

Zone 5 will be the latest to close at 6:30 Monday, as hunters continue to quickly hit harvest quotas in the northern and central parts of the state.

Zones 1, 2 and 4 closed over the weekend.

The wolf harvest quota in Wisconsin’s third wolf hunting season is lower than it’s been in the past.  The statewide limit is 150, and more than half that number of wolves have already been taken.

The wolf hunt began on Wednesday.

Derek Bakken

Just a few days into the wolf hunting season and one zone is already set to close.

Zone 2 includes Oneida, Vilas and Forest Counties.  It’s expected to meet its quota in a matter of hours and will close at noon tomorrow.

As DNR Carnivore Specialist Dave Macfarland explains, the total quota for Zone 2 is just 15 wolves.    

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