First Wolf Hunt Begins
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
CREATED Oct. 15, 2012
GREEN BAY, WI -- After months of debate from both sides, the first-ever wolf hunt is underway in Wisconsin.
The hunt began Monday morning, and will run through February. So far during the first day, no wolves have been harvested, but the DNR said hunters have at least 24 hours to report a kill.
“It's tough, and a lot of people don’t know how to hunt them,” said Scott Virlee, Owner of Virlee’s Gunworks.
“It's a hot topic, people coming into the store talking about it,” he said.
Two-hundred and one wolves can be harvested, with 85 reserved for Native American tribes. More than 20,000 people applied for a license, but only 1,160 permits were given out.
“This gives us an excellent opportunity to check into the health of our wolf population,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR Land Division Administrator.
But this hunt may be difficult, each zone, with 6 in all, has their own quota. And if it gets close to hitting the number, the DNR will shut down that zone.
“It's very possible, in some zones that have low quotas, we could be closing zones soon,” said Thiede. “We're going to learn a lot from this first season. What we've seen from western states, they've had a hard time meeting their quotas. They've had very low success rates.”
Right now, hunters can use bait and traps, but one of the most controversial portions of this hunt was the use of dogs to track wolves.
As of right now, dogs can't be used, but a Madison judge will hear the case again in December to decide whether to lift or keep the injunction keeping dogs out.