MADISON – A total of 16,672 interested wolf hunters or trappers applied to receive a permit or a preference point for the 2013 Wisconsin wolf hunting season, according to Department of Natural Resources officials. The permit drawing is scheduled to occur Aug. 15.
“This is Wisconsin’s second state-managed wolf hunt, and a continued testament to the recovery of wolves in Wisconsin,” said Dave MacFarland, DNR carnivore specialist. “As we did for the inaugural hunt, we are entering this second season cautiously and will continue to learn valuable information for updating the state’s wolf management plan and adopting permanent wolf hunting rules. We are anticipating another successful, safe, season. “
The wolf quota, as recommended by the Wolf Advisory Committee and approved by the Natural Resources Board, was set at 275. However, the number of wolves available for harvest by state hunters and trappers has been adjusted to 251, in response to the recent declaration of wolves by the Chippewa Bands of Wisconsin.
“In order to meet management objectives, putting downward pressure on the population, the number of wolves removed from the landscape needs to increase this year,” said MacFarland. “The 2013 quota is designed to start doing so, in a responsible and sustainable manner.”
With the tribal harvest quota adjustment, 2,510 permits will be drawn for state hunters and trappers, maintaining the same 10-to-1 permit-to-quota ratio as the 2012 season.
One half of available permits will be issued randomly among all permit applications and the second half will be issued through a cumulative preference point drawing. Successful applicants will be notified by letter. Applicants who are not successful in the drawing will be awarded a preference point toward future drawings.
Out of the total 16,672 applicants this year, 12,108 applied for a permit and 4,564 applied for a preference point. This compares to 20,270 applicants for 2012, with 17,377 applying for a permit and 2,893 for a preference point.
There will again be six harvest zones, identical to 2012. Quotas by zone for state licensed hunters and trappers will be: Zone 1 – 76; Zone 2 – 28; Zone 3 – 71; Zone 4- 12; Zone 5 – 34; Zone 6 – 30.
“We do expect population decline in all areas of the state, though decline will be less in areas considered core habitat for wolves,” said MacFarland. “The zone quotas concentrate hunting pressure more in areas with higher potential for agricultural conflicts, which is generally outside of core habitat areas.”
The 2013 wolf season starts Oct. 15 and will run until the quota is reached in each zone or the last day of February, whichever occurs first.
For more information on wolf management and the 2013 season, please visit dnr.wi.gov and search keyword “wolf.”
CONTACTS: Dave MacFarland, DNR carnivore specialist, 715-365-8917; Bill Vander Zouwen, DNR wildlife ecology section chief, 608-266-8840