The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) didn’t really know what to expect during the opening week of permit applications for the state’s first managed wolf hunt in decades. To their satisfaction, the department has already received 3,277 applications in just the first two days of the application period as of 10 a.m. Friday, August 3.
Just hours after the agency began accepting applications, the outcome seemed promising. As of noon Wednesday, 1,800 hunters had already submitted an application, according to Scott Loomans, a DNR spokesman.
“We’re hoping to get as many applications as we can,” said Loomans to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The department is accepting applications until the end of the application period on August 31. Although thousands of hunters may apply, the DNR can only issue as many as 2,010 permits. Yet, that number depends on a few factors and no matter how many permits are issued, the quota of wolves available for harvest is capped at 201. Once that number is reached, the season is shut down.
The final number of permits issued depends on the number of wolves the Chippewa tribes declare they will harvest. Under the tribes’ treaties, they are entitled to half of the wolf hunting quota in ceded territory, or about the northern third of the state. Once the Chippewa tribes declare a number, the DNR will issue 10 times the statewide quota to non-tribal hunters after the tribal quota is subtracted. Ten percent of wolf hunters are expected to successfully harvest one of the animals.
Wolf quotas will vary by zones set up by the DNR. There are six zones. One permit is valid for hunting in any of the zones. The purpose of the zones is to designate a higher or lower quota in each based on wolf population and livestock predation. For example, quotas will be higher in zones where wolf predation on livestock is of particular concern.
Hunters in Wisconsin are able to both shoot and trap wolves, hunt at night, and hunt with dogs, a rule which only Wisconsin allows.
After the application period, a drawing in the first week of September will determine who receives a permit. The results should be announced during the second week of September.