There were four wolves taken in the first 24 hours of Wisconsin’s state-managed wolf hunt that began October 15. The last of the four first-day wolves was taken at 6:15 pm on Monday by Dennis Nitz of Boyd, Wisconsin who was hunting from a natural blind with his wife. He had been one of the lucky few who managed to simply get a permit to hunt the predator. Out of 20,272 permit applications, Nitz was one of 1,160 whose name was drawn in a computerized lottery to partake in the hunt.
He had taken the first day of the season off of work and posted up in a circular blind of discarded treetops in the Eau Claire County forest, according to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. He played a rabbit-in-distress recording to attract the wolves and less than an hour-and-a-half later, a wolf had presented himself broadside to Nitz at about 47 yards away. He took his shot and successfully harvested the animal, sending the carcass to the DNR for testing per requirements and the pelt to a taxidermist for a life-sized mounting.
He put up a photograph of his kill on Facebook that same night and it didn’t take long before he started receiving death threats. In fact, only minutes passed before he received his first death threat.
Nitz thinks it’s because of the controversy surrounding the wolf hunt that has a lot of people heated and angry for taking on a wolf hunt so soon after the gray wolf was delisted in the state. Nitz had become interested in hunting for wolves a few years back after a successful career of hunting coyotes.
“It might have been my only chance, I don’t know,” Nitz told the Journal Sentinel. “For me, this was the ultimate hunting opportunity in Wisconsin. These are the top predators and their population is growing and needs to be controlled.”
He had already looked into wolf hunting opportunities with guides in Alaska and Canada before the opportunity presented itself in his home state. Yet, his hunt was not in vain. As a requirement, Nitz had to give up the carcass for study to the DNR before he can take home a mount of the long-awaited predator.