No pattern existed among the four wolves killed by hunters on Wisconsin's first day of its wolf season Monday.
Two male wolves and two female wolves were killed, one each in four separate wolf hunting zones.
A male was the first wolf shot, taken at 7:15 a.m. in Zone 3, Rusk County.
Next was a female, shot in Vilas County in Zone 2, taken at 8:30 a.m.
A female followed at 4:30 p.m., felled in Zone 1, Iron County. Finally, a male was shot at 6:15 p.m. in Zone 5, Eau Claire County.
Ages of the animals are unknown at this time.
The hunt ends Feb. 28. It could close sooner if a statewide limit of 116 wolves is met. Also there are zone limits.
According to the Associated Press, 31 animals remain in the far northwest quota, 19 in the far northeast, 17 in the mid-northwest, 22 in the central, 5 in the mid-northeast and 18 in the south.
A computerized lottery chose winners of 1,160 wolf licenses in Wisconsin.
DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr addressing conservation officer recruits.
The next 12 weeks of work at Camp Ripley will produce the newest Department of Natural Resources corps of conservation officers.
Twelve candidates have begun the DNR Enforcement Conservation Officer Academy at Ripley, chosen from among 800 applicants.
Fish and wildlife laws, rules of evidence, patrol procedures, search and rescue, and fish and wildlife investigation are among subjects to be taught — and learned.
Sixteen weeks of field training with veteran conservation officers will follow before the new officers receive assignments.
“Conservation officers are the face of the department, so it’s important to project a positive, professional image,” said Tom Landwehr, DNR commissioner.
Landwehr described an officer's occupation as not a job, but a lifestyle. The work will at times interfere with family time, and can sometimes be dangerous, the commissioner said.
The DNR has 25 of its 155 conservation officer field stations empty.
“Work hard, do your best and make us proud,” DNR enforcement director Jim Konrad told the recruits.
Actual sales of Minnesota hunting and fishing licenses rose in recent years, but only fractionally, in significant variance with survey results of nationwide hunting and fishing participation announced Wednesday by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation found hunters nationwide increased by 9 percent while anglers grew by 11 percent, compared to results from a 2006 survey.
But the actual number of hunters in Minnesota rose only a fraction of 1 percent between 2006 and 2010, according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources data.
In 2006, the number of certified paid hunters in the state was 578,244. In 2010 — the most recent year data are available — the number is 579,752, an increase of 1,508, or less than 1 percent.
During the same period, the number of certified paid anglers rose in Minnesota from 1,478,193 to 1,492,529, an increase of 14,336 or about 1 percent.
The total number of licenses, tags, permits and stamps actually sold by the DNR between 2006 and 2009 (the most recent available) actually declined for both hunting and fishing.
The certified numbers submitted by states to the Fish and Wildlife Service are used to determine the amount of federal fish and wildlife funds returned to the states.
The information released by Salazar, by comparison, is based on a national survey.
Reversing declines of decline, hunter and angler numbers nationwide increased significantly over the past five years, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Wednesday.
“Seeing more people fishing, hunting, and getting outdoors is great news for America’s economy and conservation heritage,” Salazar said in a statement. “Outdoor recreation and tourism are huge economic engines for local communities and the country, so it is vital that we continue to support policies and investments that help Americans get outside, learn to fish, or go hunting. That is why, through President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, we have been focused on helping Americans rediscover the joys of casting a line, passing along family hunting traditions, and protecting the places they love.”
Hunter numbers across the country rose by 9 percent while anglers grew 11 percent, according to preliminary findings of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation.
Salazar said almost 38 percent of Americans participated in wildlife-related recreation last year, a jump of 2.6 million participants from the previous survey in 2006. They spent $145 billion — 1 percent of the nation's gross domestic product — on equipment, and outings, as well as licenses, tags and land leasing and ownership.
• In 2011, 13.7 million people — 6 percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older — hunted. They spent $34 billion, an average of $2,484 per hunter.
• More than 33 million people 16 and older fished last year, spending $41.8 billion, about $1,262 per angler.
• More than 71 million people watched wildlife in 2011, spending $55 billion.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has conducted the survey every five years since 1955.
“State agencies, hunters and anglers are the key funders of fish and wildlife conservation through their license and gear purchases,” said Jonathan Gassett, Commissioner of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Commission and President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. “An increase in participation and expenditure rates means that agencies can continue to restore and improve habitat and fish and wildlife species, bring more youth into the outdoors and provide even greater access to recreational activities.”
Similar reports will follow in coming months detailing state hunter and angler participation numbers and other information.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing enhanced hunting opportunities on 16 national wildlife refuges in 14 states, including waterfowl hunting in Minnesota at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
At Minnesota Valley, migratory bird hunting areas will be expanded, as will areas for upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
For hunting regulations on the refuge, go here.
Notice of the proposal was published in the Federal Register July 11. The public has until August 10, to comment. See the proposed rule and instructions on where to submit comments here. Or visit http://www.fws.gov/refuges/hunting/huntFishRegs.html.
Other proposed refuge hunting changes are:
• Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge, MO: Expansion of areas for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge, IN: Expansion of the refuge’s big game hunting area. The refuge is also open to upland game hunting and sport fishing.
• Block Island National Wildlife Refuge, RI: Addition of deer to the refuge’s big game hunting program. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, GA: Addition of migratory bird hunting and upland game hunting; expansion of area for big game hunting and addition of wild turkey to big game hunting program. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, TN: Expansion of area for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, ID: Expansion of area for big game hunting. The refuge is also open to migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and sport fishing.
• Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, TX: Addition of turkey to species in big game hunting. The refuge is also open to migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and sport fishing.
• Saddle Mountain (Hanford Reach) National Wildlife Refuge, WA: Expansion of area for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. Addition of chukar (a member of the pheasant family) to upland game hunting program. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Julia Butler Hanson Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer, OR: Expansion of area for migratory bird hunting. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, TN: Expansion of area for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge, RI: Addition of deer to species for big game hunting program. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, MT: Expansion of area for migratory bird hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
• Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge, LA: Expansion of area for migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is open to sport fishing.
• Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge, SC: Expansion of area for big game hunting. Add woodcock to species for migratory bird hunting. The refuge is also open to upland game hunting and sport fishing.
• William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, OR: Expansion of area for big game hunting. The refuge is also open to sport fishing.
While definitions of hunting categories vary by refuge and state, the service says, migratory bird hunting generally includes ducks and geese. Upland game hunting may cover such animals as game birds, rabbit, squirrel, opossum and coyote. Big game hunting may include such animals as wild turkey, deer and feral hogs.