Wisconsin will close two of its wolf trapping and hunting zones at the end of the day Friday, a day before the state's nine-day deer season begins.
A statewide total of 77 Wisconsin wolves have been killed since the start of wolf hunting and trapping in that state Oct. 15.
Wolf Harvest Zones 2 and 4 are the first zones in the state to be closed.
The Wisconsin DNR expects the state's wolf harvest to pick up during deer season.
“The harvest trend in Zone 2 has been steady while harvest in Zone 4, which is one wolf from quota, has been sporadic. We’ve watched trends and feel our best decision to make sure we don’t exceed quotas is to start the closure process today just prior to reaching quota, anticipating increased harvest rates with the opening of the nine-day deer hunt this weekend,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR Lands Division Administrator. “This is Wisconsin’s inaugural season. We are learning much about hunter and trapper success rates that will help us draft permanent rules that continue to move the wolf population down toward levels in line with biological and social carrying capacity.
“We will be considering harvest trends as we approach quotas in other zones as well. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the wolf population by 116 animals, distributed across the landscape,” said Thiede.
According to the Wisconsin DNR:
The state wolf harvest quota for Zone 2 was set at 20 and closure was initiated when 18 wolves were reported taken. The quota for Zone 4 was set at 5 and the closure process was initiated when 4 were harvested.
Wolf hunting and trapping will continue in Zones 1, 3, 5 and 6, but hunters and trappers are urged to watch harvest progress in Zones 1 and 5.