MADISON, Wis. — The state Department of Natural Resources said it will propose a harvest quota of 200 wolves when the the group's policy board meets Monday to discuss launching a wolf hunt immediately.
The agency said the department staff arrived at the number after considering several factors, including the most recent population estimate, the public response to earlier harvests, the current management plan, scientific literature and population model projections, the Journal Sentinel reported.
Wisconsin law mandates the DNR run a wolf season from November through the end of February, but Republican lawmakers demanded the impromptu start because they are worried that President Joe Biden will restore protections for the animals.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in January removed wolves in the lower 48 states from the federal endangered species list, returning management to the states. The DNR board refused to order an immediate hunt, noting that Wisconsin's Chippewa tribes haven't been consulted as per treaty requirements.
A Jefferson County judge on Thursday ordered the department to start the hunt now. That means the DNR will have to rush to establish quotas and issue permits before the season window closes at the end of February.