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Wolf Hunting Bill Clears State Senate Committee

Wisconsin Ag Connection

An effort to legalize wolf hunting in Wisconsin is another step closer to becoming reality. Last week, the Senate Environmental Committee approved a bill that would create a wolf hunt during certain times of the year.

The panel held a public hearing on the issue last Tuesday to get people’s thoughts on a proposal that would create a hunting-and-trapping season for wolves from mid-October through late-February.

The measure would require the Department of Natural Resources to issue licenses for both the hunting and trapping of wolves. Both in-state and out of state residents would be allowed to participate in the hunt.

Supporters of the move say the DNR would limit the number of licenses issued and the number of wolves to be harvested within four wolf harvesting zones. The proposal also specifies that certain firearms may be used for hunting wolves, as well as bows and arrows and crossbows.

Hunters would be allowed to use bait and dogs and could hunt at night, as part of the current proposal.

In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed protections for wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota because their population levels have been restored to adequate levels. The same week, Governor Scott Walker ordered the DNR to begin implementing a wolf management plan to spell out the do’s-and-don’ts of hunting problem wolves.

The bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.