Minnesota also plans to allow the hunting of wolves this fall starting Nov. 3, and Michigan’s Legislature is considering a hunt. Montana and Idaho already have wolf-hunting seasons, and Wyoming will begin its own this fall.
This return of wolves to Wisconsin has brought them increasingly into conflict with farmers and hunters of other game. As packs have spread south into more populated agricultural areas, they have preyed on livestock and even on family pets. Hunters also blame wolves for reducing the size of the deer herd.
“They’re as thick as hair on a dog,” says Al Lobner, a hunter from the central Wisconsin town of Milladore, adding that “our ecosystem is out of whack.”
Wisconsin’s hunt will be modest. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has set a limit of 201 wolves to be taken during a season that begins a half hour before dawn tomorrow and lasts until the end of February. And yet competition for the opportunity to pursue a wolf has been keen. The state received more than 20,000 applications for just 1,160 permits, some from as far away as Florida, Texas, and California. In Minnesota, wildlife officials have set a quota of 400 wolves and awarded 6,000 permits.