2/22/2021 update: The Wisconsin Court of Appeals denied a request from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to halt a planned wolf hunt scheduled for this week.
Below is a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation submitted public comment in favor of a February 2020 wolf hunting season.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced a wolf harvest season will take place Feb. 22-28, 2021.
All hunters and trappers interested in obtaining a wolf harvest permit or preference point must apply beginning at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16. The application period will close at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20. Customers may apply through their Go Wild account or by visiting a participating license agent. The application permit fee is $10 plus $49 ($251 non-resident) for a wolf license if selected.
The department will post application results to each applicant’s Go Wild account the morning of Monday, Feb. 22. Customers may commence the harvest season once they secure their license and carcass/pelt tag.
The DNR will post the updated rules and regulations for the February 2021 wolf harvest season on the wolf hunting and trapping webpage no later than Friday, Feb. 19. Printed copies will not be available in time for the February wolf harvest season.
Customers interested in applying for a harvest permit or preference point should note that the Go Wild website will be down for previously scheduled maintenance 2-6 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20.
During the Natural Resources Board Special Meeting on Feb. 15, the board unanimously voted for a harvest quota of 200 wolves outside reservation lands.
The department’s approved quota considered 2020 wolf population data, population response to previous harvest seasons, scientific literature, and population model projections. The proposed quota objective is to allow for a sustainable harvest that neither increases nor decreases the state’s wolf population.
Before any licenses are issued, the department will take steps to honor the Ojibwe Tribes’ right to declare up to half of the harvestable surplus in the Ceded Territory, per the Tribes’ treaty rights and court rulings.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the federal endangered species list on Jan. 4, 2021, returning management authority to the lower 48 states and tribes. The Wisconsin DNR has successfully managed gray wolves for decades and will continue to do so under our state’s laws and the best science available.
The DNR will continue to plan for a wolf harvest season to open on Nov. 6, 2021, while simultaneously working towards completing a 10-year wolf management plan to guide management decisions beginning in 2022.
(Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.)