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April 16, 2008

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Discussion Topic: On Wisconsin’s Would-Be Wolf Hunt

With western wolves already being hunted again in Wyoming, is it time for Wisconsin to follow suit? The state has between 540 and 577 timber wolves, which were removed from the endangered species list last March.

From an AP story in the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Wisconsin could move a step closer to allowing hunters to kill timber wolves as the state’s Conservation Congress holds a vote tonight.

The congress, a citizens’ advisory group to the Natural Resources Board, will ask outdoor enthusiasts at its statewide meetings whether the state should create a wolf hunting season. The question states timber wolves have made a comeback in Wisconsin, they’re no longer under federal protection and the population will continue to grow. 

The proposal is expected to pass, said Mike Brust, of Wausau, who chairs the congress’ committee on wolves.

Should it pass? 



Rather than paying USFWS trappers and shooters to destroy wolves that are causing problems, it would seem to make more sense to have some sort of a lottery system (once-in-a-lifetime?) and let people pay to thin the packs out a little once a year. Why my home state hasn't done that yet, I have no idea...


This is pretty close to home for me. As I remember, in alot of WI, you have to kill a doe and bring her in to the DNR before you can get a buck license. Apparently, quite a few hunters were picking up road kills and turning them in to get their tags. This is all to rid the deer herd of disease. Maybe they could leave the wolves alone for a few years to help with their problems.


hey yoop,

Not to be a total idiot, but how does that rid the herd of disease, and what disease are we talking about?

As to the wolves, I actually think they should wait on it for a season or two. See how it runs in WY and Montana, (I'm not sure if Idaho has allowed it yet, I know they had a state-wide plan for it, dunno if thats been implemented yet) and then be able to better regulate a hunt.
The lottery system sounds good to me too, as they couldn't have too many killed in a season cuz they really don't have all that many for such a big state.


NLkg...not to step on Yoops capable toes, but, the disease in WI that he refers to is CWD, (chronic wasting disease) if i remember right, CWD is somewhat localized in S.E. WI....some deer develop an immunity to it, others dont. Those that dont die. Seems it would be almost self policing.

I am not sure how many wolves are in southern WI so i am not sure wolves would help in the CWD case...but in the areas affected (DMU's in MI) more tags could be the answer...or so its would seem to this critter.

Back to the point at hand...issue a few tags and instill some needed predator/prey mentality to the wolf society.



Thanks for the help! I just drew a blank when trying to remember.

I beleive that CWD is transmitted by deer being extremely close to each other. This is the bebefit that the wolves add. Deer tend to congregate and loiter near food sources. Over time, they will eliminate that food source. If wolves are part of the lanscape, they will also frequent that food source to prey on the deer. As such, the deer can't congregate there and will disperse. All in all, that could eliminate the disease threat.
Thanks Again!


Thanks Mike and Yoop.
That makes a lot of sense, and that totally re-affirms my belief in not hunting the wolves for a few seasons

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