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A growing population of wolves now lives in Wisconsin, one of about a dozen states in the country where gray wolves exist in the wild. Gray wolves, also referred to as timber wolves, are the largest wild members of the dog family. Wolves are social animals, living in a family group, or pack. A wolf pack's territory may cover 20-80 square miles, about one tenth the size of an average Wisconsin county. The gray wolf was removed from the state endangered species list in 2004 and was federally delisted on January 27, 2012.
Wisconsin’s first modern-era wolf hunt began October 15th 2012
WDNR Board approves harvest quota of 156 wolves
The Natural Resources Board approved a harvest quota of 156 wolves for the 2014-’15 Wisconsin hunting and trapping season.
The quota was recommended to the board by Department of Natural Resources biologists and administrators. It is also the number advanced by the state’s Wolf Advisory Committee.
The kill of 156 wolves, combined with other sources of mortality, would result in a 5 to 20% reduction in the state’s wolf population, according to two population models used by the DNR.
The agency is working to reduce the state’s wolf population toward the goal of 350 animals expressed in the 1999 wolf management plan. The state is working to update the plan; a draft of the next version is expected in 2015.
Wisconsin had a minimum of 660-689 wolves in 197 packs in late winter 2013-’14, down from 809-834 in 214 packs in 2012-’13.
Wolf populations typically double in spring after pups are born and decrease through the year from various sources of mortality.
The 2014-’15 Wisconsin wolf hunting and trapping season is scheduled to begin Oct. 15 and run through late February or until the harvest quota is reached, whichever comes first.
The kill quotas have been reached in December in the two previous seasons.