(6/19/14) Wisconsin wolf hunters would only take 91 animals this fall, under a proposal from D-N-R wildlife officials.
They'll ask the Natural Resources Board this month to approve a total quota of 156, down from last year's take of 251. That's before Chippewa Indian tribes get their share under their long-standing treaty rights. Under the D-N-R's new proposal, the tribes could take 65 wolves in their ceded territory in north central Wisconsin. However, Indians consider the grey wolf to be sacred -- and they did not shoot any of their allotted animals in the first two seasons of the wolf hunt. As we learned a few weeks ago, the state's spring wolf population has dropped after years of growth. That's one reason for the lower quota. The D-N-R said 660-to-689 wolves were roaming the state after the long, cold winter -- down from a top of 824 a year ago. The agency has a goal of keeping 350 animals, but wildlife management director Tom Hauge is not seeking that big a of a decline right away. He says it's not known how hunting affects the total wolf population, and experts want to learn more about that. The Natural Resources Board is scheduled to consider the trimmed-down hunt next Wednesday in Milwaukee.