DNR Policy Board declines early start of wolf hunting season request
Story By Georgina Fernandez
Local News Published 01/22/2021 9:08PM, Last Updated 01/22/2021 9:13PM
Northwoods - The Department of Natural Resources concluded today to not offer an early Wolf hunting season. After Republican lawmakers on January 15th sent the DNR a three-page letter asking them to implement a hunting season within the next two months. The decision to not offer an early hunting season came after a special meeting the DNR Policy Board hosted this morning, which included over three hours of public input.
Opponents said Republican's push for an earlier season than the originally-planned November date felt too rush.
"We urge you and the department to develop a wolf management framework that takes into consideration science, public status in wolves, and public opinion," Fred Clark, a meeting participant, said. "That important work needs to start now but it can't attentively be done in 35 days."
For a hunt to be sustainable, the DNR says they need time to establish sensible hunting quotas, develop a new wolf management plan and develop the process to issue licenses.
But others say the hunt is overdue.
"I keep hearing the word rush like we are rushing something," Larry Bonde, a meeting participant, said. "I would say the world is delayed. We are delayed 5 years in a wolf harvest."
Opponents also raised concerns about how an earlier hunting season would occur during the wolves' mating season.
"The emergency hunt is going to have a deformation effect on the wolf population, on the wolves, on the Ma'iingan, that's why we chose not to do these things during this time," Marvin DeFoe, a meeting participant, said.
Tribal representatives also reflected on the impact it would have on their community culturally.
"Based on our traditional science from our elders from our teachings, whatever you shoot you eat. I never ate a Ma'iingan. That kinda goes against our traditional beliefs," DeFoe said. "Whatever happens to the Ma'iingan happens to the Indian people."
The regularly scheduled hunting season is set to take place in November. Under Wisconsin law, since the wolves are no longer on the endangered species list, they are required to have a hunting season.