High Death Toll May End Wisconsin’s Wolf Hunt Early

Wisconsin’s first wolf hunt, which is in its third week, may be ending at the end of November instead of at the end of February this year due to the unexpectedly fast rate of slaughter.

The state set a quota of 201 wolves in six zones for the season, issuing 116 permits to hunters and reserving an additional 85 for Chippewa tribes that may or may not be used. So far, 57 wolves have been killed, 32 of them in traps.

In August, Chippewa tribes from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan asked the Department of Natural Resources to prohibit killing wolves in ceded territory in the northern part of the state, arguing that the hunt “is biologically reckless and would be culturally harmful to Chippewa Indians, for whom wolves are culturally important.”

The Humane Society of the U.S. and the Fund for Animals have filed a notice of intent to pursue legal action to stop wolf hunts in both Wisconsin and Minnesota and to have wolves relisted under the Endangered Species Act, reports the Pierce County Herald.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put faith in the state wildlife agencies to responsibly manage wolf populations, but their overzealous and extreme plans to allow for trophy hunting and recreational trapping immediately after de-listing demonstrate that such confidence was unwarranted,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO for The HSUS, in a statement. “Between Minnesota’s broken promise to wait five years before hunting wolves, and Wisconsin’s reckless plan to trap and shoot hundreds of wolves in the first year, it is painfully clear that federal protection must be reasserted. The states have allowed the most extreme voices to grab hold of wolf management, and the result could be devastating for this species.”

Wolf advocates argue that the state’s management plan doesn’t take into account other threats to wolves, such as poaching or being shot by ranchers or farmers.

Minnesota set a quota of 400 wolves and issued 3,600 licenses. So far, 45 wolves have died there while advocates in the state continue to protest. Chippewa tribes have banned hunting and trapping on reservations altogether.

“I’m saddened and outraged,” Maureen Hackett of Howling for Wolves told the Winona Daily News. “If people understood how much this animal means to Native Americans and how much it’s tearing them apart that wolves are being shot for sport, they wouldn’t do it.”

An estimated 600 wolves are expected to be killed in the two states this year and the number has wildlife advocates both angry and worried about the future for wolves if the death toll continues to rise .

If you’re interested in finding other wolf advocates and attending demonstrations to speak up on behalf of wolves, visit Howl Across America.

Related Stories:

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Wolf Hunting in Wisconsin

Wolves Attack Far Fewer Cattle than Ranchers Claim

A Buffer Zone Could Go a Long Way to Help Wolves in Denali

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Kelvin L.
Kelvin L.5 years ago

@Chris B.

It is always nice to talk to someone with a similar perspective. I don't meet very many level headed hunters in these blogs. While I agree with a lot of what you said there are a few facts I'd like to lay on the table:

1. Here in the midwest (at least Illinois) land managers are struggling with an exploding deer population that suffers from two very painful and chronic disease; Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) and Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).

2. The higher up DNR and FWS officials that make these calls are hardly scientists, they are politicians. Most independent wildlife researchers like myself don't agree with the calls they are making regarding the wolves (I have the privilege of working with one of the more renown carnivore scientists here in the midwest).

3. Carnivores in general are the ultimate management tool as they maintain their own populations in relation to the available food source. Their presence alone prevents disease, over grazing, and erosion. In turn, there is less erosion, better water quality, less chance of wildfire, and healthier and more diverse flora and fauna. As a keystone species, they manage everything, quite literally.

All in all you are right, we are stewards of the environment, and due to the unnecessary alterations we make to our environment it cannot remain without us, but without us it will recover. If killing is something that someone really needs to do, there are hundreds of invasive that limit our native

Melissa L.
Melissa L6 years ago


katarzyna phillips

if the Chippewa tribes themselves don't want the wolves to be killed, then why are they being killed? what is happening to them once they have been killed and for what purpose is this? if they're possibly going to be relisted under the endangered species act, then the hunting should be banned until a decision is made.

janet stothers
janet stothers6 years ago

yes lynn i like that TURN ON THE HUNTERS!!

Rosemary Lowe

Dear Tim:
I've asked myself that question many times. I believe it's because they can. Society has swallowed this nonsense of "wildlife management" and "hunting as a sport." It is engrained in our psyche now that somehow its ok to be serial killers when it comes to killing animals, but we can shed tears when humans are killed. What is the difference when it comes down to bleeding and suffering?
Until we humans finally recognize that non-humans are not different, that they deserve to live freely, without harrassment from us, we will never have any peace or justice on this planet.
I am a proud anti-hunter, anti-trapper. I will not have dialogue with these humans, as there is nothing, no excuse for what they do. Period. It is time to stand up for wildlife.

Tim O'Neill
Past Member 6 years ago

Why do people want to kill wolves?

Lynn D.
Lynn D6 years ago

Well, this didn't happen and it's truly sad -- and all dogs are desended from the wolves and will probably get more hurt then wolves get dead ---- maybe they could all turn on the hunters! Thanks for article!

Stephen A.
Stephen Akhurst6 years ago

It's just barbaric,in a supposed civilised society.

Maria Georgiou
Stella Mavroveli6 years ago

My God, how sad...

Michele J.
Michele J6 years ago

The tragic hunting of wolves and the open season to kill them is truly primitive and brutal! My view and observations of one particular hunt where a most beautiful female, held in a trap just lay there while some smug hunter walked up and shot her. She shivered in death,, her hind legs twitching and must have feared at the horror of what had happened to her. How angry, how evil, how desperate are these people to destroy what is so beautiful. I hope and pray they are haunted all their days by their hatred, ignorance and barbaric sport.