Reporting Laura Oakes
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wisconsin’s first wolf hunting season is underway, and like in Minnesota, it’s not without some controversy.
Hunters are allowed to bait, shoot and trap wolves. They may also use dogs and are allowed to hunt at night. The hunt was approved earlier this year when wolves were taken off the endangered species list.
Carl Schoettel, who is with a Wisconsin hunters’ rights group, said just like deer, bear or coyotes, the wolf population needs to be managed. Farmers in both states have long complained about wolves killing their livestock.
While Minnesota has an estimated 3,000 wolves, the largest population in the country, Wisconsin has about 850 wolves.
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Joel Hovel with an Upper Midwest conservation group believes the hunt isn’t necessary and agrees with animal advocates’ concerns that the wolf population is still too fragile to sustain a hunting season.
Wisconsin’s wolf season will last five weeks. Officials said about 1,160 permits have been issued, and the quota is set at 116 wolves. Minnesota’s first wolf season is on track to begin Nov. 3, following a ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals last week rejecting an attempt by opponents to block the season.