JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) — A judge ordered the state Department of Natural Resources on Thursday to start a wolf hunt this month rather than wait until November.
The Trump administration removed wolves from the federal endangered species list in January, returning management to the states.READ MORE: 'I Live In A Cemetery': Teen Writer Shares Perspective On Life In North Minneapolis
Wisconsin law mandates the DNR run a wolf season from November through February. The department had planned to start the season this November but Republican legislators demanded the department start the season immediately.READ MORE: COVID In Minnesota: MDH Says State Has Seen 14 'Vaccine Breakthrough Cases'
DNR officials resisted, saying they need time to develop harvest quotas. The department’s policy board refused to order an immediate hunt, noting that Wisconsin’s Chippewa tribes haven’t been consulted as per treaty requirements. The Chippewa consider wolves sacred and oppose hunting them.
Kansas-based hunter advocacy group Hunter Nation sued the DNR earlier this month, seeking an order to start the season immediately. Online court records show Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bennett Brantmeier ordered the DNR on Thursday to hold the season this month. The records don’t include Brantmeier’s rationale beyond a notation that he’s directing the DNR to “follow their duty to hold the Gray Wolf hunting season in February 2021.”MORE NEWS: Clarifying COVID: What Do We Need To Know About The J&J Vaccine?
DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye had no immediate comment.