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Nine Wolves Killed During Gun Deer Season
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 12/13/2006

State and federal wildlife officials say there were at least nine wolves illegally shot in separate incidents during the recent Wisconsin gun deer hunting seasons, and they are looking for information as to who may be responsible. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says a $4,000 reward fund has been established for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the incidents.

According to state estimates, Wisconsin's over-winter wolf population was around 465 to 500 wolves last year. That number may be slightly higher for this winter.

"This is the highest recorded number of wolves killed in Wisconsin during the gun deer season," says Adrian Wydeven, a mammalian ecologist with the DNR Bureau of Endangered Resources. "The highest number of wolves killed in prior deer seasons was five in 2002. In 2005, two wolves were detected killed and in 2004 one was shot."

Wolves are listed as protected wild animals by the State of Wisconsin, but continue to be listed as Endangered under federal law. In March 2006, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started a process to delist wolves in the Great Lakes region from the federal list of endangered and threatened species, and return management authority to the states.

The reward is being offered by the Timber Wolf Alliance of Ashland, Defenders of Wildlife of Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Anyone with information on these wolf shootings can call the DNR Tip Hotline at 800-TIP-WDNR.

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