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DNR Board Votes to Delay 2021 Wolf Hunting Season
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/25/2021

Despite a recent decision to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List and strong testimony from Wisconsin's agricultural industry to hold an immediate wolf hunt in the Badger State, the Department of Natural Resources policy board voted to hold off on a winter or spring harvest season.

On Friday, the group considered a motion that would have created a new season in February using quotas from the 2014 hunt. They heard from dozens of people who submitted comments, including farmers who say wolves are preying on their livestock, as well as rural residents who fear the animals could harm small children. Board members then voted 4-3 to reject the proposal, which means the hunt will not occur any sooner than November 2021.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau board member Ryan Klussendorf was among those who pushed for the expedited hunt. He felt the DNR had ample time to start planning a hunt to manage the population of wolves.

"I am not an expert on wolves, but I am an expert on how one pack of wolves can torment you, threaten your livelihood and haunt you until you want to give up," Klussendorf testified. "I have moved my animals within 100 feet of my farm buildings at night to protect them and what it did was bring the wolves closer to my children and home."

In October, the U.S. Department of the Interior removed protections for the gray wolf in all of the lower 48 states. They had been delisted in Wisconsin and eight other Great Lakes states in 2014, but that decision was reversed by a federal judge at the urging of animal rights activists.

Reports say there are approximately 1,030 wolves in 256 packs currently living in Wisconsin.

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