The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has closed Wolf Harvest Zones 2 and 4 to hunting and trapping of gray wolves effective today.
The two zones close at the end of hunting hours today for hunting and at the close of trapping hours for trappers, which is 8 p.m.
Wolf Harvest Zones 2 and 4 are the first zones to be closed this season. The harvest of wolves currently remains open in all other zones. The department will continue to closely monitor the harvest in the remaining zones and does expect an increase in the rate of harvest during this weekend’s gun deer season. Wolf hunters and trappers should check for additional zone closures throughout the weekend.
“The harvest trend in Zone 2 has been steady while harvest in Zone 4, which is one wolf from quota, has been sporadic. We’ve watched trends and feel our best decision to make sure we don’t exceed quotas is to start the closure process today just prior to reaching quota, anticipating increased harvest rates with the opening of the nine-day deer hunt this weekend,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR Lands Division Administrator. “This is Wisconsin’s inaugural season. We are learning much about hunter and trapper success rates that will help us draft permanent rules that continue to move the wolf population down toward levels in line with biological and social carrying capacity.”
“We will be considering harvest trends as we approach quotas in other zones as well. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the wolf population by 116 animals, distributed across the landscape,” said Thiede.
The state wolf harvest quota for Zone 2 was set at 20 wolves and the closure process was initiated when 18 wolves were reported as harvested. The state wolf harvest quota for Zone 4 was set at 5 wolves and the closure process was initiated when 4 wolves were reported as harvested. Wolf hunters and trappers are advised that they can continue to pursue wolves in zones 1, 3, 5 and 6, but are urged to watch zones 1 and 5.
When additional zones are closed, the Wisconsin DNR will announce such closures by news releases, notification at dnr.wi.gov, and on the wolf call-in number, 1-855-299-9653. It is the hunter’s and trapper’s responsibility to check for and know about zone closures. DNR encourages hunters and trappers to check the website or the call-in number daily.