At Wednesday’s board meeting, officials from the Department of Natural Resources urged the panel to exercise restraint in setting quotas for the fall hunting, which begins Nov. 6. They said they didn’t have enough data on wolf population size after the hunt earlier this year.
“We have a small population, and whether you want more wolves or fewer wolves, from a biological management standpoint, this population is small, and that requires careful biological scientific population management,” said Keith Warnke, the manager of the Fish Division, Division Wildlife and Parks. “This calls for a conservative quota until we have more population data and more science to support our decision-making.”
Animal rights activists said holding two hunts in the same calendar year was uncharted territory and too intense.
“What is called wolf management in this state is a revenge-driven attack perpetrated by legal dog hunters, trophy killers, dishonest special interests and their anti-wolf allies in the state legislature,” said Paul Collins, the group’s state director. Animal welfare action.
Hunters claimed that the state’s wolf population had increased, while gray wolves were listed as an endangered species and posed a threat to agriculture and livestock.
“Hunters have been responsible managers of this population,” said Luke Hilgemann, the president and chief executive of Hunter Nation, the group that previously denounced wolf hunting. “We think it will restore the balance.”
Marcy West, who was appointed to the Natural Resources Council by Mr. Evers, picked up the higher quota.
“But the majority asked for zero,” she said of public input on the quota.