4 wolf season meetings set

Dean BortzThe DNR has scheduled four public meetings to review the state’s wolf season proposal, and those meetings will take place between June 6 and June 15 in Spooner, Black River Falls, Fond du Lac, and Rhinelander.

The DNR will collect public comment on a wolf season “scoping statement” that was approved by the Natural Resources Board (NRB) at its May 23 meeting in Madison. Following the June public meetings, the NRB will make its final decision on the proposed hunting and trapping season during a special meeting set for July 17 in Stevens Point. The NRB never meets in July, but will do so this year in order to deal with extra steps in the Administrative Rule process dictated now by Act 21. The NRB will act on the proposal as an emergency rule for this year.

The meetings will be:
• June 6 – Spooner High School auditorium, 801 Hwy. A;
• June 8 – Black River Falls Middle School auditorium, 1202 Pierce Street;
• June 14 – UW-Fond du Lac auditorium, 400 University Dr.;
• June 15 – James Williams Middle School auditorium, 915 Acacia Lane, Rhinelander.

Citizens will be allowed to provide input on the season framework at the four meetings. The meetings will include a review of the history of wolf recovery and management in Wisconsin and will focus on major rule components, such as harvest management zones, as well as potential wolf harvest quotas and hunting and trapping permit levels, according to a press release from the DNR.

These meetings will start with an open house for visiting with DNR staff at 6 p.m. Staff presentations will begin at 7 p.m., with time for questions and comments to follow. The meetings are being held at:

The Wisconsin Legislature passed a bill calling for a wolf hunting and trapping season that the governor signed on April 2. The DNR has been directed to implement a wolf hunting and trapping season this fall. To do so, an emergency rule and harvest quotas and permit levels must be adopted by the NRB.

Sportsmen should not assume that this season is a "slam dunk," despite the fact that the proposal has the support of the Legislature, DNR, Conservation Congress, other conservation groups and grassroots sportsmen. "Protectionist" groups that attended the May 23 NRB meeting made it clear that they will be active in opposing most aspects of the proposed season, including all trapping, hunting wolves with hounds, hunting wolves at night, the use of bait and electronic calls, the length of the season, and the hunting of wolves on national forests. Sportsmen are going to have to turn out to support this season.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Wisconsin – Dean Bortz

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