Wisconsin trappers edged ahead in overall wolf harvest through Oct. 31 with 27 wolves registered as of that day.
Hunters had accounted for 17 registered wolves as of Oct. 31, with 44 total wolves registered through the first 17 days of the state’s new timber wolf season.
Hunters had accounted for the first four wolf registrations when the season opened Oct. 15, but trappers began gaining ground as of Oct. 20. On Oct. 24, 24 total wolves had been registered, with each group accounting for a dozen wolves at that point. Trappers pulled ahead beginning with the first wolf registrated on Oct. 25.
So far, the harvest has been spread across the state through 21 counties. Price County has seen six wolves registered through Oct. 31. Five wolves were tagged in Bayfield County, four in Oneida County, and three in Vilas, Douglas and Adams counties through that date. Clark, Iron, Jackson, Langlade and Wood counties reported two wolves each.
The following counties saw one wolf each registered: Barron, Eau Claire, Florence, Lincoln, Marinette, Oconto, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano and Taylor.
None of the harvested wolves wore a radio collar – 29 wolves were males; 15 were females.
Multiple wolves have been registered on several days of the season, with five being registered on Oct. 19 and Oct. 25, and four wolves each on Oct. 15, Oct. 20, and Oct. 27. As of Oct. 31, there had been 778 resident and six nonresident wolf licenses sold.
The season is set to run until hunters and trappers kill a statewide total of 116 wolves, or until the last day of February, whichever comes first. The overall state wolf quota is actually 201 wolves, but 85 wolves have been allocated to the six Chippewa tribes. Although individual tribal members have expressed interest in harvesting wolves, tribal leaders have opposed the season and are not expected to release any of the tribally-allotted tags to tribal members. Some tribal members applied for wolf tags through the DNR lottery.
The DNR made 2,010 tags available, but only 1,160 will be issued to state-licensed hunters and trappers. The remainder were set aside for the tribes.
The hunt could end sooner in management zones where hunters and trappers meet zone-specific harvest quotas.