Madison, WI- Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) reacted to news that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is postponing the first wolf hunt in six years due to a lack of preparedness:
“Managing the wolf population has been a long-awaited opportunity for our state. I find it concerning that the DNR is choosing to wait an entire year to address this issue, rather than put in the work to create an adaptive wolf hunting season in January or February of 2021. Wisconsin is not only proud of our hunting traditions, but also of the great work we do to responsibly manage our wildlife populations. We’ve given the Department broad authority to adjust hunting seasons as necessary and the return of control over the wolf population should have been better anticipated.”
Wisconsin’s last wolf hunt took place in 2014, prior to a federal judge placing the gray wolf species back on the Endangered Species List. The gray wolf has since made a swift comeback and packs have been reaping havoc on livestock, family pets, and the deer herds in northern Wisconsin.
“This is a bi-partisan problem with a non-partisan solution that should have already been put into motion. Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson both did a wonderful job of advocating on behalf of returning wolf management back to the state – where it belongs. Now that we’ve managed to clear one hurdle, our own DNR appears to be creating more.”
The Natural Resources Board has continued to meet on and discuss preparations for a wolf hunt for the last four years.
“The science is there, the infrastructure may have needed a few tweaks, but overall it absolutely could have been done in 60 days or more. Instead, the DNR spent the first 30 days deliberating, which is really unfortunate. Authority was not handed back to them so they could sit around and talk about it. Authority was handed back to them so they could act to manage this growing threat and allow Wisconsin’s sportsmen to engage with this emboldened predator.”