MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that following a U.S. District court’s ruling on Feb. 10 returning wolves in the lower 48 states (except the northern Rocky Mountains region) to the Federal Endangered Species List, Wisconsin is not authorized to implement a wolf harvest season. The DNR is reviewing the ruling to determine how it impacts hunters and trappers who purchased licenses for the Fall 2021 wolf hunt.
Wisconsin’s wolf population remains healthy and secure in the state. The department will continue its robust wolf population monitoring program to ensure the population remains healthy and sustainable into the future.
The DNR will also continue working towards promulgation of rules and the completion of a wolf management plan to guide management decisions. The DNR is reviewing the decision to determine how it impacts Wisconsin’s wolf management program.
Other immediate implications of this ruling include the following:
- Permits allowing lethal removal of wolves issued to landowners experiencing wolf conflicts are no longer valid. The department will contact permit holders directly.
- The department is not authorized to use lethal control as part of its conflict management program. Non-lethal tools remain available.
- The training of dogs to track and trail wolves is not allowed. Dog hunters may no longer pursue wolves for training purposes.
The DNR remains committed to assisting individuals that experience conflicts with wolves through an interagency cooperative agreement with USDA-Wildlife Services for abatement and control.
If you suspect wolves in the depredation of livestock, pets or hunting dogs, or if wolves are exhibiting threatening or dangerous behavior, contact USDA-Wildlife Services staff immediately. If in northern Wisconsin, call 1-800-228-1368 or 715-369-5221; if in southern Wisconsin, call 1-800-433-0663 or 920-324-4514.