(The Center Square) – Wisconsin’s wolf hunt this upcoming season will be larger than first expected.
The state’s Department of Natural Resources board on Wednesday voted to overrule DNR staffers, and set a hunt limit of 300 wolves.
DNR had originally suggested a limit of just 130 wolves.
Board member Terry Hilgenberg proposed the 300 wolf limit after DNR Secretary Preston Cole shot down a proposed 500 wolf cap.
The split between appointed board members and the staffers who work at DNR has been building for years.
DNR has never embraced Wisconsin’s wolf hunt. Last year the department tried to slow-walk the wolf hunt in an effort to not have one. Wisconsin law requires a wolf hunting season now that the gray wolf has been delisted from the endangered species list.
A judge ordered DNR to open the wolf season in late February. Hunters killed or trapped 218 wolves in just three days.
Environmentalists and DNR staffers worry that hunt has depleted the state’s wolf population, which stands at just over 1,100 wolves.
DNR’s board says it wants to see a wolf population much closer to 350 wolves.
The 2021 wolf hunt is scheduled to begin November 6. No one is saying how long the hunt will last.