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Field reports: Wisconsin DNR Board reduces wolf quota

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Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board on Wednesday set the state’s 2014 wolf season quota at 156, down from last year’s quota of 275. The quota is the same as that proposed by the Department of Natural Resources Wolf Advisory Committee.

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Minnesota expects to set its wolf hunting and trapping quotas sometime in July, said Dan Stark, DNR large carnivore specialist.

The quota was set with the intention of continuing to reduce the state’s wolf population in accordance with the goals identified in the wolf management plan, DNR officials said in a news release.

Last fall, hunters and trappers in Wisconsin took 257 wolves. The state’s current late-winter 2014 minimum count is 660-689 wolves. This count represents a decline of 18 percent from the 2013 winter count of 809-834.

The DNR Wolf Advisory Committee is comprised of DNR staff, the Chippewa tribes, partner natural resource agencies and stakeholders representing the agriculture industry, Wisconsin Conservation Congress, sporting groups and organizations with an interest in wolf management.

Though the quota has been decided, the amount of wolves harvestable by state trappers and hunters may be adjusted dependent on tribal harvest declarations.

The department will maintain the 10-to-1 license-to-quota ratio from the 2013 season. One half of available permits will be issued randomly among all permit applications and the second half will be issued through a cumulative preference-point drawing.

Those interested in obtaining a license or a preference point for the 2014 season must apply by Aug. 1. The permit application fee is $10, and applications may be purchased from authorized license agents, over the Internet through the DNR Online Licensing Center or by phone at (877) 945-4236 toll-free.

The state’s wolf season will begin Oct. 15 and will run in each zone until the zone is closed or the last day of February, whichever occurs first. The department has the authority to close hunting zones when quotas are met or if deemed biologically necessary.

Minnesota DNR officials say they plan to set quotas for the state’s wolf hunting and trapping seasons sometime in July.

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