Field reports: Wisconsin DNR Board approves details for this year's wolf hunt

As announced last week, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board has approved the 2012 wolf hunt quota, zones and rules for Wisconsin's fall 2012 wolf hunting and trapping season. The emergency rule was approved on a unanimous vote Tuesday. The seas...

Winning muskie
Keith Okeson of Sturgeon Lake holds the 49-inch muskie he caught to win the St. Louis River Challenge on July 14. (Photo by Keith Okeson)

As announced last week, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board has approved the 2012 wolf hunt quota, zones and rules for Wisconsin's fall 2012 wolf hunting and trapping season. The emergency rule was approved on a unanimous vote Tuesday. The season will run Oct. 15 through Feb. 28.

The available quota and permits available to nontribal hunters and trappers will be determined after tribes make their declarations of the harvest quota for the Ceded Territory, DNR officials said. Permit sales will open Aug. 1. All hunters will be eligible to receive a wolf harvest permit in a drawing the first year. Unsuccessful hunters will be awarded a preference point for use in future years.

Permit applications may be purchased at any ALIS license vendor, online and by telephone. The permit application fee is $10. The license fee is $100 for residents and $500 for nonresidents.

Details for the upcoming season include:

License: Wolf trapping and hunting license combined


Use of fees: License and application fees fund wolf depredation payments first and then other wolf management costs

License transfer: Allowed by application to DNR no later than 15 days before season

Preference system: One-half random drawing; one-half by drawing based on preference in future years.

Season dates: Oct. 15 to end of February

Legal weapons: Firearms, bows, crossbows

Shot size: Larger than BB allowed

Dogs: Hunters may use up to six dogs in a pack to track or trail wolves beginning the day after November gun deer season ends

Night hunting: Legal option beginning day after November gun deer season


Use of lights: Flashlights only at point of kill

Cable restraints: Shall be allowed as a trapping method

Baiting: Shall be allowed but regulated

Calling: Allowed, including electronic calls

Trapping: Shall be allowed with specific regulations

Reporting and registration of harvest: Required

Zone season closures: Protocol provided for closing seasons based on wolf harvest through news release, website, and telephone registration system.

The 2012 wolf hunting season proposal is a temporary framework, known as an emergency rule. Beginning next year the department will begin work on a permanent rule.


For more information go to and search "wolf."

49-incher wins muskie contest on St. Louis River

Keith Okeson of Sturgeon Lake won the 2012 St. Louis River Muskie Challenge, held July 14 on the St. Louis River in Duluth. Okeson caught a 49-inch muskie to take first place. Second place went to Richie Kroger with a 41 1/2-inch muskie, and Jeff Dembroski took third with a 40-inch muskie.

The river has been hard to fish this year because of repeated heavy rains. Only nine muskies were caught in the contest, and six of them were shorter than the minimum 40 inches to qualify for entry into the contest.

Thirty-nine anglers, fewer than usual, fished the contest.

Duluth bow hunt registers 360 hunters

A total of 360 bow hunters have been registered in the 2012 Duluth city bow hunt for deer, said Brian Borkholder of the Arrowhead Bowhunters Alliance. A lottery was held Wednesday night in which hunters were assigned hunting areas within the city. In last year's hunt, 377 hunters took a total of 587 deer. The 2012 hunt begins concurrently with Minnesota's statewide bow hunt for deer on Sept. 15.

Minnesota blueberry crop appears mixed


Reports from blueberry pickers across Northeastern Minnesota vary from poor to excellent. Several anecdotal reports from the Ely area indicate that it could be a tough year. But on the Gunflint Trail north of Grand Marais, blueberry pickers are doing well.

"I'm doing very well with them," said Dave Muilenburg, outfitting manager at Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters on Round Lake off the Gunflint Trail. "I got pretty much a gallon yesterday in three hours. I'm going to the same spots I've normally been going. It seems they're early this year. I went out June 30 and got three cups."

A visitor to the lodge picked four gallons in about eight hours, said Tuscarora Lodge owner Sue Ahrendt.

But nearer Ely, the crop doesn't look so good.

"It's very slim," said Linda Fryer, administrative director of the Ely Chamber of Commerce. "We had that hot weather early in the spring and then we got all that rain. Something happened. We're getting so many people who want to go blueberry picking, but it just is tough."

"I was out looking for some, and I didn't see any," said Ellie Madsen of Piragis Northwoods Co. in Ely.

Barb Wright at the U.S. Forest Service Gunflint Ranger District office in Grand Marais also has heard poor reports.

"My co-worker's daughter went picking," Wright said. "It took her a long time to pick any. I've heard they're really small. One guy said he picked for five hours to get two cups. They're not real big or real plentiful."


K-9 teams perform well

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