Will there be a fall wolf hunt? Federal judge sets hearing on blocking WI hunt

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FILE – This May 20, 2019, file photo shows a Mexican gray wolf. The Trump administration says it will allow trappers to continue using controversial sodium cyanide bombs to kill coyotes and other livestock predators. Conservation groups called for a ban after repeated instances of the devices also poisoning pets, people and nontargeted wildlife. The Environmental Protection Agency’s interim decision imposes new restrictions that it says will guard against accidental poisonings. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge has set a hearing for later this month on whether to block Wisconsin’s fall wolf hunt.

Hunters, farmers, and conservationists have been locked in a tug-of-war over how to handle wolves in Wisconsin for years.

Six Chippewa tribes filed a lawsuit on Sept. 21 seeking to block the hunt, saying hunters killed too many wolves during the state’s February season and kill quotas from the fall hunt aren’t grounded in science.

Tribes assert that the hunt violates their treaty rights and endangers an animal they consider sacred.

On the other hand, the Wisconsin Farmers Bureau is in favor of the hunt because of the predatory actions of wolves against their livestock and livelihood.

In a February spring hunt, hunters blew past their limit. The Department of Natural Resources set the quota at 119 but hunters killed 218 in just four days.

Then-Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2011 requiring the DNR to hold an annual wolf hunt between November and February if the animal isn’t listed as an endangered species, making Wisconsin the only state with a mandated wolf hunt. The law also makes Wisconsin the only state where hunters can use dogs to track wolves.

U.S. District Judge James Peterson on Friday scheduled a hearing on the tribes’ request for a preliminary injunction blocking the fall hunt for Oct. 29, six days before the season is set to begin on Nov. 6.

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