Wisconsin’s February wolf hunt may have had dire impacts on wolf population

Local News

(WFRV) – While one Wisconsin wolf hunter’s group continues its push to protect hunters’ rights, some experts are worried that the group’s latest hunt may have had dire consequences on the wolf population.

Earlier this year, the group known as Hunter Nation, sued the state to force a wolf hunt. However, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and other groups were hesitant due to low wolf population numbers.

Yet, Hunter Nation’s new spokesperson, Ted Nugent, says that hunters have been hampered by bureaucrats looking at data instead of listening to actual hunters and people who live near wolves. Nugent claims that these groups people can give a better read of what the numbers are instead of data based on predictions.

“They’re claiming numbers that are just not true. Again the computer screen does not provide accurate information the farmers do the ranchers, the landowners the people in wolf country,” said Nugent.

Coming out victorious in the end, Hunters Nation held their wolf hunt in February.

However, other conservationists like Adrian Weydeven, chair of the Timber Wolf Alliance Council and a member of Wisconsin’s Green Fire, say while the wolf hunt held in February might have been necessary, it may have been more damaging than hunters realize.

Weydeven, who has also studied wolves for several years, shares, “The November hunt does give the state much better control. I guess the big unknown is we don’t have a good sense for the number of animals going into this November hunt because the unknowns of any kind of population estimation by itself is there’s a level of uncertainty over what the impact of this direct hunt was and then there’s levels of uncertainties of the impact of the hunt from as far as lost reproduction.”

Weydeven adds that the February hunt was held during the breeding season and likely led to a few pregnant wolves being shot. This then causes fewer pups to be born on top of already fewer wolves being able to survive the summer. According to Weydeven, all of these factors make it difficult to estimate just how hard the wolf population has been hit by the hunt.

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