FOX CITIES, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin wolf hunt is underway for the first time in seven years and it is stirring up controversy among wolf and hunting advocates.
Adrian Wydeven of the Timber Wolf Alliance Council said, “We had a lot of concern about starting a wolf hunt this late in the season that we’re into the breeding season of wolves.”
He is a retired DNR biologist and now with the council. They are concerned that allowing the hunt to occur during the breeding season will harm the wolf population’s ability to reproduce.
“It’s too late in the season for another wolf to join that pack and be the breeder in that pack. You lose a male and his ability, the pack’s ability, to maintain its territory declines,” said Wydeven.
Wolf Patrol is an organization that monitors both legal and illegal wolf hunting practices that they believe put wolves at risk. They release videos educating the public about practices like trapping.
In this video Rod Coronado, the Founder of Wolf Patrol can be seen saying, “In Wisconsin trappers are lazy, they do not like to leave their trucks. You can see this trap is located six feet off the road… The wolf is meant to approach this area and he’s drawn to the scent, he’s going to walk into this area and he’s going to step right here, that’s where the trap is.”
The Wisconsin Farmers Bureau is in favor of the hunt because of the predatory actions of wolves against their livestock and livelihood.
Ryan Klussendorf, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Board Member from District 8, said “We just thought it was coyotes or bears and then we ended up having depredation, one of our cows got killed, that fall and we had the USDA come out and they confirmed it as a wolf that killed the cow.”
Klussendorf said that in order to protect their livestock they had to stop using the rotational grazing method and bring the cows closer to their buildings giving them $30,000- $40,000 in additional feed cost.
“Doing that it also brought the wolves and other predators closer to our buildings as well which brings it closer to my family, I’ve got three young kids and we want to make sure we’re protecting them as well,” finished Klussendorf.
The DNR issued 4,000 wolf hunting licenses via a lottery system from the over 27,000 people that applied.