The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has closed Wolf Harvest Zone 2 to hunting and trapping of gray wolves effective Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 3 p.m.
Zone 2 in northeast Wisconsin includes all or parts of Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Lincoln, Iron, Florence, Marinette and Oconto counties.
The zone is closed to any further hunting and trapping of wolves for the 2013-’14 wolf harvest season.
Wolf Harvest Zone 2 is the first zone to be closed this season. The harvest of wolves currently remains open in all other zones. A?total of 110 wolves have been harvested in the state since the season opened Oct. 16.
The state wolf harvest quota for Zone 2 was set at 28 wolves and the closure process was initiated when 26 wolves were reported as harvested. Wolf hunters and trappers are advised that they can currently continue to pursue wolves in Zones 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
“The pace of this year’s wolf harvest is higher than the beginning of last season,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR Land Division administrator. “There could be a variety of factors contributing to this higher rate of harvest. Given that this is only our second year of wolf hunting and trapping in the state, it is difficult to say whether this year is an anomaly or whether this could become the norm moving forward.
“We won’t fully know the factors involved until we’ve had an opportunity to take a closer look at the data following the season and survey hunters and trappers,” said Thiede. “This is our second season, and we continue to learn information about harvest success that will be valuable in future management decisions,” said Thiede.
When additional zones are closed, the DNR will announce such closures by news releases, notification at dnr.wi.gov, and on the wolf call-in number at 1-(855) 299-9653. It is the hunter’s and trapper’s responsibility to check for and know about zone closures. The department encourages hunters and trappers to check the website or the call-in number daily.
For more information, visit dnr.wi.gov.