MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the official wolf season will begin Nov. 6, 2021.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will delist gray wolves from the federal list of endangered species on Jan. 4, 2021, returning management authority to the lower 48 states and tribes.
Under Wisconsin law, when the wolf is delisted, the state’s annual hunting and trapping seasons shall resume.
The recovery of gray wolves is a triumph of the Endangered Species Act and stands as a testament to the cooperation of federal, state and tribal agencies, as well as other conservation partners working together to support wolf recovery. The most recent monitoring effort indicated a minimum of 1,034 wolves in Wisconsin, primarily across the northern third of the state and the Central Forest region.
The DNR has successfully managed gray wolves for decades and will continue to follow the science and laws that influence our management. All wolf management, including hunting and trapping, will be conducted in a transparent and deliberative process, in which public and tribal participation is encouraged.
Once wolves are removed from the federal list of endangered species, the DNR will work collaboratively and transparently to create a new wolf management plan to reflect our increased understanding of the biological and social issues relevant to wolf management. The new plan will ensure sustainable management of Wisconsin wolves for the future.
In addition, the DNR will also create a new Wolf Management Plan Committee, a group comprised of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribal interests and conservation perspectives representing diverse interests.
The existing wolf management plan, originally approved in 1999, was reviewed and updated in 2007 and helped guide recovery efforts in the state.
Following delisting – and until the official season goes into effect – it