Wisconsin DNR

Hunters harvested 216 wolves during Wisconsin’s 2021 wolf season.

The season was set to last 7-days but was cut short as hunters quickly filled quotas.

The 216 wolves are nearly 100 more wolves than the 119 wolf quota issued the Natural Resources Board.  

DNR employees pointed to a couple different reasons for the number going so far over.

Hunters have 24 hours to report kills which can lead to delays in reporting. By state law, the DNR has to give 24 hours-notice before closing a zone.

Gary Kramer / USFWS

  Hunters and trappers have blown past Wisconsin's wolf kill target, forcing an early end to the hunting season and angering animal rights activists and conservationists.

The Department of Natural Resources opened a season Monday that was supposed to run through Sunday, with a kill target of 119 animals.

It became clear Tuesday that hunters and trappers were on pace to exceed the limit, so the agency moved up the season's end to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The department reported around midday Wednesday that hunters and trappers had already 162 animals.

Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin wildlife officials plan to end the state's wolf season on Wednesday after hunters and trappers filled nearly 70% of the state's kill quota in less than 48 hours.

The Department of Natural Resources opened the hunt on Monday morning.

It had been scheduled to run through Sunday, but hunters and trappers had already killed 82 of the 119-wolf quota as of Tuesday afternoon.

Department officials say the season will end Wednesday.


  Wisconsin wildlife officials have opened a wolf season after hunting advocates sued to move the start date up from November amid fears that the Biden administration might restore protections for the animals.

The hunt got underway Monday across six management zones and is slated to run through Sunday.

The kill limit is 200 animals, which means some zones could close early as hunters near the limit.

The Trump administration removed wolves from the federal endangered species list in January, returning management to the states.


The National Resources board set a wolf harvest quota of 200 wolves for a hunt expected to happen this month.

That number is based on the recommendations of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The agency said it considered several factors in coming up with that number.

They include the most recent population estimates, the public response to earlier harvests, the current management plan, and other research.

Wisconsin DNR

A judge has ordered the state Department of Natural Resources to start a wolf hunt this month rather than wait until November.

The Trump administration removed wolves from the federal endangered species list in January, returning management to the states.

Wisconsin law mandates the DNR run a wolf season from November through February.

The department had planned to start the season this November but national hunting advocacy group Hunter Nation filed a lawsuit earlier this month to force an immediate start.


The gray wolf has been on and off the federal endangered species list for years. Right now, it’s off the list. But designation on the endangered species list can be politized, and politics have shifted. The Masked Biologist has more about what’s happening with this year’s wolf hunt.

Last week was a crazy week. There was a lot going on, and everything felt rushed. In Washington DC, President Trump rushed to finish some things before he left office, and the same day, President Biden rushed to undo many of the things that his predecessor had done, or left undone.

There will not be a wolf hunt in Wisconsin this winter.

The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board heard nearly four hours of testimony on the subject Friday. 

The NRB held an emergency meeting Friday after some state legislators sent a letter saying state law required the DNR to hold a hunt this winter and wanted one before lawsuits potentially put the species back on the Endandgered Species List. 

There was no shortage of people who spoke for and against an immediate wolf hunt. Public testimony lasted more than four hours.

Wisconsin DNR Holds Meeting to Discuss Wolf Hunt Season

Jan 22, 2021

Originally, when gray wolves were taken off the endangered species list, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced a hunt would take place in November, but several state legislators say they want it now.

In a three page letter to the Wisconsin Department Board, law makers said: "Since the wolf delisting happened during this season time line we believe a hunting season should happen immediately," the letter said.


Republican lawmakers are demanding the state Department of Natural Resources implement a wolf hunt immediately.

The DNR's policy board announced Tuesday that it will meet Friday to address the demand from the Legislature's sporting heritage committees.

The board received a letter from the Republicans on Jan. 15 saying wolves need to be hunted now before they go back on the federal endangered species list.

The Trump administration removed wolves from the list in November 2020 and the DNR had planned to resume its wolf season this coming November.

Gary Kramer / USFWS

Gray wolves are no longer federally protected in Wisconsin or anywhere else in the continental U.S. expect for a small subspecies in the southwest.

Several wildlife biologists in Wisconsin WXPR talked to over the last few months agree that the species has recovered, at least in the Great Lakes Region.

According to the Wisconsin DNR’s latest wolf count, there’s an estimated 1,100 wolves roaming the state.

Wisconsin DNR

The Wisconsin DNR announced there will be a wolf season next year.

Under current Wisconsin law, the state is required to hold a wolf hunt as long as the species isn’t on the federal or state endangered species list.

The DNR will be using the next 11 months to “develop a science-based harvest quota” and get input from the public and tribal partners.