Wolf hunt

Endangered Species Coalition

When President Trump signed the Omnibus spending bill recently he kept the government running.

One little publicized development was a move by members of Congress to remove the gray wolf from federal endangered species protection. That was eliminated from the bill Trump signed. The move stops states from managing gray wolf populations and leaves it in federal control through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


One of the side effects of a legislative move to stop state enforcement of wolf management is a long-standing program to track wolves in the winter.

The volunteer citizens program began under the direction of former DNR staffer Adrian Wydeven.

The volunteers go into the woods and track wolves and other carnivores, helping the DNR to put together a data base of animal populations. The proposed legislation ends all DNR supervision except to reimburse property owners who lost animals to wolves.

New Report Lists Gray Wolf Among Top Ten Imperiled Species

Dec 27, 2016

As the Obama administration prepares to hand over power to President-elect Donald Trump, the Endangered Species Coalition has just released its top 10 list of imperiled species. The advocacy group wants the next administration to take steps to slow the rates of extinction.


Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin has called on the U.S. House leadership to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List before they head home for the holidays.

The House is scheduled to head home this week. In a letter to  leaders, Baldwin says this is a key issue that needs addressing soon...

Tiffany Asking Baldwin To Join Wolf Delisting Effort

Nov 19, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

A Northwoods Senate Republican is again pushing to have states regain control of their wolf populations. And this time, he hopes to convince a leading Democrat to get on board.

Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst says the federal courts and Congress need to stop what he calls "ping ponging" -- moving Upper Midwest wolves on and off the federal endangered list as was done in recent years.

Record Number Of Hunting Dog Deaths

Oct 12, 2016

State wildlife officials say a record number of hunting dogs were killed by gray wolves in the recent bear hunting season.

The D-N-R says at least 40 hunting dogs were confirmed dead during the bear hunt that ended Tuesday -- way up from the previous record of 23.

The Wisconsin State Journal says some people blame a federal court decision which ended  the state's wolf hunt almost two years ago, while some say bear hunters should have the good sense to stay away from areas where their dogs could be put in jeopardy.


The Great Lakes Wolf Summit is set for September 15 in Cumberland, Wisconsin. The summit was called by two Republican legislators, State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and Representative Adam Jarchow.


A meeting is set for next week for the DNR to update the public about Wisconsin's wolf population. DNR large carnivore specialist David MacFarland says they will release information gathered during 2015 -2016 about wolf populations...

"....it's open to the public and it's an informational meeting. We encourage anyone with an interest in wolves and wolf management to come and listen to the information that is provided...."

MacFarland says they will share the data gathered...


Trappers incidentally capturing wolves are encouraged to contact the DNR and participate in Wisconsin's wolf collaring and monitoring program. Dave MacFarland is a DNR large carnivore specialist...

"....we've recently started our fall trapping season and especially people who are out trapping coyotes may incidentally trap a wolf. We're asking folks to give us a call and let us put a radio collar on those animals...."

Wisconsin DNR

David MacFarland   received the Wisconsin DNR  Wildlife Management's 2014 Wildlife Conservation Excellence Award at their annual statewide meeting.

MacFarland was recognized for his dedication to wolf management in Wisconsin. Officials say  MacFarland's  grasp of the complexities of wolf biology, state and federal law, history, and sociology have contributed to the award.

From Rhinelander, MacFarland coordinates the department's efforts to update the Wolf Management Plan which will be used to help guide wolf conservation through the next decade.

Wolf Population Increases By Thirteen Percent

Jun 11, 2015
Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Despite about a hundred and fifty wolves taken in a wolf hunt last winter, Wisconsin’s wolf population has increased. 

Preliminary numbers from the state DNR have put last winter’s population between 746 and 771 wolves.

That’s a thirteen percent increase from the year before, when numbers were as low as 660.    

Carnivore Specialist Dave Macfarland says the number is on the upper end of what biologists expected when they set a hunting quota last year. 



A coalition of animal rights groups is pushing to downgrade federal protections for the gray wolf, hoping to compromise with opponents who want to remove protections altogether.

The groups are asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the gray wolf as threatened rather than endangered.   

Wolves are currently endangered in Wisconsin and Michigan, thanks to a court ruling in late December that put the wolf back under federal protection. 

But some members of Congress are pushing to change that status through legislation.    


Hazelhurst Republican Tom Tiffany thinks Wisconsin's federal representatives should take action following a federal judge's decision to put wolves back on the federal endangered species list. U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell  ruled that it was "arbitrary and capricious" to take gray wolves off the federal endangered species list. While Wisconsin's wolf hunt ended a few days prior to the ruling, it ended wolf hunts in the region for the future.

Federal Judge Blocks Future Wolf Hunts in WI, MN, MI

Dec 19, 2014
Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Wolves are once again considered an endangered species in Wisconsin.  

A federal judge Friday ruled in favor of the Humane Society, and called the 2012 delisting of wolves “arbitrary and capricious.” 

Wisconsin State Director Melissa Tedrowe says the Humane Society is happy that wolves are back under federal control. 


The public is expected to provide input on a  new DNR wolf management plan.

DNR carnivore specialist David MacFarland outlines what the agency will be doing...

"....the Department is in the process of developing a new wolf management plan that will serve as a guide to future management. We're at a point where we're going to be releasing a public draft. That will be done in early January...."

MacFarland says after that will be a public input period which will include written comments on the plan.