Contact(s): Bill Cosh, (608) 267-2773, Tom Hauge, (608) 266-2193
MADISON - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has closed Wolf Harvest Zone 5 to hunting and trapping of gray wolves effective 9 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.
Wolf Harvest Zone 5 is the fourth zone to be closed this season. The harvest of wolves currently remains open in two other zones. The department will continue to closely monitor the harvest in the remaining zones and does expect zone 6 to close soon. Wolf hunters and trappers should check daily for additional zone closures.
"The harvest trend in Zone 5 has been steady prior to the deer season, but has slowed down since then. Now with the quota achieved we will close the zone to any additional harvest," said Kurt Thiede, DNR Lands Division Administrator. "This is Wisconsin's inaugural season. We are learning much about hunter and trapper success rates that will help us draft permanent rules that continue to move the wolf population down toward goals set in our state wolf management plan."
"We will be considering harvest trends as we approach quotas in other zones as well. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the wolf population by 116 animals, distributed across the landscape," said Thiede.
The state wolf harvest quota for Zone 5 was set at 23 wolves and the closure process was initiated when the 23rd wolf was harvested on Dec. 10, 2012. Wolf hunters and trappers are advised that they can continue to pursue wolves in zones 3 and 6, but are urged to watch zone 6 closely because the zone is within one wolf of its quota.
When additional zones are closed, the Wisconsin DNR will announce such closures by news releases, notification on the Wisconsin DNR web site, and on the wolf call-in number, 1-855-299-9653. It is the hunter's and trapper's responsibility to check for and know about zone closures. DNR encourages hunters and trappers to check the website or the call-in number daily.