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DNR wolf hunt coordinator says more wolf trapping this year is leading to early closures


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - Department of Natural Resources officials say changes in the way hunters are harvesting wolves is speeding up the hunt this year.

Four of the wolf zones have already closed and DNR wolf hunt coordinator David MacFarland says a number of factors are contributing to the early closures. "It seems if people have shifted to going out earlier in the season, so a combination of earlier hunting and increased trapping have led to the increased wolf harvest."

MacFarland says hunters moved to trapping wolves this year. "Last year, roughly 45 percent of the wolves were hunted and 55 percent were trapped. This year that split is 80/20, with 80 percent of the wolves being trapped."

There's still two wolf zones open, but Zone 6 might not be that way for much longer, according to MacFarland. "We anticipate that Zone 6 will be the next unit to close. We don't know when that will be but it is close. Zone 3 still has a significant number of wolves left in the quota so we anticipate that will stay open."

Wolf Harvest Zone 4 Closed yesterday after all 12 allotted wolves were harvested in the zone. That leaves wolf zones 3 and 6 still open for hunting and trapping.

The DNR says it's your responsibility to know when the zones close, so before you head out to hunt, check the news or call the DNR at 1-855-9653 to see if your region is open.

ON THE WEB: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/hunt/wolf.html