The roughly 1,000 wolves that call Wisconsin home have been given a slight reprieve.
Last Friday, Dane County Circuit Judge Jacob Frost issued a temporary injunction to block the fall wolf hunt that was scheduled to begin on November 6.
Wisconsin not only permits wolf hunting, but by an outdated state law requires an annual wolf hunting season to be held from November through February, when the species is not under federal protection.
218 wolves have been slaughtered so far this year due to a hunt in February that quickly surpassed the quota of 114. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) set a fall wolf hunt quota of 300.
After great opposition, DNR reduced the quota to 130 wolves – but that is still too many.
In August, wildlife groups filed a lawsuit to stop the fall hunt stating the law that allowed and governed wolf hunts was outdated and illegal.
Six Native American tribes have also sued the state to stop the fall hunt claiming, “harvest violates their treaty rights and endangers an animal they consider sacred.”
The Ojibwe Tribes have claimed 56 wolves from the fall wolf hunt quota, per their treaty rights, which would leave 74 wolves at risk if the hunt proceeds.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge found the existing wolf hunting regulations to be outdated and put a halt on the upcoming fall hunt.
“I’m not overruling the wolf hunt law. In fact, I’m saying it has to be enforced as it was written and intended,” said Frost. “The DNR is currently not following the law or following the constitution. Its decisions are built on a faulty basis, meaning they can’t stand, either.”
Hunters and farmers are not in favor of the decision and are urging DNR to appeal it. The ruling is only temporary, and the judge said the hunt could still take place this year if DNR updates regulations on determining quotas, number of licenses, and updates its wolf management plan – which hasn’t been updated since 2007.
“(The wolf rules have) just gone for years and years without oversight and review,” stated Frost. “It’s a big deal. It’s a significant thing.”
Wolves are still in danger…
Scientists agree that wolves are not fully recovered and need to be protected.
Idaho, Montana, and Alaska are also increasing their hunting efforts on wolves instead of protecting the iconic animals.
Gray wolves need to be reinstated to the Endangered Species Act to prevent them from disappearing again. They almost went extinct due to overhunting and history is about to repeat itself.
Sign the petition below to save America’s wolves.
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