Judge orders DNR to start wolf hunt this month

Wisconsin Dnr Resists Starting Wolf Hunt Immediately
Dawn Villella

FILE - This July 16, 2004, file photo, shows a gray wolf at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn. Wisconsin State Department of Natural Resources officials pushed back Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, against Republican legislators seeking to implement a wolf season immediately, saying a hunt is already scheduled for November and they need time to gather input and set quotas.

JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) — 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.

Online court records show Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bennett Brantmeier ordered the DNR on Thursday to hold the season this month. DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye had no immediate comment.