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Wolf hunting and trapping

Zone Closure Status

The February 2021 wolf harvest season is closed.

The Public Access Lands atlas provides interactive, detailed views of tribal lands borders, inside which wolf harvest is not permitted.

Wolf Zones 2021_Closed All Zones-01.jpg

Harvest numbers updated Friday, Feb. 26 at 8:00 a.m. These are preliminary harvest numbers and subject to change. 

*During the February 2021 season, wolves may be pursued statewide, except in zones that are closed early.

**The total harvest quota for the February 2021 season has been set at 200 wolves. Fifty percent of the harvest quota within the ceded territories has been reserved in response to a declaration by the Ojibwe bands. The resulting harvestable quota for state hunters and trappers is 119 wolves.

Zone* Quota** Harvest Status
Zone 1 31 50 Closed
Zone 2 18 45 Closed
Zone 3 20 43 Closed
Zone 4 6 7 Closed
Zone 5 27 31 Closed
Zone 6 17 40 Closed
Total 119 216  

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed gray wolves from the federal endangered species list on Jan. 4, 2021, returning management authority to state agencies. The Wisconsin DNR has successfully managed gray wolves for decades and will continue to do so in accordance with the laws of our state and the best science available.

FEBRUARY 2021 WOLF HARVEST SEASON

The February 2021 wolf harvest season closed at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

During the Natural Resources Board Special Meeting on Feb. 15, the board unanimously voted for a harvest quota of 200 wolves outside reservation lands. Of the approved quota, 119 wolves are allocated to the state, and 81 wolves are allocated to the Ojibwe Tribes in response to the Tribes’ declaration and in accordance with their treaty rights within the Ceded Territory.

The department's approved quota considered 2020 wolf population data, population response to previous harvest seasons, scientific literature, and population model projections. The quota's objective is to allow for a sustainable harvest that neither increases nor decreases the state's wolf population.

 

2021-Wolf-Regulations.pdf

February 2021 Rules And Regulations

View and download the February 2021 Wolf Hunting And Trapping Regulations pamphlet. Printed copies will not be available in time for the February wolf harvest season.

February 2021 Season Information

During the February 2021 season, wolves may be pursued statewide except in zones that are closed early .

Wolf harvest licenses and tags are not valid and may not be used within the exterior boundaries of the Bad River, Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, Menominee and Red Cliff reservations nor within the designated Stockbridge-Munsee wolf zone except with DNR depredation permits.

February 2021 Harvesting Zones

Wolf Zones 2021_Closed All Zones-01.jpg

The Public Access Lands atlas provides interactive, detailed views of tribal lands borders, inside which wolf harvest is not permitted.

The DNR may close a wolf harvesting zone to both wolf hunting and trapping based on harvest information.

If early closure of a wolf zone is necessary, it will take effect 24 hours after the DNR has:

  1. Posted notice of the closure on the DNR website. Visit dnr.wi.gov and search “wolf hunting.”
  2. Announced the closure on the telephone information system at 1-855-299-9653, and;
  3. Issued a press release announcing the closure.

Note: It is the hunter’s or trapper’s responsibility to determine the closure status of a wolf zone prior to attempting to hunt or trap wolf in that zone. If you are unsure, call the telephone information system at 1-855-299-9653.

Hunting And Trapping In State Parks

Visit our page on hunting and trapping in state parks for more information.

HUNTING AND TRAPPING AT FORT MCCOY

Fort McCoy is closed to wolf hunting and trapping during the February 2021 season. Fort McCoy conducts its own hunting seasons independent of the DNR’s seasons. For Fort McCoy season dates and regulation information, please see mccoy.iSportsman.net [EXIT DNR].

HUNTING AND TRAPPING ON THE ST. CROIX RIVERWAY AND APOSTLE ISLANDS

Hunting is allowed according to Wisconsin state regulations with a few exceptions in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. For more information, please visit the National Park Service's page on hunting.

Trapping is restricted in the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The National Park Service has specific regulations on these sites to inform the public of special federal regulations already in place. For more information visit the National Park Service's page on trapping.

NOVEMBER 2021 WOLF HARVEST SEASON

The DNR is actively working to prepare for a fall 2021 wolf harvest season through a transparent and science-based process. This approach will include coordination with our tribal partners and solicitation of public input on harvest objectives. The department plans to present its quota recommendation to the Natural Resources Board at its August meeting.

PREFERENCE POINTS STATUS

To find out about how many points you have accumulated,log in to your Go Wild account and look under "Applications and Points" on your home page.

WOLF IDENTIFICATION

While gray wolves and coyotes may look alike at first glance, hunters and trappers can look for several traits to identify their target species:

  • Ears: Wolves’ ears are smaller in proportion to their heads than those of coyotes. Wolves ears are also more rounded than coyote ears.
  • Snout: Wolves have a blocky snout while coyotes have a pointed snout.
  • Body Length: Nose to tail, mature wolves measure approximately 5-6 feet in length while mature coyotes measure 3.5-4.5 feet in length.
  • Weight: Wolves weigh significantly more than coyotes. A grown wolf will weigh between 50-100 pounds. A grown coyote will weigh between 25-45 pounds.
Wolf/coyote comparison

 

WOLF MANAGEMENT

For more information about wolf management, go to the Wolves in Wisconsin web page.

WOLF DEPREDATION AND CONFLICT

The DNR will continue to partner with USDA-Wildlife Services to address wolf conflicts in Wisconsin. If you suspect wolves in the depredation of livestock, pets or hunting dogs, or if wolves are exhibiting threatening or dangerous behavior, contact USDA-Wildlife Services staff immediately. In northern Wisconsin, call 1-800-228-1368 or 715-369-5221. In southern Wisconsin, call 1-800-433-0663 or 920-324-4514.

HISTORIC SEASON INFORMATION