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Wisconsin Wolf Hunt Delayed by Federal Judge Ruling
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/26/2021

Opponents of an upcoming wolf hunting season in Wisconsin were successful in their efforts to stop the harvest just 15 days before it was set to begin. On Friday, Dane County Circuit Judge Jacob Frost issued a temporary injunction against the hunt at the request of wildlife groups, saying the season was 'unconstitutional' because the Department of Natural Resources failed to update certain regulations that had not been changed in nearly 10 years.

The season was supposed to take place on November 6 and conclude once a harvest quota of 130 animals were bagged.

Frost said he's not necessarily overruling the wolf hunting season, but said it can only be held legally once the agency adopts a permanent rule enforcing the law and take steps to revise its wolf management plan.

"[The DNR] needs to comply with the law and regulate the hunt," Frost said. "They need to develop a wolf management plan and implement rules so they can regulate the hunt. They need to be part of that oversight process that keeps the law constitutional."

Earlier this summer, a group of animal rights activists and wildlife organizations filed a lawsuit to stop the November hunt since a bill signed by former Gov. Scott Walker in 2012 only established temporarily seasons. They contend that newer permanent rules were never adopted, as required by state statutes.

The injunction will remain in place until the DNR implements new rules and updates its wolf management policy.

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