MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wolf hunters and trappers filled nearly half of their statewide quota during the first 24 hours of the season, wildlife officials said Tuesday.
The Department of Natural Resources launched a week-long wolf hunt on Monday. As of Tuesday morning, hunters and trappers had taken 52 wolves, filling nearly 44% of the 119-animal state quota. The central Wisconsin management zone yielded the most kills with 17. That zone includes portions of Adams, Juneau, Monroe, Clark and Eau Claire counties.
The DNR estimates about 1,000 wolves roam the state.
The season is scheduled to continue through Sunday, although the DNR may close zones early as zone-specific quotas are reached.
The Trump administration removed wolves from the federal endangered species list in January, returning management to the states. Wisconsin law mandates an annual wolf hunt be held between the beginning of November and the end of February.
The DNR had been planning for November season start but hunting advocacy group Hunter Nation sued for an immediate launch, arguing President Joe Biden’s administration could re-list wolves before November. A Jefferson County judge earlier this month ordered the DNR to launch a hunt immediately.