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Wisconsin to resume wolf hunt

(Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources photo)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin will resume its wolf season next November after the animal is dropped from the federal endangered species list, the state announced Friday.

The Department of Natural Resources said wolf season will begin Nov. 6. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last month it would delist gray wolves, citing thriving populations in the western Great Lakes region, Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest.

Wisconsin law called for annual hunting and trapping seasons to resume if and when the wolf lost federal protection.

The DNR said Wisconsin has at least 1,034 wolves, mostly in the northern third and central forest region of the state. The agency promised to “work collaboratively and transparently” to create a new wolf management plan that sustains the population.

The DNR will create a new Wolf Management Plan Committee, a group comprised of government agencies, non-governmental organizations, tribal interests and conservation perspectives representing diverse interests. The existing wolf management plan, originally approved in 1999, was reviewed and updated in 2007.

Wolves were wiped out across most of the U.S. by the 1930s under government-sponsored poisoning and trapping campaigns. A remnant population in the western Great Lakes region has since expanded to some 4,400 animals in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Those who suspect wolves of preying on livestock, pets or hunting dogs, or if wolves are exhibiting threatening or dangerous behavior should contact USDA-Wildlife Services staff. In northern Wisconsin, call 1-800-228-1368 or 715-369-5221.

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