RIB MOUNTAIN, WI (WSAU) - Wolf hunting is the topic of a meeting today in the Wausau area. Twenty-six members of the state’s Wolf Advisory Committee will spend most of the day talking about the inaugural wolf hunt last fall, and what recommendations they have for this fall.
David MacFarland is the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Wildlife Management Carnivore Specialist. He says one issue will be on everyone’s minds. “They’ll be meeting to discuss a number of topics, but at the top of the list will be making quota recommendations for the 2013 wolf harvest.”
There are efforts by opponents to stop wolf hunting in Wisconsin. MacFarland says until something changes, they must proceed with planning for the next hunt. “There are several lawsuits, and those are out of our control, so we are proceeding as if there will be a harvest this fall, and if there’s legal action that changes that, we’ll change course at that time.”
The Wolf Advisory Committee will not be making any decisions or recommendations about night hunting. MacFarland says the proposal to eliminate night hunting is incorporated into the state budget process. “That process will have to work it’s way through. That will be up to the Legislature and the Governor, so it’s outside of our control.”
When the Wolf Advisory Committee has finished today, MacFarland says they will forward a recommendation to other decision makers. “A recommendation which will work it’s way from our committee to the DNR’s Wildlife Policy Team, from there to the Secretary’s office, and from the Secretary’s office to the Natural Resources Board where a final decision will be made.”
Public comments on Wisconsin’s wolf hunt are welcome at today’s meeting, and also before the Natural Resources Board later this year when a final decision is made.
The meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. at the Howard Johnson Hotel in Rib Mountain. It is expected to last until around 3:00 p.m.