By JOE BARRETT
Hunters in the Upper Midwest are gearing up for the region’s first-ever wolf-hunting season this fall, the latest sign of the comeback of an apex predator on the verge of being wiped out in the U.S. when it was placed under federal protection nearly four decades ago.
But animal-rights groups that have blocked such moves in the past could still sue to try to scuttle the plans. Critics also raise concerns about the potential cruelty of the hunt in Wisconsin, which is to allow hunting at night and the use of dogs.
For some, particularly farmers concerned about attacks on cattle and hunters who say wolves have reduced the number of deer, the hunt is long overdue.
“A lot of people are just looking forward to getting the population down to a more reasonable level,” said Mark A. Toso, president of the Wisconsin Deer Hunters Association.
There are about 3,000 wolves in Minnesota, 800 in Wisconsin and 700 in Michigan—far above the federal goals for sustainable populations of 1,400 in Minnesota and 100 in Wisconsin and Michigan combined.
Legislatures in Wisconsin and Minnesota quickly pushed through laws authorizing hunts after wolves were removed from protection under the Endangered Species Act for the third time in January. Michigan doesn’t plan hunts so far. Click Link Below For Full Story!