• Thirty-six Wisconsin County Boards have passed resolutions supporting a wolf goal of 350 (7) or 350 or less (26), 100 or less (1), 80 or less (1), or 50 or less (1). The votes: Barron, Burnett, Vilas, Taylor, Florence, Forest, Iron, Jackson, Lincoln, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, Price, Shawano, Waushara, Waupaca, Grant all passed unanimously, Adams, 16 for, 2 against, Ashland 16/2, Clark 27/1 , Langlade 14/3, Rusk 10/1, Sawyer 10/2, Douglas 22/2, Wood 14/3, Bayfield 9/3, Portage 22/2, Marathon 32/2, Marquette 16/1, Richland 13/8, Outagamie 30/4, Juneau & Polk motion carried, voice vote. Washburn voted for 50 or less 11 in favor, 9 opposed. Iowa voted 13 in favor, 7 opposed to 100 or less. The 7 opposed wanted 50 or less. Lafayette voted 15/1 in favor of 80 or less. These 36 county boards are the elected representatives of 1,266,000 WI citizens.
  • The Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s 46,000 members support a wolf goal of 350 or less.
  • The Wisconsin Farmer’s Union supports a wolf goal of 350.
  • The Wisconsin Cattleman’s Association supports a wolf goal of 80, the original recovery number.
  • The Indianhead Polled Hereford Assoc., N. WI Beef Producers Assoc., and WI Hereford Assoc. all support a wolf goal lower than 350.
  • The WI Bowhunter’s Association Board and membership supports a wolf goal of 350 or less.
  • The WI Wildlife Federation, representing 200+ organizations, supports a wolf goal of 350 or less.
  • The WI Trapper’s Assoc. supports a goal of 350 wolves.
  • The Wisconsin Bear Hunter’s Association supports a goal of 100 wolves.
  • In an attitude study done by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW Madison, 66.5% of respondents favored a wolf population of 350 or less - Wisconsin Wolf Policy Survey – Changing Attitudes, 2001 – 2009, Adrian Treves, et al.
  • The WCC Spring Hearing in 2011 voted overwhelming in favor of reducing the wolf population to 350 or less (3989 for/827 against, passed in all 72 counties). 350 or less was again approved by WCC delegates at the 2013 annual convention.

In the WI Wolf Management Plan approved in the 1999 and 2007 the goal was 350 wolves.

Wolf population modeling studies done the late 1990s by David Mladenoff, Professor of Forest Ecology, U.W. Madison, used a spatial landscape projection to estimate the potential wolf population in primary wolf habitat. Wolves have shown a willingness to live in many areas not originally seen as primary wolf habitat. Whatever biological carrying capacity wolves may have, social carrying capacity is a limiting factor for wolf numbers in WI.

In social surveys worldwide, results show less enthusiasm for wolves in areas where people encounter them, and more enthusiasm by people who are less likely to encounter wolves. Familiarity does not increase tolerance.

At this time, wolves are again on the endangered species list, but several methods of returning wolves to state control are being explored. The federal relisting number for wolves remains at 100 wolves in MI and WI, under authority of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removal plan.
Wisconsin has been working on a revision of the Wolf Management Plan. What wolf goal will best serve the needs of Wisconsin’s residents and its wildlife?

Questions or comments: contact Laurie Groskopf 715-453-6301 - 12/17

Click the link below to read the current US Fish and Wildlife Services wolf recovery plan the sets the population goal of 100 or more wolves in Wisconsin/Michigan for a minimum of five consecutive years. Currently the Wisconsin DNR estimates a minimum count of 232 packs that have 925 wolves living in our state.

How many wolves inhabit Wisconsin?  The  2019 - 2020 wolf monitoring reports counts 1034 - 1057 wolves in 256 packs, a 13.1% increase.  Using a new method that has been used in others states for years, the WI winter wolf estimate is 957 - 1573 with the most probable number as measured at the lowest point in the population cycle being 1195.

How many deer do wolves eat?  Check out the link below to review an analysis of the 2015 deer season vs. wolf deer kill by county in the Northern Forest Land

Please click the link below to see the relationship between the White-tailed deer harvest decline and the increase in unmanaged wolf population.