MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News) If last year’s wolf hunt was meant to make people more tolerant of the animals, it didn’t work. That’s what U-W Madison researchers learned, when they studied people’s perception of grey wolves. Back in 2009, just over half of those surveyed in northern and central Wisconsin said they would be more tolerant of wolves if people could hunt them, and reduce their numbers. This year, only 36-percent said a hunt makes people more tolerant of the wolves, which exceeded quotas after the state re-introduced them in the 1970’s.
The governor and Legislature rapidly approved a wolf hunt soon after the animal was taken off the federal endangered species’ list. Lawmakers said it would reduce tensions over the wolves, and reduce the damage they cause to crops and farm animals. This spring, the D-N-R estimated the wolf population at up to 831 animals. That was after 117 of them were hunted between last October and December.