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Wolf Advisory Committee recommends smaller grey wolf cap

WAUSAU, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin hunters might shoot fewer grey wolves this fall.  

At a meeting in Wausau Monday, the state's Wolf Advisory Committee recommended a net harvest of 156 wolves -- down from 251 last year.  

DNR carnivore specialist Dave MacFarland said the proposed harvest is designed to reduce the state's overall wolf population, but not by as much as this past year.  

Officials said Wisconsin had 638 to 667 wolves at the end of this winter. That's down 19 percent from a year ago, but still much higher than the state's original management goal of 350.  

The proposed new quota is only advisory. DNR staffers will make a final recommendation to the Natural Resources Board, which will have the last say.  

This will be Wisconsin's third wolf hunt, since the Obama administration last removed Upper Midwest grey wolves from the federal endangered species list.  

Wisconsin's Indian tribes consider wolves to be sacred -- and they urged the panel Monday to scrap the wolf hunt altogether.

An official of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association says the proposed harvest should be 300 -- almost twice what was recommended.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)