The killing of 216 gray wolves in less than 60 hours by Wisconsin hunters sparked a storm of outrage in the United States from the public and wildlife advocacy organizations. The number of kills exceeded the statewide monthly quota limit, forcing Wisconsin authorities to end the hunting season early.
According to U.S. media reports, hunters and fur trappers in Wisconsin killed 216 gray wolves during the hunting season last week, more than 82 percent above the quota set for them by authorities. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, most of the animals were killed by hunters using hound dogs.
Department of Natural Resources officials sold 1,547 hunting permits this season, an average of one per 13 hunters or trappers, down from the previous annual quota target number. At the same time, state officials issued licenses to shoot no more than 200 wolves in an effort to stabilize their population. Because the Indian tribes claimed a quota of 81 animals, there were 119 remaining state-issued licenses for trappers and hunters. Indian tribes consider wolves sacred, an animal they usually use their allotments for protection, discouraging them rather than shooting and killing them, the Guardian reported.