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Appeals court denies DNR request to stop Wisconsin wolf hunt

February 19, 2021 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Friday dismissed a Department of Natural Resources request to stop the wolf hunt, which is scheduled to begin next week.

A Jefferson County judge ruled last week that the DNR had to establish a wolf hunting and trapping season this month. The DNR appealed that ruling, which came in a lawsuit filed by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty on behalf of Hunter Nation Inc., a Kansas-based hunting advocacy group.

The appeals court ruled Friday that the order was not a final judgment, so the appellate court has no jurisdiction over it. The appeal was dismissed.

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Up to 200 animals will be allowed to be harvested during the weeklong wolf hunt from Feb. 22 through Feb. 28. The permit application period closes at midnight Saturday. Results of a drawing for 4,000 permits will be available on Feb. 22 and the winners will be able to hunt and trap as soon as they purchase their license and print their carcass tag.

Wisconsin law required there to be a wolf hunting season from early November through the end of February if the wolf is not on the endangered or threatened species list. It was removed from the federal endangered species list on Jan. 4.

Last month, the Wisconsin DNR board refused to start a hunt before November, but Republican state lawmakers raised concerns that President Joe Biden might restore protections for the wolves before then.