2011 - 2012 LEGISLATURE
January 31, 2012 - Introduced by Senators Moulton, Holperin and Lasee,
cosponsored by Representatives
Suder, Rivard, LeMahieu, Krug, Bies,
Pridemore, Ballweg, Tauchen, Vruwink, Williams, Severson, Murtha,
Steineke, Tiffany, Nygren, Endsley, A. Ott and Spanbauer. Referred to
Committee on Natural Resources and Environment.
1An Act to renumber and amend
167.31 (4) (e); to amend
29.024 (2) (d), 29.171 2
(4) (b) (intro.), 29.314 (4) (b) 2., 29.314 (5) (b) 2., 29.337 (1) (intro.), 29.563 (14) 3
(a) 3., 29.563 (14) (c) 3., 29.977 (1) (d) and 29.983 (1) (b) 4.; and to create
(5) (fv), 29.179 (1) (a) 10m., 29.180 (1) (a) 10m., 29.185, 29.337 (1) (c), 29.553 (1) 5
(hr), 29.563 (4) (a) 3., 29.563 (4) (b) 3., 29.888 and 167.31 (4) (e) 2. of the statutes; 6relating to: hunting and trapping of wolves, providing an exemption from
7emergency rule procedures, extending the time limit for emergency rule
8procedures, and making an appropriation.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to issue wolf
harvesting licenses if the wolf is removed from the U.S. and Wisconsin lists of
endangered and threatened species. Under the bill, both state residents and
nonresidents may be issued a license. The license authorizes both the hunting and
trapping of wolves. The bill requires that there be a single annual season for wolf
hunting and trapping from October 15 through the end of February. Under the bill,
DNR may limit the number of licenses issued and the number of wolves to be
harvested. The bill requires DNR to divide the state into up to four wolf harvesting
zones. A wolf harvesting license authorizes the license holder to hunt or trap or both
only in the zone that is specified on the license.
Under the bill, if the number of persons applying for a wolf harvesting license
exceeds the number of licenses that will be issued, DNR shall issue the licenses based
on a cumulative preference system. The system shall establish preference categories
for those applicants who applied for, but who were not issued, a wolf harvesting
license in previous seasons, with higher preference given to those applicants with
more preference points. Under the preference system, a person may elect to apply
for a preference point instead of a license in a given year. Each person receiving a
license will receive one tag. The bill also allows the transfer of licenses and
preference points under certain circumstances.
The bill specifies the types of firearms that may be used for wolf hunting and
also allows the use of bows and arrows and crossbows for wolf hunting. A crossbow
may be used by any person holding a wolf harvesting license. For hunting wolves,
the bill allows the use of dogs for part of the season and allows the baiting of wolves
with bait other than animal byproducts except for liquid scents. Hunting wolves at
night is also authorized for part of the season. Under the bill, the types of traps that
may be used for trapping wolves must include cable restraints. A cable restraint is
a type of trap using a noose made of cables.
The bill requires DNR to administer a program under which payments may be
made to persons for death or injury caused by wolves to livestock, to hunting dogs
other than those being used in the hunting of wolves, and to pets. Under current law,
DNR has promulgated rules establishing such a program. Under the bill, the moneys
collected as fees for wolf harvesting licenses are to be used to make payments under
this program. If, after making these payments, there are any moneys remaining,
DNR may use the moneys for wolf management and control activities conducted by
For further information see the state fiscal estimate, which will be printed as
an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB411, s. 1
20.370 (5) (fv) of the statutes is created to read:
(fv) Wolf depredation program.
All moneys received from the 3
issuance of wolf harvesting licenses under s. 29.185 and all processing fees received 4
as authorized under s. 29.553 (1) (hr) to be used for the wolf depredation program 5
under s. 29.888.
SB411, s. 2
29.024 (2) (d) of the statutes is amended to read:
(d) Except as provided under s. 29.179, 29.180, 29.182 (4), 29.185 (4), 2
or 29.519 (2) (d) or by rule, no person may transfer his or her approval or permit the 3
use of any approval by any other person.
SB411, s. 3
29.171 (4) (b) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) (intro.) Except as provided in par. (bc), crossbows used in hunting 6
as authorized by a Class A, Class B or Class C permit issued under s. 29.193 (2) or 7
under this subsection or as authorized under sub. (2m) or s. 29.161 (2), 29.164 (2) (b), 8
29.182 (3) (a), 29.184 (3) (c), 29.185 (6),
29.204 (2), 29.207 (2), 29.213 (2), or 29.216 9
(2) shall meet all of the following specifications:
SB411, s. 4
29.179 (1) (a) 10m. of the statutes is created to read:
(a) 10m. Wolf harvesting license.
SB411, s. 5
29.180 (1) (a) 10m. of the statutes is created to read:
(a) 10m. Wolf harvesting license.
SB411, s. 6
29.185 of the statutes is created to read:
1529.185 Wolf harvesting licenses. (1) Department authority.
If the wolf is 16
not on the U.S. list of endangered and threatened species, as it applies to this state, 17
and is not on the list of endangered and threatened Wisconsin species that is 18
established under s. 29.604 (3) (a), the department shall regulate the hunting and 19
trapping of wolves as provided in this section. In regulating wolf hunting and 20
trapping, the department may limit the number of wolf hunters and trappers and the 21
number of wolves that may be taken by issuing wolf harvesting licenses.
22(2) Licenses required.
Except as authorized under a wolf 23
harvesting license, no person may hunt or trap a wolf. Both residents and 24
nonresidents are eligible for wolf harvesting licenses.
(b) Resident archer licenses and trapping licenses.
Notwithstanding ss. 29.171 2
(2), 29.216 (2), and 29.241 (3), a resident archer hunting license, a nonresident archer 3
hunting license, or a trapping license does not authorize the hunting or trapping of 4
5(3) Issuance of licenses.
(a) Issuance; generally.
Except as provided in par. 6
(b), if the department establishes an open season as provided under sub. (5), the 7
department, subject to ss. 29.024 and 54.25 (2) (c) 1. d., shall issue a wolf harvesting 8
license to each person who applies for the license, and who pays the required fees for 9
(b) Cumulative preference system.
In issuing wolf harvesting licenses under 11
this subsection, the department shall determine the number of licenses that will be 12
available for a given year. If the number of qualified applications for wolf harvesting 13
licenses exceeds the number of licenses that are available, the department shall 14
select the applicants to be issued the license based on a cumulative preference 15
system. The system shall establish preference categories for those applicants who 16
applied for but who were not issued a wolf harvesting license in previous seasons, 17
with higher preference given to those applicants with more preference points. If the 18
number of applicants within a preference category exceeds the number of wolf 19
harvesting licenses available in the category, the department shall select at random 20
within the category the applicants to be issued the licenses. For each season, the 21
department shall allow each applicant to apply for a preference point or for a license. 22
The department shall give a preference point to each applicant who applies for a 23
preference point and to each applicant who applies for license but who is not selected. 24
An applicant who applies for either a preference point or a license at least once during 25
any 3 consecutive years shall not lose his or her acquired preference points under the
system. A person applying under the system shall pay the processing fee at the time 2
(c) Preference system; on receipt of license.
A applicant who is selected to receive 4
a wolf harvesting license under the cumulative preference system established under 5
par. (b) may elect to receive a preference point instead of a license if he or she serving 6
on active duty in the U.S. armed forces or national guard during all or part of the wolf 7
harvesting season for which the license is issued.
8(4) Transfer of license.
(a) Upon application by a holder of a wolf harvesting 9
license to the department to transfer the license to another person and upon payment 10
of any fee required under par. (b), the department shall transfer the license if the 11
application is made no later than the 15 days immediately preceding the first day of 12
the wolf harvesting season if the person to whom the license is transferred is at least 13
18 years of age and is otherwise eligible to use the license. The accompanying carcass 14
tag shall also be transferred.
(b) If the holder of the wolf harvesting license is a resident and the holder 16
applies to transfer the license to a nonresident, the holder shall pay, at the time of 17
application, any difference between the fee for issuing the license to a resident and 18
the fee for issuing the license to a nonresident.
(c) A holder of a license being transferred under this section may not receive 20
any consideration for the transfer of the license.
21(5) Seasons; zones.
(a) The department shall establish a single annual open 22
season for both hunting and trapping wolves that begins on October 15th of each year 23
and ends on the last day of February of the following year.
(b) The department shall divide the entire state into wolf harvesting zones. The 25
total number of zones may not exceed 4. Each zone shall be open to both hunting and
trapping, except as provided in par. (c). A wolf harvesting license authorizes its 2
holder to hunt or trap or both only in the zone specified on the license.
(c) The department may close a wolf harvesting zone to both hunting and 4
trapping of wolves, if the department determines that the closure is necessary to 5
effectively manage the state's wolf population. Notwithstanding ss. 29.014 and 6
227.10 (1) such closure need not be promulgated as a rule under ch. 227. Closure of 7
a wolf harvesting zone under this paragraph may not take effect until at least 24 8
hours after the department has done all of the following:
1. Posted notice of the closure on its Internet Web site.
2. Announced the closure on its telephone registration system.
3. Issued a press release announcing the closure.
(d) The department may close a wolf harvesting zone to hunting of coyotes 13
during a season that authorizes hunting of deer with firearms if the department 14
determines that the closure is necessary to effectively manage the state's wolf 15
16(6) Authorized hunting and trapping activities.
(a) Authorization; hunting.
A wolf harvesting license authorizes the hunting of wolves by using any of the 18
1. A firearm, as authorized under par. (b), a bow and arrow, or a crossbow.
2. Dogs to track or trail wolves, subject to par. (c).
3. Predator calls, including electronic calls.
4. Bait that does not involve animal parts or animal byproducts, other than 23
(b) Firearms and ammunition.
A wolf harvesting license authorizes hunting 25
with a rifle, a muzzle-loading firearm, a handgun, a shotgun that fires slugs or
shotshells, and any other firearm that is loaded with a single slug or ball. A wolf 2
harvesting license authorizes hunting with shot that is larger than size BB.
(c) Use of dogs.
1. A person may hunt wolves using dogs beginning with the 4
first Monday that follows the last day of the regular season that is open to hunting 5
deer with firearms and ending on the last day of February of the following year.
2. No more than 6 dogs in a single pack may be used to trail or track a wolf, 7
regardless of the number of hunters assisting the holder of the wolf harvesting 8
3. While a person is using a dog to hunt wolf, the person shall keep on his or 10
her person any tag required for the dog under s. 95.21 (2) (f), 174.053 (2), or 174.07 11