Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Judge Issues Injunction Blocking Wisconsin Fall Wolf Hunt

Judge Issues Injunction Blocking Wisconsin Fall Wolf Hunt

On Oct. 22, 2021, a judge halted Wisconsin's fall wolf season two weeks before hunters were set to take to the woods, siding with wildlife advocacy groups that argued holding the hunt would be unconstitutional.

Dane County Circuit Judge Jacob Frost issued a temporary injunction halting the season, which was set to begin November 6. The order comes as part of a lawsuit that a coalition of wildlife advocacy groups filed in August seeking to stop the hunt and invalidate a state law authorizing annual seasons.

Among other things, the coalition argued that the season is illegal because the (Wisconsin) Department of Natural Resources hasn't updated its regulations setting season parameters, and has been relying on an emergency rule put in place shortly after then-Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2012 authorizing annual seasons and a wolf-management plan that hasn't been updated since 2007.

Frost said the law creating the wolf season is constitutional on its face, but that the DNR failed to create permanent regulations enacting it. The law gives the DNR great leeway in setting kill limits, hunting-zone hours and the number of licenses, making it all the more important that the department follow the regulatory process to ensure it doesn't violate the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches, Frost said. 

"I'm not overruling the wolf-hunt law. In fact, I'm saying it has to be enforced as it was written and intended," Frost said. "The DNR is currently not following the law or following the constitution. Its decisions are built on a faulty basis, meaning they can't stand, either."

The judge said the injunction will remain in place until the DNR implements updated regulations on determining quotas and the number of licenses it issues, and updates its wolf-management plan with new wolf-population goals for the state.

Hannah Jurss, an assistant attorney general representing the DNR in the case, asked Frost to stay his ruling pending appeal, calling his ruling "unquestionably a dramatic decision." Frost refused, saying the DNR could still hold a season this year if it can move quickly on new regulations. 

DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye said the agency would review the injunction and had no further comment.

For more on this story, and the history of the present Wisconsin wolf-hunting controversy, check out the full AP story on the Wisconsin State Farmer.

Comments On This Article

More Like This From Around The NRA