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Hunters and trappers interested in participating in Wisconsin’s inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season must apply for a permit between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31.

The permit application fee is $10 and applications can be purchased from authorized license agents, over the Internet through the Department of Natural Resources “Online Licensing Center” or by phone at 1-877-945-4236 toll free.

The wolf hunting and trapping season runs Oct. 15 to Feb. 28, 2013.

More on wolves in Wisconsin: Wolf hunting news from around the state | Trail cameras capture wolf activity

Six wolf harvest zones were established by the Natural Resources Board. Each zone will have a wolf quota, although those quotas will not be firmly established for several weeks until officials factor in tribal declarations. The number of licenses will equal 10 times the total quota after the tribal declarations are subtracted.

Oconto County has two harvest zones: The area north of Highways 64 and 32 is Primary Zone 2, while the area south of there to Highway 22 is Secondary Zone 4.

For the 2012-13 seasons all wolf permits will be awarded by random choice in a drawing that will be held shortly after the close of the permit application window. Successful applicants will be notified by letter. Applicants who are not successful in the drawing will be awarded a preference point toward future drawings.

Starting with the 2013-14 season one half of available permits will be issued randomly among all permit applications and the second half will be issued through a cumulative preference point drawing.

“If you think you will ever be interested in participating in a wolf season, either this year or in future years, it’s important to apply for a permit starting this year in order to accumulate preference points,” said Bill Vander Zouwen, ecology section chief in the DNR Bureau of Wildlife Management. “With the limited number of wolf permits expected to be available each year, hunters and trappers with preference points will have a better chance of being selected in future drawings.”

At the time of purchase applicants may apply for a permit or a preference point only. The preference point only option is available for hunters and trappers who wish to hunt or trap in future seasons but are not able to participate in the 2012-13 season and want to start accumulating points.

Accumulated preference points will be eliminated when an applicant is selected in the drawing to receive a permit. Accumulated preference points will also be eliminated if a hunter or trapper does not submit a permit application in three consecutive years.

For the 2012-13 wolf season, hunters and trappers may fill their harvest tag in any zone. All kills must be reported within 24 hours and zones will be closed when harvest quotas are reached. Zone harvest totals and season closures will be posted on the DNR website dnr.wi.gov search the keyword, “wolf.” Zone closures will also be noticed in statewide news releases and the department will have a call-in line that hunters and trappers can check daily for closures. It is the responsibility of the hunter and trapper to check for closures each day before going out to hunt or trap.

A wolf license authorizes both hunting and trapping. The license holder must meet the appropriate safety education requirements. Persons who intend to trap wolves must successfully complete a Wisconsin Trapper Education course unless exempt; persons born on or after Jan. 1, 1973 who intend to hunt wolves with a firearm must possess a Hunter Education Certificate (or equivalent) unless participating the Hunting Mentorship program.

Wolf harvesting licenses may be transferred to a youth or adult who is eligible to use the license, provided the transfer application is received by Oct. 1 (15 days prior to the start of the wolf season).

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