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MADISON — Wisconsin wildlife officials are poised to close two more wolf hunting zones.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has divided the state into six wolf hunting zones.

The agency plans to close the far northwestern Wisconsin zone at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The kill limit for the zone is 76 animals. Hunters had taken 72 as of late Tuesday afternoon.

The DNR plans to close the west-central Wisconsin zone at the same time. Hunters have killed 33 of the 34-wolf quota.

The agency shut down the zone that covers much of far northeastern Wisconsin last week after hunters killed one more wolf than the 28-animal limit.

The hunt began Oct. 15 and will run until hunters reach the 251-wolf statewide kill limit or through the end of February, whichever comes first.

“Harvest trends in Zone 1 have been steady with an increased harvest rate over the past few days and Zone 5 has been steady with two additional wolves registered late in the day Tuesday, prompting closure ,” said David MacFarland, DNR large carnivore specialist. “We will be considering harvest trends as we approach quotas in other zones as well.”

“Our ultimate goal is to harvest 251 wolves, distributed across the landscape,” said MacFarland. “The harvest zones are a tool by which we attempt to direct the harvest to achieve desired outcomes. The quotas concentrate hunting pressure more in areas with higher potential for conflicts, allowing for higher population densities in core habitat where potential for conflict is lower. This is our second season, and we continue to learn information about harvest success that will be valuable in future management decisions.”

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