Wisconsin judge orders start to wolf hunt this month

Wildlife

FILE -In this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo, released by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, a wolf from the Snake River Pack passes by a remote camera in eastern Wallowa County, Ore. Trump administration officials on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, stripped Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in most of the U.S., ending longstanding federal safeguards and putting states in charge of overseeing the predators. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP, File)

JEFFERSON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin judge has ordered the state Department of Natural Resources to start a wolf hunt this month rather than wait until November.

The Trump administration removed wolves from the federal endangered species list in January, returning management to the states.

Wisconsin law mandates the DNR run a wolf season from November through February.

The department had planned to start the season this November but a pro-hunting group filed a lawsuit to force an immediate start.

Online court records show Jefferson County Circuit Judge Bennett Brantmeier ordered the DNR on Thursday to hold the season in February.

DNR spokeswoman Sarah Hoye says the agency will take steps to implement the order.

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