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Amid protests, Wisconsin's 2nd wolf hunt gets underway Tuesday

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin's second annual wolf hunt began Tuesday morning. 

Hunters have until end of February to kill 251 grey wolves -- more than twice the quota from last year.

The season ends once the quota is reached. 

Last year, hunters needed only about half the scheduled season to reach their limit. 

A group called Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf had protests planned for Tuesday afternoon in Madison and Superior.

Animal rights' supporters say Wisconsin's wolf population is too fragile to support a hunt -- but they can't stop it. National humane groups have been waiting for months for a federal court to consider their lawsuit to stop wolf hunts not only in Wisconsin but elsewhere, and to return grey wolves to the federal endangered species list. 

State officials say the hunt is needed to reduce the numbers of wolf attacks on livestock and farm crops.