Following democratisation, many post-socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe adjusted their wolf policies to accommodate a more positive discourse on the species and the need to sustain and expand its populations. However, Belarus continues an approach informed by a discourse on wolf as a dangerous pest that should be reduced to the most possible extent through unrestricted hunting. Based on data from desk research covering the last 150 years and from semi-structured interviews we explored the reasons for the long-term stability of the policy path and identified potential sources of policy innovations. We argue that the persistence of potentially unsustainable practices has been connected with a strong dominance of hunters in the policy field and the lack of actors representing alternative discourses and policy options. This has changed recently when wildlife biologists and environmental activists proposed policy adjustments modelled on the approaches used in the EU. However, these have not translated into meaningful changes because of hierarchical, top-down governance, dominance of the ministry responsible for hunting, and the lack of external stimuli for policy innovation. We propose activities to strengthen the co-ordination of wolf policy between Belarus and its EU neighbours and to ensure sustainable wolf management.