Wolf Hunt in Michigan

Filed under: U.P. News Updates |

Wolf hunt in Michigan. MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – An effort continued in the Michigan Legislature Thursday to hold the state’s first-ever modern day hunting season for gray wolves.

Many hunters and residents of the Upper Peninsula say efforts to bring back the wolf population has been so successful, that it’s reducing the deer herd, resulted in dead livestock as well as frightening encounters with UP residents.

The population is now between 700 and 1000.  So a long list of organizations are backing a controlled hunt of gray wolves. However, some environmental groups along with Native American tribes are opposing any headlong rush into a wolf hunting season, saying it could result once again in making the gray wolf an endangered species in Michigan.

Testimony on the proposal was heard Thursday before the State Senate Natural Resources Committee.  Gray wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list just under a year ago.

Similar legislation has also been proposed in the State House.

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2 Responses to Wolf Hunt in Michigan

  1. Note: The bill is not the same as HB5384, which states (b) “The sound scientific management of gray wolf populations in this state is necessary, including the use of hunting as a management tool, to minimize human and gray wolf encounters and to prevent gray wolves from threatening or harming humans, livestock, and pets.”

    Instead it reads:
    “(b)The sound management of wolf populations in this state is necessary, including the use of hunting as a management tool, to minimize negative human and wolf encounters and to prevent wolves from threatening or harming humans, livestock, and pets.”

    Senator Casperson isn’t going to allow any lawsuit over whether the scientific facts HE determines make any sense according to Proposal G (1996)!

    Norm Mackey
    November 9, 2012 at 1:34 pm

  2. Senate committee Wolf hunt circus

    The Thursday morning committee meeting on Senate Bill 1350 chaired by Sen. Tom Casperson, designating wolves as game animals and declaring that hunting them is desirable management, contained the expected testimony from the usual suspects.

    Complaints that motion-activated trail cameras are recording wolves much more often, which is not surrising since they didn’t exist before.

    The guy who complained the proposed $4 application fee and $100 tag fee were outrageously high.

    The deer hunter who has talked to all sorts of people who say say the Western UP’s large deer population no longer exists due to wolves, and besides, if you shoot a animal at night and plan to find it the next day, wolves may have eaten it, and he didn’t get a deer because instead there were wolves where he hunted.

    Multiple complaints wolves had looked at people, sometimes even failing to avert their eyes quickly and respectfully from children.

    The Ironwood city manager complaining that people attracting wolves by feeding deer were attracting wolves by feeding deer, therefore wolves should be removed. Not the ones that entered city limits, those were killed by the state as a precaution, but wolves in general.

    The farmer in the UP with wolf problems, despite guard donkeys that worked but were stolen and replacement donkeys that just hang around the barn, but that he has to keep because the government will make him pay for them otherwise. At about the end of his testimony he revealed he had two farms in prime wolf habitat so one was only periodically visited by any humans. He used to work for McDonnell, the aircraft etc company.

    Highlights were Sen. Casperson insisting that wolves were an “aggressive animal”, holding up a picture of deer killed by wolves as proof (just look at that deer) and basically stating that he refused to believe otherwise, or that this did not apply to humans. Also the person who repeated “wolves are the problem” over and over like a mantra, complained that nonhunters were being employed by the state, and recommended a bounty on animal rights activists. Sen Casperson emphatically pointed out that this person had been recognized by the courts as “an expert” about something, at some point, and therefore should be taken as an authority.

    The tribal representative begging for actual scientific data apparently being withheld from them was a surprise to me.

    Overall, a collection of pro-hunting extremists, and opposing them some people who lived among wolves in the U.P. with no problems and animal rights organization activists.

    Nothing to indicate the proposed hunt would help with any of the purported management goals, in fact, not a speaker seemed to realize the reproductive biology of wolves. Perhaps ignoring it because those opposing wanted to pretend wolves would be endangered by the hunt, and those in favor of the bill wanted to ignore that a sport hunt is the worst possible management for wolves, almost by design. Other wolves can take over breeding roles so that the number of young wolves born remains the same, and simple arithmetic shows the obvious disaster. Kill at random and large packs get smaller, cannot prevent new packs from forming and taking over territory, and yet more wolves born each year. Kill half the wolves, you just double the number of pups born per wolf, and increase the appetite for prey. Wolves eating young deer in spring is natural, but maximizing it and making wolves eat livestock instead are not management goals.

    Testimony indicated (and hunters have noted) that wolves move prey populations around. Other hunters have also claimed not as many deer ever accumulate at their deer bait piles and feeding stations. Yet no one noted the obvious fact that if wolves spread deer out that much, that bait and feeding and unnatural taming of deer make a good place to spread deadly deer diseases. For chronic wasting disease prions to accumulate, and epizootic hemorrhagic disease-carrying midges to bite multiple deer. If wolves perform this deer management function, that may be more responsible for preventing disease in their prey than removing those weakened by disease. And people should pay attention at least by moving their deer feeding around whatever area they can.

    Wolves have been bred for the last X tens of thousands of years to avoid humans. We’re social animals too, and harming a hair on the head of a human of any age would result in parents or relatives killing the wolf, its pack and their pups (its genetic heritage). At least. Instead wolves even disabled or starving avoid humans as prey, but occasionally adapt their behavior towards superior wolves and beg. These probably become a fur garment, but human nature says parents seeing a wolf not eating their precious child but begging were more likely to help it than start a war on wolves. The only emaciated wolf to enter an occupied campground on Isle Royale National Park was fed by children but found it so scary it left and is thought to have starved; eating a human has never been the survival option.

    The data we have is the dogs we bred from the wolves. Is there any other animal that, in general, tries so hard not to hurt people? Even dogs starving to death eating people? Feral dogs? Yes, not utterly harmless, but such incidents are negligable. Instead we trust the animal we made from wolves with our children.

    Even most habituated wild wolves and coyotes don’t bite anyone. That’s not good enough anymore, but until about 10000 years ago, there were cave lions and 700 pound sabertoothed tigers, cave and short-faced bears (oh my), and the safest place in the world for human families and dens of wolf pups could have been smack dab together with the parents defending the same spot, or at least very close by, in sight.

    Norm Mackey
    November 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

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