The wolf hunting /trapping season opened on October 15th, and by the afternoon of Nov. 4th, 57 wolves had been killed, 64% through trapping. The quota was set at 201 wolves, but 85 were given to the tribes who chose not to use them, leaving a quota 116 wolves, within six zones, to be killed. As the quota for each zone is met, the zone will be closed but a person with a tag can hunt or trap in any open zone. To review the wolf hunting/trapping zones and follow the number of wolves killed go to Wisconsin's Dept. of Natural Resources website.
There are about 3000 wolves in the state with a target harvest of 400 wolves divided among three zones. The wolf hunting season opened on Nov. 3rd and within two days, 66 wolves have been killed. Beginning on Nov. 24th and through January 31st, Minnesota's wolves can be hunted or trapped (no trapping is permitted during the early season). You can follow the status of the hunt at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website.
Two weeks ago, Michigan State Senator Tom Casperson held an "informational testimony" regarding designating the wolf a game animal and authorizing a wolf hunting season. Please review the Available Testimony For Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes, Oct 17, 2012 which includes that of our own Great Lakes Regional Director, Nancy Warren.
Later that day, Senator Casperson introduced SB1350. HR 5834, introduced by State Representative Matt Huuki, and SB 1350, by State Senator Tom Casperson, are nearly identical except the Casperson version sets the penalty for illegally killing a wolf at a fine of $200-$1000. Illegally killing an elk garners a fine of $500-$1000 and a moose at $1000-$5000.
There will be a Senate Committee hearing Thursday, November 8th. See below for details. In Michigan, the legislature does not establish the hunting rules and regulations. This is done by the politically appointed Natural Resource Commission along with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Michigan's DNR has publicly announced support for this bill and a limited hunt (though that has not been defined).
Send comments to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources Environment and Great Lakes via Clerk Lauren Michalak with a copy to Michigan's State Senator Casperson by Wednesday, Nov. 7th.
Urge the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee members to vote NO on SB 1350.
- There is no evidence to support the need for a recreational hunting season.
- A small vocal minority support the recreational hunting of wolves. A 2011 survey conducted in the 15 Upper Peninsula counties and 8 counties in the Northern Lower Peninsula showed strong support for wolves in Michigan. 65% of respondents support funding wolf management and monitoring through the sale of a license plate and 53% support expanding types of sporting goods taxed to fund wildlife restoration. Only hunters were asked if the wolf was designated a game species, would they purchase a hunting license, 59% responded no.
- As acknowledged by the Plan, the public harvest of wolves is biologically complex. The effects of a hunting season on a wolf population are determined by "a suite of factors, including population size, age and sex structure, immigration and emigration rates, birth rates, and natural and human-induced mortality rates."
- Monies from a federal grant are available to assist landowners with non-lethal control of wolves.
- With the delisting of the wolf, the Michigan Wolf Management Plan can now be fully implemented including the issuance of landowner permits when non-lethal measures are ineffective.
- Legislation was enacted to allow livestock and pet owners to kill wolves in the act of attacking their livestock or dogs.
- Overall, wolf depredation in Michigan is low. Between 1996 & 2012, there have been less than 250 depredation events. Wolf-related conflicts are often caused by the behavior of a few individual wolves, and management at small scales can often address problems effectively.
- Livestock producers are compensated for verified losses caused by wolves.
- The Michigan DNR has a variety of tools available to manage wolf conflicts.
- Section 6.12.1, paragraph 2 of the plan states, "Some situations may warrant consideration of reducing wolf numbers in localized areas as a means to reduce the risk of negative interactions. Such consideration could be necessary if a high density of wolves in an area, rather than the behavior of individual wolves, was determined to be responsible for problems that could not otherwise be addressed through non-lethal or individually directed lethal methods. As of this writing, a situation of this type has not occurred in Michigan.
- You value wolves. The penalty for illegally killing a wolf should be elevated to that of an elk or moose.
- Non-residents of Michigan's Upper Peninsula should have an equal voice in the management of wolves. Wolves live in our National Forests and public lands belonging to all of us.
|Photo: USFWS |
We respectfully call your attention to a recent article from
Lansing in the Daily Press entitled,
"Bill Discussion to Allow Wolf Hunting Season to be Heard Via Videoconference."
The Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee, chaired by Casperson, will convene on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8:00 a.m. EST in Room 210 of the Farnum Building in Lansing, with simultaneous videoconferencing at Gogebic Community College, Room B21 of the Solin Business Center, E-4946 Jackson Road in Ironwood at 7 a.m. CST.
The meeting also will be streamed live and can be viewed on
Michigan's Senate television.