It's time for Michigan to have a wolf hunt
Now that gray wolves have been removed from the federal endangered species list, it's time for the state to bring in a hunting season as one way of managing the animals. According to Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh, this may happen sooner than we think.
A bill to make wolves a game animal and allow a hunting season was introduced in the state legislature in August by Rep. Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine. It's supported by many, including the DNR. Creagh said he believes the homework done by the state in coming up with a wolf management plan will help to speed the process of establishing a season.
Hunting/trapping seasons for wolves in other states may help, too. Wisconsin is set to begin a season on Oct. 15. More than 20,000 hunters applied to get in a lottery for the 116 licenses. Permit applications were $10 each. Licenses will be $100 for residents and $500 for non-residents.
Wisconsin reserved 85 of the 1,160 licenses for tribal members, although its tribes are on record as being opposed to the hunt.
The Michigan bill seeks to establish the same prices for a license here, but only $4 for a permit application.
A sticking point in the Wisconsin season – and perhaps in Michigan's proposed season, too – is whether dogs should be allowed. In Wisconsin, this part of the hunt is being decided in court and, so far, dogs are not allowed.
A hunting season in Michigan won't solve every problem that humans, especially ranchers, are experiencing with wolves, but it may help change the way humans view these animals and in the long run it will be better for wolves for them to be considered as game animals instead of pests.