NRC may soon consider wolf season

Tom PinkThe Michigan Legislature approved legislation in December to establish the gray wolf as a game animal in Michigan and established an advisory board to study options for managing the animals. Governor Rick Snyder was expected to sign the legislation as this was being written.

Barring interference from animal rights organizations, it would appear that Michigan is finally headed toward a season on wolves; however, there is still work to be done and it remains to be seen whether that harvest season will include options for trapping. The new advisory panel will need to look at the possibilities and come up with some recommendations before the Natural Resources Commission can establish any seasons.

The bill received widespread support from hunting and trapping organizations, and those groups are asking members to keep up the dialogue with NRC members to make sure that progress continues to be made toward harvest options.

NRC members have reported receiving a great deal of correspondence from those opposed to hunting and trapping of wolves, especially those opposed to trapping.

It makes no sense to prohibit trapping of wolves if a hunting season is established. It would be just as easy, if not more so, to regulate trapping as it is hunting.

Wolves were removed from the endangered species list in 2011 after surpassing the required population level for removal several years ago. They have made a remarkable comeback in Michigan and Wisconsin, which recently held its first season. Those who oppose hunting or trapping them aren’t doing these animals a favor. Wolves will be looked at in a different light if the state’s residents, especially those who have lost livestock and hunting dogs to wolf predation, feel that they have a hand in their management.

To express your views to the NRC, send an e-mail message to NRC assistant Debbie Whipple, whippled@michigan.gov or write Natural Resources Commission, P.O. Box 30028, Lansing, 48909.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Michigan – Tom Pink

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