Will Michigan's first wolf hunt be its last?

Tom PinkLast year at this time, we were waiting for Gov. Rick Snyder to sign a law allowing Michigan’s first modern-day hunting season for wolves.

As we all know, the hunt was held as scheduled and came up 20 short of its goal of taking 43 wolves. Biologists said December’s cold weather kept many wolf hunters out of the woods.

Most of the news coverage of the season outside of outdoor magazines and newspapers has read like reports on natural disasters, with updated articles every couple of days noting the number of dead, but few other details on the hunt. One notable exception was in the Dec. 5 issue of The St. Ignace News, a story on a 14-year-old Eastern Upper Peninsula hunter who shot a wolf on Nov. 30 after howling to bring it close enough for a shot. It turned out the wolf was collared some years earlier by the Department of Natural Resources with the assistance of a local trapper. Coincidentally, the same trapper had taught the young wolf hunter and his father much about trapping before he died in 2011.

Next year at this time it will be interesting to see if we will be reading stories about the 2014 wolf hunt or if it will become a memory like the state’s one and only hunt for mourning doves. Right now, a conservation group called Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management is gathering signatures for passage of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, which would apparently stop the Humane Society’s Keep Michigan Wolves Protected group from stopping future wolf hunts. Let’s hope CPWM is successful and Michigan continues to be a state where a healthy population of wolves may be hunted and trapped like so many other furbearers, including coyote, fox and more.

You can find out more about CPWM at its website, citizenswildlife.com or on Facebook.

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