State’s first wolf hunt will no longer include any trapping-

Michigan plans to have its first wolf hunt this fall. It will be in three parts (units) of the state’s Upper Peninsula (the U.P.).

The original wolf hunt plan approved included trapping as well as shooting the wolves, but that has now been dropped. Hunt sponsors say that this is to begin the wolf killing in a conservative fashion. The hunt will have a quota of 43 wolves.

When the wolf hunt was first announced, opponents of the hunt quickly got enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.  However, hunt supporters responded with Public Act 21.  This made the petition for a public vote moot by changing the way wolves were classified. Wolves would now be a game animal and so subject to hunting.

Wolves began to return to Michigan in 1989. Today there are estimated to be about 650.  Some call this growth astonishing, but this seems more a matter of opinion than an objective fact.  All of the wolves are thought to be in the U.P., which is separated from the rest of Michigan and is adjacent to Wisconsin  on the opposite side of Lake Michigan from the rest of the state.

Opponents of the hunt are gathering signatures on a second petition since the first one, a success, was rendered meaningless by the state legislature.  “Keep Michigan Wolves Protected” is organizing efforts to get names on the new petition. The wolf hunt slated for mid-November 2013 will no longer be affected by a petition. The effort here has moved to stopping the 2014 wolf hunt.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

46 Responses to Michigan wolf hunt drops trapping as part of hunt

  1. Richie G. says:

    The Governor is a real snake, that is all I have to say. Oh sorry one other thing he has many friends,

  2. Ida Lupine says:

    Well, it’s something anyway.

  3. JEFF E says:


  4. Mike says:

    This is how I thought the NRM hunts would be. Nice to see at least one state showing good taste. While I may not like the idea of shooting wolves (or shooting anything in our strip mall society), this is much preferable to what the NRM are doing.

  5. Nancy-two says:

    You must remember, DNR has said that trapping will be considered next year. I believe the only reason this year’s hunt is so conservative and trapping is banned is because of the looming petition drive. Also, coyote trapping is still allowed, a wolf killed in a coyote trap is considered “incidental” and does not count towards the quota.

    • JB says:

      “…the only reason this year’s hunt is so conservative and trapping is banned is because of the looming petition drive.”

      Agreed. They’re following in Montana’s footsteps–start slow, say all the right things, and gear up for wolf reduction after voters’ attentions turn to other matters.

  6. Ida Lupine says:

    Thank goodness for our forward-thinking conservationists, otherwise we’d have nothing left here or anywhere:

  7. rork says:

    IMHO: The number of wolves to die, the rationalizations for the need for them to die at sport hunter hands, and the methods permitted are calculated to create as little backlash as possible from the enormous giant that is public opinion. I expect language like the other states in a year or two, where managers just admit that we can kill some number of wolves per year forever more, and whether we need to or not, or whether it is actually a good thing for the land or most citizens, are irrelevant.

    To be more clear about public act 21, it allows our Natural Resources Commission, an appointed body, to declare animals game species and set hunting regs, without voters having recourse to veto such decisions by petition like we used to have when game species declarations were only in the hands of the legislators.
    To give over-the-top examples: They could decide that a few rich people wanting trophies of almost any animal should have their way.
    Michigan United Conservation Clubs, formerly a conservation group, dared to use about the same language as some of our slimiest politicians to insinuate that voters surely approve of these shenanigans:
    They even stoop to the logic that if legislators did it, it proves voters wanted it – as if hunting legislation was foremost in voters minds when electing them.
    I’m not sure I have a special word for this flavor of being false. Ignoring our fundamental ethics for the sake of such a trivial end is crushing for me. Hunter hatred of illogical animal lovers is part of the problem – can’t think straight. If you wanna see real stupid, look for our mute swan debates. Anti-wolf-hunt groups have also shown no shame in using crap arguments. Both sides are covered in dreck.

    • rork says:

      Maybe disingenuous is the word. It’s terribly popular in all sorts of debates these days.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Disingenuous on both sides to say the least. Two wrongs do not make it right.

        However, for far to long,
        Little Red Riding Hood and all the other fables and fairy tales have been treated as documentaries. For perhaps the first time, in “civilized” History, people are finally advocating for wolves. Mistakes and fables will be made by the uninformed on that side, until the rational minds in both sides take over, and the swing of the pendulum ends.

        • jon says:

          Why id WI allowing a higher wolf kill than MN when MN has a lot more wolves?

          • zach says:

            Because Scott Walker is a dolt.

          • Immer Treue says:

            Don’t know if Wisconsin has as organized pro-wolf organizations. Even though MN did in a lot of wolves last year, there exists a very real pro-wolf contingency. I don’t think wolf hunting/trapping will go away soon, but MN DNR is aware of both the 1600 number, which they do not want to approach, and the grass roots movements popping up in favor of wolves, anti-trapping, etc.

            Wisconsin, I think everyone is watching what is going to happen, in particular with wolf hounding. All it will take is someone posting on YouTube of a fight between wolves and dogs, and the wolf hunting house if cards in that state could very well collapse. Add to that, if CWD expands within the state.

            • zach says:

              If wolves in the lower 48 are stripped of protections, do you think the Minnesota DNR will hold the same attitude?

              • Immer Treue says:


                ??? MN has been removing depredating wolves for years, ~ 270 last year, and had its first hunting and trapping season last year, with 413 wolves harvested. So, in a sense, I don’t understand your question.

    • Norm Mackey says:

      Their theory is that voters elected what they wished they had put into a ballot initiative in 1996, but what was left out because it would have caused the initiative to be defeated. “What voters intended” is how they put it, instead of what they voted on. This intention was elected Presidente for Life 18 years ago, has retaken power in a coup from the intention in 2006 when the voters vetoed a dove hunt, and no future votes will be allowed.

  8. rork says:

    More disingenuous stuff from MUCC:
    Keep your name-that-fallacy skills polished.

    • zach says:

      I feel like that if the legislature is playing dirty, you’re going to have to out snake them to get something done. This is going to be a fight fire with fire kind of process. I am sorry to disagree with you on this instance, but hell… there really seems to be no other way in this instance.

    • Norm Mackey says:

      Yah, the MUCC threatens to sue in court because the petition doesn’t present the law the veto petition applies to(PA 21) as THEY would present it to the public.

      They don’t want it to mention wolves at all because lets the NRC designate other “game” as well. Currently the only other species federal law would let them designate is sandhill cranes. Never mind the law itself actually added wolves, and only wolves, to the game list. It merely allows the NRC to add them again if taken off by the voters. Oh, they don’t want to note that the law newly forbids the NRC from REMOVING the wolves or other species from the game list without the permission of the legislature. Science or not.

      They want it to state this supports (“as voters intended”) a referendum passed in 1996 that “implements sound scientific management” by the politically appointed, science-deficient state Natural Resources Commission, which did NOT include the power grab, and if it did, would not have passed at the time. A well touted theory nuked when the voters vetoed a bill making mourning doves “game” in 2006 over 2 to 1, in every county in the state, a bill making doves game virtually identical to the first wolf hunt bill except for the species. The MUCC (and DNR, NRC, etc) state the 1996’s bills implications, as they now see them, what SHOULD have been in it, should overrule the 2006 and all future voting.

      They want it to state the bill supports Michigan’s military personnel by giving them free licenses. They don’t want it to note the licenses were only $1 before, the minimum that they could be without the state losing the Federal P-R bill funds from taxes on guns and ammo for the 14,000 licenses concerned and no one asked the military personnel if they wanted to give up their vote for $1. Assuming they hunt or fish.

      That’s what the MUCC wants the veto resolution to say. Otherwise it is “misleading”.

  9. jon says:

    According to Jill Fritz, she is the main person behind the petition to get wolf hunting banned in Michigan, they might be able to stop this upcoming wolf hunting season from happening if they get enough signatures and the signatures are validated before the wolf hunt in Mi begins.

  10. Richie G. says:

    To Jon; Because the Governor of WI is way far more to the right than the Governor of MI. Look up their history I believe the name is Governor Walker of WI, he is a real bad you know what.

  11. Norm Mackey says:

    The DNR hunt proposal, Wildlife Conservation Order 6 of 2013 (April 15, 2013) offered two options: first, 1200 licenses with potential license buyers a lottery, calculated by Wisconsin hunters success rates to fully fill out the quota of 43 wolves, the 1200 limit presumably why “We recommend that non-residents be restricted to 2 percent of available licenses.”

    Oddly, and with no explanation offered, they did not offer the option to use exactly the same tested, hunter-fair, and already set up sending in of a $4 nonrefundable entry to a drawing as is used for elk and bear licenses alike, a good additional source of revenue, with those not winning the right to buy a license getting “bonus points” that mean they have much better chances if they enter the next year’s drawing, etc, or mention those possible benefits or savings of not redesigning at all, but merely: “If more applications are received than the number of licenses to be issued, a random lottery will be held for the selection of successful applicants.” Treating wolves in ANY way identically to elk or bear is apparently forbidden, even if it generates loads of money and means just making a copy of the “bear license” software folder and applications they have and replacing “wolf” with “bear”.

    Second option, an unlimited number of over the counter licenses, which:”maximizes the potential to reach the target harvest and allows any licensed hunter with an interest in pursuing wolves to do so. There is also no need to restrict non-residents.”

    Sheer idiocy with only a few hundred wolves and the Wisconsin data-calcuated results that came up with 1200 licenses to fill the quota, one per thousands of the millions of Michigan hunters – plus an unlimited number from Wisconsin and elsewhere, itching to get their sights on our wolves as well. Tacking “There is also no need to restrict non-residents”, it frankly looks like some anti-wolf nut’s contribution. Perhaps one of the NRC commissioners themselves, given:

    The NRC chose to offer 1200 licenses over the counter until they run out, stating in the amended WCO Of May, and after: “The Department recommends making 1,200 licenses available over the counter for all WMUs open in 2013. As previously described, a mandatory call-in system will be in place to ensure that the target harvest is not exceeded regardless of the number of individuals with licenses. Having licenses available over the counter eliminates the need for a lottery, maximizes the potential to reach the target harvest and allows any licensed hunter with an interest in pursuing wolves to do so. There is also no need to restrict non-residents.”

    Leaving aside the huge expensive licensing infrastructure SNAFU resulting, the NRC concluded their choice “maximizes the potential to reach the target harvest”, “allows any licensed hunter with an interest in pursuing wolves to do so” and resulted in “no need to restrict non-residents”, while the NRC did not go with the unlimited licenses needed to achieve these goals.

    They cut and pasted the desired results and refused to implement what was supposed to cause them. “Over the counter” had nothing to do with the “benefits”, the NRC is too inept to even understand the concepts offered them.

    And the DNR was too cowed, evidently to set them straight, so now “The Department” is recommending this, as the NRC decrees because the NRC is the epitome of sound scientific wildlife managers and the final authority on decisions. The DNR is being the stereotypical British men’s attendant who cannot contradict, only answer “Yes” or if the actual answer is no “in a matter of speaking”. “‘Mumbai’. That’s what they call Bombay India now?” “Yes, that’s absolutely right sir.” “India, that’s still a part of the British Empire, isn’t it?” “In a matter of speaking, sir.”

    Obviously the choices are: The NRC couldn’t manage its way out of a wet paper bag, or: the NRC couldn’t manage to pour sand out of a boot if the instructions were printed on the heel. And why, exactly, are we told that it is right that they are doing this, even though the law says the already signed veto resolution is supposed to automatically suspend the law changing wolves to game animals? It is , we are told, because voters chose sound scientific management in 1996, which overrides future voter choices, that this means the NRC must have utter control. Who tells us this? J.R. Richardson, the head of the NRC.

    It’s incredible

    • jon says:

      The wolf haters are ready to kill some wolves and post their kill videos on youtube.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        “Wolves have no predators, only us.”

        That’s enough, I’d say. What is wrong with these people?

        • Norm Mackey says:

          They simply are in denial due to the facts not matching up with their deepest fears primitive emotional responses. Explain to them until you are blue in the face that an apex predator like wolves regulates its own population for that very reason, point to bald eagles and recall the pre-statehood Alaska bounty (keeping eagles in control, stopping them wiping out salmon, then all other fish when they ran out), show them level, even lower population counts of wolves managing themselves year after year, Minnesota’s DNR having to kill off 25% of the deer with extra hunting in the face of 3000 wolves. It all goes in one ear and out the other.

          They KNOW wolves must breed out of control, destroy game populations, that they MUST be killed in quantity by humans to be kept “acting right”. It fits with their dearly held beliefs so well, it just rings, so, so true nothing else could be.

          It’s a mental illness, at the base of it, and one in control of America’s wolves.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            It’s just so arbitrary – to pick an animal and inflict violence on them for no reason other than what goes on in their own mind. Terrible. There’s already a mechanism in place to address livestock loss, additional hunting isn’t needed. And MN overhunted. Sadly, again it’s what you would expect by delisted an animal that is irrationally hated. Our stupid Federal gov’t at it’s worst.

          • Rancher Bob says:

            Regulates it’s own population, sounds so clean and regal. Sounds so much better than wolves fighting to the death or starvation or any number of types of death nature dishes out when your population starts to match your food source. A regulated wolf feeds scavengers and supplies nutrients for the soil. We need to use regulates more often.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Yes. Especially since it was how this country was founded.

            • Norm Mackey says:

              It may be brutal that larger wolf packs will kill smaller ones that they encounter. They don’t have any choice. Look at it from their point of view: “That new breeding pair is a menace. they and their pups will eat way too much prey for a 2-wolf pack! They breed like coyotes, three times as fast as our 6-wolf pack! Left alone, they could out-breed us in no time and do to us what we have to do to them instead…”

              But they aren’t good at killing off members of bigger packs, reducing average pack size, running up reproduction, and opening habitat for new pairs of wolves like sport hunting “management” does.
              At least in the east wolves aren’t

          • Nancy says:

            “It’s a mental illness, at the base of it, and one in control of America’s wolves”

            Norm – I’m thinking you are not alone with that thought:


            • Ida Lupine says:

              “The most deadly criticism one could make of modern civilization is that apart from its man-made crises and catastrophes, is not humanly interesting. . . . In the end, such a civilization can produce only a mass man: incapable of spontaneous, self-directed activities: at best patient, docile, disciplined to monotonous work to an almost pathetic degree. . . . Ultimately such a society produces only two groups of men: the conditioners and the conditioned, the active and passive barbarians.” —Lewis Mumford, 1951

              Couldn’t agree more!

          • ernie meyer says:

            its the same mental illness that a phycotic has

        • Norm Mackey says:

          It makes them, and anyone else who utters the same things, an instant authority. “Trust me” they say, and honestly believe that they are guiding true, fighting wolves being too-protected by “emotional” people.

        • Jeff N. says:

          More of the same nonsense from an uneducated redneck.

          A “few deer” are killed on road way collisions, but the wolves are “killing machines”.

          Typical redneck jacka$$.

          This mental midget might be more beautiful if he were……I won’t even go there.

      • JEFF E says:

        this dude has no neck. nuff said

        • Ida Lupine says:

          But he does have access to weaponry!

          • JEFF E says:

            as we all do

            • Ida Lupine says:

              But he may not be mentally competent enough!

              • JEFF E says:

                or he may,

                are you setting yourself up as the judge,and jury.

                I do not agree with these idiots, I do however agree with their right to be an idiot.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Yes, but their right to be an idiot means they can cause a lot of preventable damage, that cannot be fixed afterwards.

              • JEFF E says:

                which is the human condition in all arenas.
                how do you propose to change that?

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Let’s try to make legislation for people as they are, not how we would like them to be.

              • JEFF E says:

                so more government/laws is the solution?

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Not necessarily more laws – but stronger ones where applicable. For example, don’t give people the opportunity to go on killing rampages with other people or wildlife. But part of the liberal democrat view, IMO, is that we see the ideal and not the reality in human behavior. And I consider myself fairly liberal.

  12. JEFF E says:

    Canada will need to get some Immigration laws in place.

    For my money, Siberia will be the world powerhouse in the next centaury. They do not want to be “Russian” and really never were.

    Stay tuned

    • Ida Lupine says:

      There is already some inertia in place,” Diffenbaugh said. “If every new power plant or factory in the world produced zero emissions, we’d still see impact from the existing infrastructure, and from gases already released.”

      Consider the 2.5 billion people who lack access to modern energy resources. This energy poverty means they lack fundamental benefits for illumination, cooking and transportation, and they’re more susceptible to extreme weather disasters. Increased energy access will improve their quality of life — and in some cases their chances of survival — but will increase global energy consumption and possibly hasten warming.

      Translation? The planet is screwed. There really isn’t much anyone can do to mitigate climate change – it’s too little, too late. Anything we do will just harm habitat and our remaining wildlands even more. People will never change their consumption habits, fossil fuel usage, and our world population is going to continue to rise.


August 2013


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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