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Pointless Trophy Hunting: Less Than Two Months to Save Wolves in Michigan

Pointless Trophy Hunting: Less Than Two Months to Save Wolves in Michigan

Less than two years after Congress stripped wolves of their Endangered Species protection, 1,000 of them have been tragically slaughtered. Now, residents in Michigan are taking a new approach to saving the lives of these important predators by bringing the issue of wolf hunting to voters.

After 50 years of existing as a protected species in the state, Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill in December that designated the wolf as a game animal and handed management over to the state’s Natural Resources Commission (NRC).

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a coalition of conservation groups, animal welfare organizations, wildlife professionals, veterinarians, hunters, ranchers, several American Indian tribes and other residents, are now fighting to save the state’s population of fewer than 700 wolves from being senselessly killed.

Their goal is to collect 225,000 signatures by late March to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. If they succeed, the measure and any hunts will be put off until there is a vote and residents will be the ones to decide whether wolves will be subjected to hunting and trapping.

The coalition is arguing that wolves are only beginning to recover after decades spent on efforts to recover them and keep them protected and points out that Michigan already has a management plan that allows farmers and property owners to shoot wolves to protect livestock and pets, in addition to the fact that livestock owners are reimbursed for losses.

“Some want to hunt wolves because they kill livestock. Wolves killed just 11 head of cattle per year, on average, between 2001 and 2010. Less than 10% of the wolf population is involved with livestock losses,” said John Vucetich, Associate Professor, co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project.

Unfortunately, hunters are ready to get out there and start killing and are gearing up for a fight on this one. Some are arguing that no one should be allowed to bring this issue to voters because voters gave the NRC sole authority to set wildlife management policies in 1996.

The DNR believes decisions about hunting should be based on scientific data and a management plan it developed in consultation with a variety of interests, including environmentalists. The plan says hunts could be justified if necessary to reduce wolf-human conflicts in limited areas where the problems are severe and other control methods aren’t working, spokeswoman Debbie Munson Badini told Detroit News.

Biologists for the department are conducting a wolf census and gathering statistics on livestock deaths and are expected to submit a report to the NRC in the spring.

“History has demonstrated that wolves can be severely impacted by predator control. Because people do not eat wolves and donít use the animal in any way, wolves would be hunted only for trophies Ė meaning that these rare animals would be killed for no good purpose. Allowing wolf hunting could mean especially inhumane and unfair practices, such as painful steel-jawed leghold traps, hunting over bait, and even using packs of dogs to chase down and kill wolves. This not science-based wildlife management Ė itís cruel and unsporting, and just pointless trophy hunting,” according to the coalition.

To find out more, or to help collect signatures if you’re a Michigan resident, visit Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.

Related Stories:

Endangered Mexican Gray Wolf Released in Arizona

Judge Okays Wolf Hunting With Dogs in Wisconsin

Death Sentence Issued for Entire Pack of Endangered Wolves

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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202 comments

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1:13PM PST on Nov 12, 2013

Urgent. The clock is ticking against these wolves. We must act quickly. The fight will not stop. Save those wolves now.

9:22AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Signed

5:26AM PDT on May 4, 2013

Do protect the wolves to live free and healthy in a natural environment.

9:15PM PDT on Mar 31, 2013

Maybe the hunters should be hunted !! . They should watch their backs , who knows , maybe someone they know is taking aim at them.

4:11AM PDT on Mar 30, 2013

Yes I agree that trophy and "sport" hunters are the lowest scum on this earth!

2:21AM PDT on Mar 29, 2013

stop this awful animal abuse, no more hunting

5:30PM PST on Mar 8, 2013

This entire article below, by Gary Yourofsky, can be seen on the "Animal Liberation Front" web site.

5:26PM PST on Mar 8, 2013

Hunters are terrorists of animal world
By Gary Yourofsky


"Before I refute every hunting lie ever espoused, let me begin with a quote from the great philosopher Pythagoras: "As long as humanity continues to be the ruthless destroyer of other beings, we will never know health or peace. For as long as people massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed those who sow the seed of murder and pain will never reap joy and love."

Antithetically, here's a comment from Ted Nugent, the world's most outspoken hunter: "I contribute to the dead of winter and the moans of silence, blood trails are music to my ears. I'm a gut-pile addict. The pig didn't know I was there. It's my kick. I love shafting animals."

Animal rights humanitarians are fed up with hunters, their government cronies and their sick mentalities. Hunting is not sound science. It is sound fun for unsound individuals who commit unrepentant violence against animals.

Furthermore, the so-called experts who work for animal-killing state agencies, such as the Department of Natural Resource, the Natural Resources Commission and the Huron Clinton Metropark Authority, are not "experts." They're hunters and hunt supporters.

And it is remarkably scandalous that these agencies make decisions about the fate of wild animals. Using this logic, we should allow pedophiles to enforce child protection laws and misogynists to govern domestic abuse crimes.

Here's an idea: How about discarding the hunting propaganda

6:37AM PST on Mar 8, 2013

It's too bad we can't arm the wolves...

2:10PM PST on Feb 26, 2013

Trophy and "sport" hunters are the lowest scum on the planet. I'm leery of putting hunting and wildlife issues to a popular vote, but in GOP-controlled states especially it may be the only way to stop the hunting blood-lust.

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