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Is Michigan's Wolf Hunt Necessary?


Animals  (tags: Michigan, Wolves, Killing, Slaughter, TODAY, extinction, endangered, animals, abused, abuse, suffering, protection, ethics, cruelty, death, environment, law, crime, humans, wildlife, society, wildanimals, sadness, animalrights, animaladvocates, investigation )

Roxy
- 258 days ago - mlive.com
How is killing 43 wolves as part of an experiment sound science? Politically based management and wrangling does little to protect the ecological benefits of wolves and does not increase tolerance.



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Comments

Roxy H. (340)
Friday November 15, 2013, 6:52 am
Nancy Warren is the Great Lakes Regional Director for the National Wolfwatcher Coalition. She lives in the Upper Peninsula within wolf management zone B where 19 wolves will be targeted this season.

In a few days, the Upper Peninsula, home to 658 wolves, according to the winter 2012 count, will experience its first wolf hunting season ever.

The hunt will take place in three zones in what DNR officials call a “limited hunt” to reduce conflicts. These carefully chosen words are important because there is not strong public support for a recreational or a “trophy” hunt. Michigan residents would support reduction of wolf numbers in localized areas if it would reduce problems caused by wolves (Beyer et al. 2006).

The Wolf Management Plan acknowledges that conflicts are often caused by the behavior of a few individual wolves and management at small scales can often address problems effectively.

Currently producers and dog owners can kill any wolf in the act of attacking their livestock or pets. Further, if they do suffer a loss, they can be issued a permit that allows for up to 15 individuals to be listed on the permit to shoot any wolf on their property. These measures have been very effective. Livestock losses declined 81% this year, compared to last year. Still DNR is claiming the hunt is needed. I disagree.

Wolf Management Unit A was established with the primary objective of reducing the number of nuisance wolf complaints in parts of Gogebic County. This resonates well with the public. In a DNR survey, 59% of respondents supported reducing wolf numbers through lethal means when human safety was a concern. However, DNR has always had the authority to kill wolves perceived to be a threat to humans.

Over the past few years, wolves followed the abundance of deer into residential areas near Ironwood but never actually threatened or injured anyone. However, DNR was pro-active and authorized the killing of four wolves in 2011 and eight in 2012. The problems used to justify the hunt appear to be resolved. If a real or perceived problem is to occur in the future, it will be resolved immediately by removing the individual animals involved making the random killing of wolves, through a hunting season, unnecessary.

The stated goal of Management Unit B is “to reduce chronic livestock depredations” and DNR used statistics from 2010 to defend the hunt. But, close examination of the records show that from 2010 through the present, livestock depredations were confined to 10 farms within Unit B with a total of 113 individual livestock animals were killed by wolves during this period.

One farm, with known poor animal husbandry practices and a record of not properly disposing of carcasses accounted for 87 of those losses (77%). Only one other farm recorded losses in double digits with 10 verified livestock deaths (9%). Two producers each lost three animals the rest lost one or two animals over the 3 ½ year period. When livestock losses are put in perspective, it is evident that a wide scale hunt spread across Unit B is not warranted.

An interesting pattern emerged within Wolf Management Unit C, which includes portions Luce and Mackinac counties. The reason for hunting wolves in this unit is to reduce chronic livestock and dog depredations. From 2010 through the present nine different farms experienced livestock losses, however six of those farms experienced a depredation in 2010 and 2011 and none since that time; two farms had a loss in 2012 and only one farm suffered a loss in 2013.

Shifting to dog depredations, there were five alleged attacks on hunting dogs since 2010 but only two were verified to have been caused by wolves. The remaining attacks were simply allegations, made by houndsmen who released their hunting dogs in known wolf pack territories.

I believe the reason Unit C was created has little to do with livestock or dog attacks. Rather, situated in the center of Unit C is 35,000 acres of forest belonging to the Hiawatha Sportsman’s Club, who enjoys a cozy relationship with DNR. There is not one instance of a livestock or dog depredation on these privately owned lands.

Those who want to hunt wolves plead for “scientific management” yet DNR has acknowledged that, “Removing wolves through public harvest may decrease the number of livestock depredations” and one official called this year’s hunt a “novel approach”. How is killing 43 wolves as part of an experiment sound science?

DNR biologists are the experts in wildlife management however; the decisions about the wolf hunt are being made by political appointees within the DNR. It has been a top-down process. Only one member of the Natural Resources Commission, the political appointed decision making body, has a natural resources background and she voted against the wolf hunt.

The Wolf Management Plan was written with the understanding there would be oversight by a full time wolf coordinator who would be directly or indirectly responsible for each of the strategies outlined in the plan. However, his position was cut by more than 60% and his duties absorbed by those in Lansing with strong ties to hunting interest groups.

Politically based management and wrangling does little to protect the ecological benefits of wolves and does not increase tolerance. Rather, it relies on fear, distortions and embellished stories thus giving the false impression that the hunting of wolves is needed to keep the public safe.

 

Roxy H. (340)
Friday November 15, 2013, 6:53 am
Personal Note: My heart goes out to Michigan Wolves and everyone that has worked so hard to protect them, and to you Nancy, I bleed along-side you.
 

Jamie Clemons (280)
Friday November 15, 2013, 8:06 am
There are only a few hundred wolves left and they want to start hunting them are they crazy?
 

Jeanne Rogers (690)
Friday November 15, 2013, 5:24 pm
Noted and sickened.
 

Birgitta S. (221)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 4:09 pm
WHAT??? OF COURSE NOT "NECESSARY" !!! D*MNED!!! & Jamie Clemons said it......!
 

Mike M. (55)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 4:26 pm
Just mean humans doing what they do best
 

Valerie H. (134)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 4:40 pm
....sadly......noted :(
 

. (0)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 5:10 pm
NO
NO
a thousand times NO
 

Karen P. (40)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 5:40 pm
The only wolves they should be hunting is the sods on two legs!
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 5:48 pm
My heart, too, goes out to the Michigan wolves. Also to the Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming wolves and to all of us that have worked tirelessly so save them.

We won't ever give up.

Thank you Roxy my friend.
 

Roxy H. (340)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:00 pm
Ty everyone and ty Lynn huggs, this is making me insane, i can't hardly breathe
 

. (3)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:03 pm
They are crazy as Jamie said! So sad. Thanks Roxy.
 

Victoria D. (1)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:30 pm
Based on this tragic news, I am submitting the following supplemental comment to the U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service at:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073-30560

Michigan residents tried to bring the issue of wolf hunting to voters in the state. A coalition of conservation groups, animal welfare organizations, wildlife professionals, veterinarians, hunters, ranchers, several American Indian tribes and residents successfully gathered more than 255,000 signatures to place the issue on the November 2014 ballot.
Even before these signatures could be validated, a small group of anti-wolf forces got a fast-track bill passed that allowed the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to designate wolves as a game species, which it did, and this cannot be overturned by a referendum vote of Michigan citizens.
A series of investigations subsequently revealed that the information used by the anti-wolf forces was based heavily on lies and made up stories.
A leading sponsor of the law that led to the current slaughter of the wolves which is now occurring in Michigan finally apologized for including a fictional account in a resolution urging Congress to strip federal protection from gray wolves. His belated admission should be heeded now: "A decision here of whether or not we use sound science to manage wolves, as with all decisions this body makes, should not be based on emotions, agendas or innuendo, but rather on facts."
A Furbearer Specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources admitted that he spoke falsely when he claimed on Michigan Radio that wolves in the Upper Peninsula were becoming unmanageable and people were seeing wolves “showing up in backyards, wolves showing up on porches, wolves staring at people through their sliding glass doors when they’re pounding on it, exhibiting no fear…”
Further, investigation revealed that 96 out of 120 animals claimed to have been killed by wolves were by a single farmer who had used poor husbandry, illegal practices, and intentionally “failed to use non-lethal wolf deterrent means" – including fencing and guard donkeys worth $ 4,000 the Michigan Department of Natural Resources had provided to him.
It is now in your hands to ensure this same type of catastrophe does not occur throughout our country-- sound science, rather than politics and those who play fast and loose with the truth, should decide this issue.

Please Care2 wolf lovers, copy and submit this or do something similar.
 

Roxy H. (340)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:35 pm
Beautiful! passing on Gladly
 

Richard S. (190)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:36 pm
Just horrible.
 

Christine Stewart (131)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:43 pm
I can understand killing a wolf that is attacking your livestock, but there is no justification to randomly kill wolves and pretend they are doing something constructive...
 

Victoria D. (1)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:51 pm
The first paragraph of my comment to the USFWS didn't copy here. Here it is:
The management of wolves cannot be left to the states because it is all too likely that politics and dishonesty will prevail over truth and sound practices. What recently happened in Michigan provides an example of this type of disaster:
 

Roxy H. (340)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 6:52 pm
Dec 2nd they are planning on Opening Dogs on Wolves in Wisconsin, for sport and thrill killing. This is nothing short of dog fighting in the USA, where is the outrage to this? I do not understand why no one is helping protest this? And it is happening here, in my backyard, I am an animal rights activists. Does anyone understand how this affects me and my family? Wisconsin is under attack by the people in the DNR and Gov. Walker and we need to over throw this admin somehow. Please learn from this, if nothing else. Learn from this state. Please.
 

Rhonda W. (390)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 7:14 pm
This is uncalled for. We need to put a stop to it. Noted
 

Tanya W. (45)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 8:10 pm
Noted Roxy & hoping & praying for salvation for out wolf family.
 

Ben B. (39)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:02 pm
Open hunting, even in limited numbers, doesn't appear to be called for. It's not as if wolves are in plague proportions. The previously carefully monitored, permit system to target the odd wolf caught in the act of taking livestock, seemed to work o.k. with stock loses dropping significantly and wolf numbers maintained. Hunting for sport is a blood sport without any justification at all.
 

Julia R. (288)
Saturday November 16, 2013, 9:24 pm
Noted with great sadness! This hunt isn't scientific management! This is only a guise so that the trophy hunters can shoot wolves and try to deceive the public into thinking that it is. It is such a shame that the political appointees with close links to hunting groups rather than biologists on the DNR are making the decisions! It will not just be 43 wolves that are tragically killed since wolves rely so much on family units and on each other in the pack to survive. Since many of the members in family units will perish as a result of this hunt, it will be much more than 43 that are killed! Shame on Michigan and this very unnecessary and unethical wolf hunt! Thanks Roxy.
 

Gysele van Santen (209)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 12:38 am
no. but mankind doesn't know what it means to co-exist w/animals. a lot of ppl couldn't care less what happens to our beautiful wolves.
 

. (0)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 1:03 am
𝖚𝖓𝖇𝖊𝖑𝖎𝖊𝖛𝖆𝖇𝖑𝖊, 𝖘𝖔 𝖘𝖆𝖉 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝖙𝖍𝖊 𝖜𝖔𝖑𝖛𝖊𝖘!! 𝖙𝖍𝖆𝖓𝖐𝖘 𝖗𝖔𝖝𝖞!
 

Danuta Watola (1181)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 1:30 am
noted
 

(8)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 3:59 am
Tuer n'est jamais nécessaire.
 

Ruth S. (314)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 6:18 am
I agree Gysele van Santen.
 

Ana R (220)
Sunday November 17, 2013, 9:44 am
Rhetorical question for me but the human race will always find "good" excuse how to camouflage the fear, greed...
noted with hope
Thank you, Roxy.
 

Roxy H. (340)
Monday November 18, 2013, 12:00 am
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