The Fight Over Hunting Wolves in Michigan Continues

Wolf Packs
The Fight Over Michigan Wolves
Glen Wunderlich
Glen Wunderlich

Michigan-(Ammoland.com)- To the dismay of animal-rights extremists, Michigan’s House of Representatives voted 69-39 last week to authorize the state to define wolves as a game species . If this seems like deja vu, there’s a simple explanation: It is!

This is the fourth time state legislators have addressed wolf-hunting laws.

What has prompted this round of political football relates to a recent ruling by the state appeals court declaring the current law unconstitutional because an attached provision providing free hunting licenses to military members was deemed not to be related to scientifically managing wildlife.

Just how we arrived at such a precarious juncture in this Wolf mess is worth recalling.

Michigan completed a Wolf Recovery and Management Plan in December 1997, which was revised in 2008. The Michigan plan recommends managing for a minimum of 200 wolves on the Upper Peninsula. The DNR’s goal is to ensure the wolf population remains viable and above a level that would require either federal or state reclassification as a threatened or endangered species.

This sensible plan, however, was rejected by an asinine federal court ruling that placed western Great Lakes states gray wolves back on the endangered species list in 2014, even though agreed-upon recovery goals have been far exceeded. This decision is being appealed.

While the issue of hunting wolves remains in limbo in our region, Michigan’s legislature has paved the way to manage its wolf population according to sound science with the same sustainability that has been built in with every other game animal hunted.

The elephant in the room is the struggle between unaffected voters and those citizens living with the devastating effects of wolf conflicts with livestock and companion/hunting dogs. Never will the residents of the sparsely populated Upper Peninsula garner enough votes to overcome the fallacies of city-slicker voters; if wolves roamed the streets of Detroit, sentiment would certainly be different.

The plight of our Upper Peninsula residents would not be unlike that of our nation, had our forefathers not had the insight to adopt the Electoral College. James Madison worried about what he called “factions,” which he defined as groups of citizens who have a common interest in some proposal that would either violate the rights of other citizens or would harm the nation as a whole. Madison’s fear – which Alexis de Tocqueville later dubbed “the tyranny of the majority” – was that a faction could grow to encompass more than 50 percent of the population, at which point it could “sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.”

Little does all of this matter to groups like the Humane Society of the United States, which supports no hunting whatsoever because it views the lives of animals as being equal to that of humans.

Senator, Tom Casperson, an Escanaba Republican who sponsored two earlier wolf hunting laws overturned by voters in 2014 following petition drives largely backed by the Humane Society of the United States had this to say:

“We didn’t have the money to counter, but we still have the problem up there,” Capserson said last week, referencing fears of human safety and livestock attacks in the Upper Peninsula, home to all of the state’s estimated 618 wolves. “It’s severe. Something’s going to happen one way or another.”

“Anti-hunting extremists will never accept a hunt for wolves, no matter how much damage the species does to other wildlife, livestock or pets,” said Evan Heusinkveld, president and CEO of the Sportsmen’s Alliance.

Hats off to the brave politicians who understand the misdirected enemies of common sense.

About Glen Wunderlich:

Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM).

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Norm Mackey
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Norm Mackey

See if you can add and subtract: Subtract two wolves from a pack of 6 in an area and you get not a litter of pups per 6 wolves, but a litter from the four remaining and likely a litter from a pair that moves into the freed up wolf territory as well, now two litters per the same number of wolves in the same area. Oops! I suspect your brain shut down just now when you realized how stupid this makes sport hunting wolves as “management”, didn’t it? You just lost your ability to add and subtract? And likely… Read more »

Colonialgirl
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Colonialgirl

SHOOT, SHOVEL and SHUT UP !!!

BJI
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BJI

EXACTLY, CG!!!

E g secondamendment supporter
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E g secondamendment supporter

You anti hunting people are a strange strange bunch. Your lets inject a deer to stop breeding. That blew up in your faces didnt it. Morons. Hey everyone ask these anti hunting bunch what happened. You have no idea what your doing do you. When the wolfs population gets out of control l would like to hear just what would you do to keep the numbers down you know add and subtract simple. Hunting has been around since the begining of time. You simpletons will never get it. I live in the country and when the population gets out of… Read more »

Jo blow
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Jo blow

You hunters have half the brain of the wolf. Anyone who derives pleasure from killing is a psycho! Deer were on the verge of extinction back in the 1930s. The only reason you all still have something to shoot at is because of hunting laws put in place by educated people.

The Rifleman
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The Rifleman

Adam. You are absolutely right about that. My questions is, can a person legally shoot these wolves if they (be it one or many) attack their live stock or personal pets?

Adam
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Adam

An excellent reminder to always support your LOCAL Human Society shelter and not HSUS itself.

Only an insignificant portion of the HSUS budget goes to helping the shelter animals featured in their ads.