Michigan’s top wildlife officials were briefed today on last year’s controversial wolf hunt.
23 wolves were killed during the seven-week hunt. That’s well below the target of 43 wolves.
Adam Bump is the point man on wolves for the Department of Natural Resources. He delivered the briefing to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission. Bump says the DNR will take the next several months to evaluate how to improve future hunts.
“Obviously, when you have a target harvest of 43 and an actual harvest of 23, you didn’t meet that objective of the number of animals you were hoping to take in those areas,” says Bump.
Bump says a final report on the wolf hunt may be complete by June.
The future of wolf hunts in Michigan may depend on two petition drives.
In one, animal rights groups are trying to challenge the law authorizing the hunt. The other is being circulated by hunters trying to keep the wolf hunt going.
Hunt supporters contend wolves are threatening livestock and pets in the Upper Peninsula and need to be controlled.
Hunt opponents say the threat is overblown. They add the wolf population in the U.P. is fragile and hunting may damage the animal’s ability to continue to recover. Until recently, the Gray wolf was on the endanger species list.