Wolf hunt opponents plan to be out in force this weekend making a final push to collect signatures for a petition to put the wolf hunt question on the November ballot.
Jill Fritz is the director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign. She admits they don’t know yet how many signatures they’ve collected so far.
“We won’t really know until we start to count them on March 5,” says Fritz. “But we do anticipate turning in enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.”
That would mean two referendums on the November ballot asking voters to reject state laws authorizing the wolf hunt. Both are intended to challenge a specific state law being used to authorize a wolf hunt.
Hunting groups are circulating their own petition. They hope to leave the future of the wolf hunt exclusively in the hands of state wildlife officials.
State wildlife officials are currently conducting a census of the wolves in the Upper Peninsula. Last winter, state officials estimated there were fewer than 700 wolves in the U.P.
The 2013 wolf hunt had a target of 43 wolves, but only 23 were shot and killed by hunters.