RELEASE: Anti-Hunting Group Cries Wolf Over Wolf Management Law

LANSING –The president of one of the most radical animal rights organizations in the country popped up in Lansing Tuesday to announce a coalition circulating a petition to put PA 520 of 2012 – also known as the Wolf Management Law – on the 2014 ballot as a referendum.

Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States (not to be confused with your local animal shelter), said the thought of wolves being trapped or hunted “really appalls” him during a press conference at the Capitol. The coalition calls itself “Keep Michigan Wolves Protected” and seeks to collect 225,000 signatures by the end of March to put the referendum on the 2014 ballot. If it collects enough signatures, Public Act 520 would be placed on the ballot in November of 2014. Pacelle was also quoted in MIRS News as saying, “Our hope is if we can win here in Michigan, we can address the . . . killing of wolves in other states as well.”

“While it’s no surprise that a Washington-based anti-hunter feels ‘appalled’ at the thought of an animal being hunted in Michigan, we make wildlife management decisions based on sound science, not emotion,” said Tony Hansen, Chief Information Officer of Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC). “The Humane Society of the United States is just another out-of-state interest group trying to hijack Michigan’s ballot to push its radical animal rights agenda.”

PA 520 added wolves to the list of game species, which allows the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to create a limited public hunting season (the law does not itself create a season). The NRC is mandated to use sound science in making wildlife management decisions, and both it and the DNR have committed to following the Wolf Management Plan, which was approved in 2008 and is the basis for the federal government’s decision to turn wolf management authority over to the state.

The Wolf Management Plan authorized the use of public hunting as a management tool when wolf densities are linked to human-wolf conflicts such as livestock or pet depredation. During a presentation to the NRC in earlier this month, the DNR provided data showing a correlation between the increase in wolf densities and livestock depredation in some areas of the U.P., despite the availability of other control measures.

“The animal rights groups claim that there simply isn’t enough data or science available to determine whether wolves can sustain a hunting season,” said Erin McDonough, Executive Director of MUCC. “That’s precisely what the Wolf Management Law provides — it allows the NRC to do its job which is to manage wildlife populations based on the best available science. The NRC has not set any sort of wolf hunting season. It is coordinating efforts within the DNR to provide the very data and science that the anti-hunting groups claim doesn’t exist.”

Founded in 1937, MUCC is the largest statewide conservation organization in the nation and is dedicated to uniting citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.

VIDEO: Anti-Hunting Initiative Kicks Off in Lansing

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  • Tony

    As a resident of the UP, a hunter, commercial forest owner and driver – Thank God we have wolves back to maintain and protect a healthy and reduced deer herd. I can’t grow white cedar, hemlock, white pine or numerous other trees and plants because the DNR won’t bring the deer herd down to a reasonable size. Visitors ask if that is the high water level they see across the lake – no, it is the deer browse line, and they are doing the same thing in the woods that they are doing on the shoreline. I pay increased insurance rates and have paid for vehicle damage because the DNR won’t manage the deer herd except to please the selfish hunting crowd (which isn’t all hunters). People are injured and killed because the DNR wants to sell deer hunting licenses. I oppose a wolf kill season because we need the balance as the only hope that we can have a healthy and smaller deer herd that won’t act like cattle, but instead are a really wild herd is at least somewhat in harmony with their role in our northwoods. Wolves will control their own numbers (take a look at the Isle Royale packs), so if the Legislature and Governor aren’t smart enough to know the truth, I’ll bet the voters will be better educated on the issues and will stop the ridiculous idea of a wolf kill. A Common Sense Yooper!

    • John2013

      Based on the numbers of deer taken by wolves in a given year, (supposedly <25,000) they actually will have very little impact on the over all deer population. If you want the UP deer herd reduced I guess you should pray for snow.

    • rangerrick

      I’m glad to hear a voice of reason on this issue.

  • dennis

    Have no knowledge on what needs or does not need to be done regarding wolfs in Michigan . The only thing on this one is to defeat HSUS no matter what they are trying to do . Remember the dove season ? Doves then wolves then deer then tukeys ,ETC.

  • Brad

    Wayne Pacelle should be forced to live with his family and pets in the UP along side the wolves for a few years and see then what he thinks of a wolf hunt. I thought Proposal G put a stop this kind of bs. Why don’t we put our own proposal on the ballot that stops all future wildlife decisions from being decided by a ballet.

    • B-K

      get it started so we can put a stop to the people who do not know what is really going on

  • LIFE


    • David Lawrence

      YES! Nuisances!

  • DavidAPierce

    Wolves may have a place in MI., but not at the expense of the safety of the children, pets and livestock in the U.P.

    • Tony

      Deer may have a place in MI, but not at the expense of the safety and property of people. Nearly 200 people die each year in this country because of deer/auto accidents, and billions of $ of injuries and property damage – but the NRC won’t use science when it comes to managing deer. And they won’t use science to manage wolves, regardless what MUCC says. I’m not a radical on any side, except in support of our Constitution. Let the voters decide – it is a right in our State Constitution

    • Wolf Supporter

      A person living in “wolf country” has a greater chance of being killed by the neighbor’s dog than injured by a wolf. Livestock depredation is relatively low 38% of all depredation in 2012 was at one farm – although there have been a few pets killed by wolves, most could have been avoided had the owner been more vigilant.

  • Dave

    I am a life long hunter and sportsman. However I oppose the PA 520, the killing of wolves. I can think of no reason why wolves should be hunted given their small population, and should be continued as an endangered species.

    • Robert Whitaker

      Dave the idea is to study to posibilty of a Wolf hunt, not kill all of them. any wolf hunt would be very limited. It designed to keep the animals in accord with the habitat and available food.

      • wolf supporter

        Well, Robert…if it is designed to keep wolves in accord with their habitat and available food, then the wolf population should be allowed to grow to 900-1200 animals.

    • rangerrick

      well said Dave !

  • TB

    We don’t we an out of state, out of touch radical from Washington to tell our NRC how to manage our wildlife. There is not only a healthy wolf population but now there are cougars also. You can’t compare Isle Royale with the UP wolf packs. There will be new recruitment of other wolves from neighboring states if our population declines. That doesn’t happen on Isle Royale.

    • Kristi Lloyd

      What out of state radical? Washington, DC is the reason there are ANY wolf hunts. What is your point with Isle Royale? Neighboring state’s wolf populations are going down as well due to hunting. What point are you trying to make?

  • John2013

    This issue actually has very little to do with wolves. This is an attempt by the HSUS to prevent Michigan from managing wolves based on science. No one is proposing the extermination of our wolf populations. The intent is that they will be managed based on the best available science for the balance and benefit of all of our natural resources. Unless Michigan’s conservationist community pulls together and defeats this initiative, the HSUS will use it as a rallying point and fund raising issue for a series of attacks on science-based wildlife management in Michigan. The pattern they have used in California, Washington, Florida, etc. will be played out here as they strip away our privileges one at a time. Remember the Dove Bill? Do you think the Anti’s would be trying this if Michigan’s Sporting Community had rallied and defeated that effort? They have lost in court in every state they have tried, so now they will try going to a divided, uneducated, and disconnected populace. It is up to Michigan’s Sporting Community to fight back in a united manner, or risk losing the sports we love. As Ben Franklin once said, “We must hang together or we shall most assuredly hang separately.”

  • Jim C

    The question should be WHYdoes PETA and HSUS and other out of state groups have any say in how we manage our natural resources.They dont live here so how do they have any knowlage of how much damage overpopulation of these major preditors will create to other forms of wildlife ,livestock ,pets and HUMANS.

  • Carl Schardt

    Once again Detroit and it’s suburbs will decide what happens in the rest of the state.

  • rangerrick

    wolves DO NOT take away the safety of Children and in most cases pets and livestock. Pets are in danger from many more things and livestock suffer from many other treatments…

    • Robert Whitaker

      rangerrick, your just wrong in your thinking. a wolf is a predator and will eat a young child as easily as a rabbit or your neighbors dog. They are also one of only a very few wild animals in North America that will prey on humans. This is a fact.

      • rangerrick

        there is no death from wolf in the lower 48…that is a Fact

        • Robert Creek

          And there won’t be a single wolf killed in the LP either!

      • rangerrick

        there is no death from wolf in the lower 48…that’s a Fact…..

      • Krys

        In the last 60 years there have been only 2 deaths related to wolves in mainland US.

        • Kristi Lloyd

          Actually one was in AK and the other was in Canada. NO deaths by wolves in the lower 48 in that time frame.

  • Jim

    If you see someone with these petitions, please take the form and write BITE ME in place of your name. Just a thought.

  • Crunchman

    I am so tried of people in government and the city telling me how i can live my life and protect my family. We live with these wolf’s hunting a few each yr won’t make them instinct. But it will put a fear of humans and they need that.

  • Mark

    Could Michigan residents start a petition to keep the Wolf Management Law as it stands?

  • Robert Creek

    Good reporting, MUCC………..but……….why don’t you talk about what we are going to do about it? We manage using sound science (….only if it is not put on a ballot and subjected to the emotional whims of the general public). I challenge MUCC to go one step beyond this. Put together an action plan so we can stop the anti’s in their tracks. What is our strategy? Sit back and let it happen like Doves? Your job is to protect our interests…..and I look fowrard to knowing the MUCC strategy to counteract this offensive!

  • butch

    I stopped hunting in the U.P.when I started seeing wolves instead of deer.

  • rangerrick

    since hunters don’t eat wolf, it is not wolf hunting, but wolf killing.

  • Bob Krueger

    to bad he don*t live in the upper or lower where the wolves are feeding on the wild and tame animals for food or pleasure or killing!

  • Laz

    We let coyote’s get way out of control and now we have a serious problem with them in almost every county in the state of Michigan. I sure would not like to see this happen with the wolf population. Let the DNR manage the wolf population as the science dictates. The National organization of the Humane Society needs to stay out of Michigan hunting and put their money toward helping the local animal shelters rescue animals.

  • a Michigan sportsman

    Here’s a ‘tidbit’ I thought I’d share- as opposed to replying to those who can’t bring themselves to accept the DNR’s process of SCIENTIFIC decision making:

    If you can take the time to do a little of your own investigation you will find that ‘hsus’ is also anti-gun, anti-hunting, anti-agriculture (in many cases), and would prefer no one eat meat- PERIOD. If you are a supporter of ‘hsus’, then you are basically ANTI-DNR as well. The wolf population far exceeds what the SCIENTIFIC study originally determined to be a healthy balance. Do you prefer the practice of ‘the three s’s’ ? I can’t help but reflect on the issue of the ‘Cormorant’ that took too long to resolve.

    • Tony

      The best that you can say about the DNR/NRC is that they use selective science – which allows the outcome they want based on the science they select. The reports about the NRC indicate that the only info they have asked for is wolf census data and info and costs of wolf depredation. Interesting but selective. Why not include the value of wolves as a way to regulate beaver, deer or boar populations to improve natural resources?
      What if they determined the appropriate deer population based upon the cost to society to maintain high deer populations. Agricultural and forest impacts/costs, car/deer accidents and associated human death, injury, property damage and insurance costs, etc.

      The reason they don’t ask for this scientific info. is that they don’t want to base their decisions on full info. Just selective science.
      Why are wolves “game” but not robins, loons, eagles, warblers, etc. Science? Get real!
      And right now, Senator Casperson is pushing SB 78 which will direct the DNR and NRC not to use science when managing public lands. Damn, there goes your lie that you are using science to manage resources.

      • Rork1

        I’m mostly worried about what Tony is writing about.
        And I’m in doubt: perhaps mechanisms to kill wolves without hunting are enough to adequately manage wolf/human conflicts.
        If that happens to actually be true, do I trust DNR/NRC to hold off on wolf hunts for a few more years while we study it more – maybe not.

  • Wolf Supporter

    I am very disappointed with MUCC. It is MUCC that has sadly become an extremist group. We have less than 700 wolves in the U.P. Can you imagine the outcry over a hunting season if we only had 700 bears instead of 10000 or deer instead of 270000? Every organization would be howling for protection. Yet, for wolves, lets kill em.

  • Wolf Supporter

    This article fails to mention the non-lethal and lethal measures already permitted under the current wolf management plan, including landowner permits that allow producers who have had prior depredations, to kill wolves on sight. In adddition, wolves can be killed in the act of attacking pets or livestock.

  • Tony Dawson

    Tony Dawson
    Put and Take, Thats whats going on here.
    Let the NRC decide how to handle this.
    They done killed all the deer.