At last week’s meeting of the Natural Resources Commission in Saginaw, commissioners requested that Department of Natural Resources staff prepare (for information only, at the April 11 meeting) a formal recommendation regarding a wolf hunting season in Michigan.

Upon the December 2012 classification of wolves as a game species, the NRC directed the DNR’s Wildlife Division to undertake a multi-faceted approach to developing a recommendation on whether a wolf hunt should take place, as well as the parameters of such a season.

“Interest in this decision is, understandably, very high throughout Michigan,” said John Madigan, of Munising, who serves as chairman of the NRC’s Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries. “We are continuing to look at various data and information and work with the DNR, other wildlife experts and the public in order to come to the best science- and management-based decision about the possible harvest of wolves in our state.”

Madigan said the NRC intends to bring in out-of-state wolf experts to meet with his policy committee in May.

In the meantime, DNR staff and NRC commissioners are participating in public and tribal wolf meetings around the state; meetings have already taken place in Ironwood, Marquette and St. Ignace. This week, public meetings are scheduled (from 6 to 8 p.m., local time) on:

  • Tuesday, March 19, at Wisconsin Street Hall, 610 S. Wisconsin, Gaylord
  • Thursday, March 21, at the Lansing Center, Room 201, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

The 2008 Wolf Management Plan will serve as an important guidance tool for the meetings and for any season recommendation and parameters. Additionally, DNR staff is compiling an analysis of historic wolf-damage complaints; this analysis will inform the recommendation.

At its May meeting, the NRC, after appropriate consideration of all of the information it has received including the recommendations of the DNR staff, will consider whether to authorize a wolf hunting season.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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