Once again wildlife officials are out on rumor patrol, putting to rest speculation that a massive gray wolf had been harvested in Michigan. This image of a hunter and a very large wolf appeared recently on social media along with the description that it had been taken near Clare, Michigan. Officials with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) debunked those rumors on Thursday.

“We’re aware of a photo making its way around social media channels claiming to be a wolf shot and killed near Clare, Michigan,” the DNR stated. “The photo was actually taken at a game ranch in Canada. We appreciate people bringing this to our attention. Because this photo does not depict a Michigan wolf, we ask that people refrain from reporting this photo to the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline. It’s great to have outdoor enthusiasts doing their best to notify us of possible illegal activity, but we’d like to free up our hotline phones for reports of poaching, hunter harassment or other violations, especially as we approach the start of the firearm deer season.”

Wolf hunting is a controversial issue in Michigan, especially after the state held its first wolf  hunting season in 2014. Last December, a federal court ruling returned the state’s wolf population back to the endangered species list—along with wolves in Minnesota, Wyoming, and Wisconsin.

“The federal court decision is surprising and disappointing,” Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division Chief, said at the time. “Wolves in Michigan have exceeded recovery goals for 15 years and have no business being on the endangered species list, which is designed to help fragile populations recover—not to halt the use of effective wildlife management techniques.”

Although the DNR protested the decision, the state is required to halt wolf hunting until the species is once again off the list. Therefore, the harvest of such a massive wolf in Michigan would not only be shocking, but possibly illegal as well. Several lawmakers are currently working to overturn the federal court decision, including Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) who recently introduced a bill to remove the wolf from the endangered species list for the Great Lakes region and prevent federal courts from putting it back on the list.

Image from Twitter

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  • Andreas

    Some people call this pic fake egen i shareing IT.is IT?

  • Dan

    Disgusting!

  • NorthernMichiganBoy

    Nothing surprises me what is on social media. Some people have nothing else to do I guess but cause problems. As far as the wolf population in Michigan, the DNR doesn’t really know. Wolves cross with coyotes. That’s a very well known fact now. And the Michigan DNR knows that because of a den that was found in Cheboyan County, Mi. The Michigan DNR said it was a wolf at first and then did a DNA sampling . Decided the animals were cross coyotes and wolf!!!!!…..So how does the DNR know what is actually a wolf or a coy wolf!!!!..I would of thought the Wildlife Chief would of mentioned that. Only DNA sampling will be postive proof.

  • NorthernMichiganBoy

    I guess some people have nothing else to do except put nonsense on social media. Anyone with common sense would know it isn’t true.
    I am surprised the comments the Michigan Wildlife Chief made though, the Michigan DNR doesn’t know how many wolves are in Michigan. He is playing politics. The Michigan DNR knows for fact that wolves cross breed with coyotes. What was thought by the DNR to be a den of wolves in Cheyboyan County, Michigan several years ago turned out to be a cross wolf and coyote. There is even a documentary program on these cross breeds. The range is huge. Only DNA sampling of the animal will tell, not by seeing one. So how can someone know the animal is an wolf! Not by sight.
    The Federal Judge made a very good desicision I believe..Any problem animals can taken care by Wildlife Services of the Dept of Ag. Which have staff that specializes in wildlife services. The defunct Wolf Hunt in Michigan was nothing but a bunch of politics. I am a supporter of the DNR, but on this issue the DNR was out of line.