The hunting of wolves has been a contentious issue over the past few years—at least in the regions where the canines happen to roam. As Dave Campbell noted, Wyoming only opened a season up last fall. Today we'll be discussing Michigan, which is the latest state to run into a spot of trouble.
This past May, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that effectively paved the way for an eventual wolf season in his state's Northern Peninsula. According to a report from the Detroit Free Press, however, a group of Animal Rights Activists struck back earlier today by launching a petition to repeal the law, which was passed by the State Legislature. They hope that the petition will drum up enough support to sway things in their favor when the issue next goes to vote in Nov. 2014.
The original bill—which granted the state's Natural Resources Commission with the power to determine game species and hunting seasons without continual State Legislature oversight—was fiercely contested by a group of petitioners, with help from the Humane Society of the United States. It passed anyway, and a short, heavily monitored hunting season was set for this coming December. The season will be capped at 43 wolves, and will be held from Dec. 15 to 31.
The season will only be open in three of the state's northern most counties, where locals have repeatedly reported wolf attacks on their livestock and pets.
For the most part, the story's cut and dry: Like a number of states before it, Michigan is trying to tentatively open up a wolf season, and is being met with the inevitable resistance of HSUS. What I found entertaining, though, was the quote HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle offered up in the predator's defense:
“Wolves are an economic and ecological boon for the state of Michigan. They’re a tourist draw.”
I'm still waiting for HSUS to provide some sort of evidence that people are flocking to Michigan's Northern Peninsula to see... wolves. I've seen folks trash hunting for a lot of different reasons (each effort as misguided as the last), but I don't think I've ever heard the "They're making the state money!" argument.
You see something new everyday, I suppose.