Wolves have been protected in Michigan for almost 50 years after they were hunted to the brink of extinction. Even after four decades of protection, there are fewer than 700 wolves in the entire state. However, despite the population's fragile status, some politicians rushed to open a sport hunting season for wolves - opening the door for the same practices that virtually wiped out the entire wolf population in the first place.
Wolves are often hunted via the cruelest and most unsporting methods of killing - including painful steel-jawed leghold traps where animals suffer for hours or even days, shooting wolves over piles of bait, aerial gunning from helicopters, and even using packs of dogs to chase down and kill wolves.
Facts on Wolves
|Q: What is a wolf?|
|A: Wolves are an icon of the wilderness.
These 100+ lb animals live in packs and have common ancestors with dogs. Wolves hunt all year long in order to feed their big families. They often take the weak and sick, and leave behind the strong and healthy. They feed others, because there are often lots of leftovers from their feasts. Wolves control the numbers of their prey, so huge population explosions don't happen, and that means there is enough food energy to go around.
|Q: What is so special about wolves?|
|Q: Are wolves dangerous to human safety?|
|A: There has never been a recorded wolf attack on a human in Michigan. Wolves are afraid of people and do all they can to avoid them. Although wolves are predators, they pose no threat to public safety. An irrational fear of wolves should not drive the trophy hunting of these majestic creatures.|
|Q: Do wolves attack and kill livestock and pets?|
|A: Though cases of wolves killing livestock are rare (fewer than 8% of ranches have experienced depredation), our wolf management policy gives property owners the legal authority to protect their livestock and dogs. Opening a sporthunting season on wolves is unnecessary because there is already a way to deal with wolves that kill livestock or dogs. Allowing the killing of the animals just for sport will accomplish nothing. A combination of state and private funding compensates ranchers for any livestock losses from wolves. Allowing a wolf hunt will do nothing to solve conflicts between property owners and wolves.|
|Q: Do people eat wolves?|
|A: No - wolves would be hunted only for trophies, and it means killing rare animals for no good purpose. Wolf hunting could mean allowing the same extreme practices that nearly wiped out this majestic species: painful steel-jawed leghold traps, the use of packs of dogs to chase down and kill wolves, and shooting them point-blank over piles of bait.|