In response to Ms. Warren’s letter of December 15; I would state that wolves are opportunistic predators, and contrary to what some believe, they do not kill only the sick and the old. A wolf will kill any prey it comes across, whether sick or not and a wolf will kill any time the opportunity presents itself.
I do not believe the DNR intends to support any type of wolf hunting or trapping season. Watch “Ask the DNR” on our local PBS station when a call comes in on wolf management; DNR personnel refuse to acknowledge that the wolves play a detrimental role in the reduction of the deer herd. In articles in this paper, DNR personnel refuse to recognize the same. Meanwhile, they maintain that the wolves in the U.P. are having minimal effect on livestock.
If this is true, can someone answer this simple question; research in other states suggest a wolf needs to consume about 20 deer per year just to maintain itself, if the wolves aren’t eating deer and aren’t eating livestock, what the hell are they eating to survive?
Follow the 1997 Michigan Gray Wolf Recovery and Management Plan as I had suggested on December 11; that is the plan that was suppose to be followed from the start. We have way more than 700 wolves in the U.P. Those were the numbers being touted years ago, does anyone that has spent anytime in the woods believe the wolf population has not increased significantly in the last several years? Wolves are all over the entire U.P today.
In Ms. Warren’s letter she suggests that wolves should be managed but there is no need for hunting or trapping. If that is the case, how do you propose we manage them? If we should manage them on sound scientific principles, let us look to countries that have a long-term history of dealing with the wolf population like Canada. They manage them by incorporating a hunting and trapping season. They keep the wolf population in check and at the same time maintain a strong big game population all across Canada. Shouldn’t we do the same?
In closing, people are entitled to their opinion but when people propose that wolves in the U.P. help maintain a healthy deer population, that is false, they have devastated the deer population in many parts of the U.P. Along with that comes the economic impact felt by local business that count on the hunting community. As for me, I side with the local business people and the deer; not the wolves. It’s long overdue that we have a hunting and trapping season on the wolf in the U.P. Do I have much faith in the state achieving this? No. I feel we’ll only see significant movement on this issue when the wolf establishes itself below the bridge and starts decimating the elk population in the Pigeon River area. When that occurs, you’ll see action.
Perry R. Lund