Michigan’s wolf hunt begins November 15 in three distinct units in the Upper Peninsula. According to the DNR, these units were designed around areas of chronic wolf-human conflict where other methods of controlling that conflict have proven ineffective.
The 2013 wolf season will run until the target harvest for each Wolf Management Unit (WMU) is reached, but no later than December 31. The bag limit is one wolf per person per year. Firearm, crossbow and bow-and-arrow hunting will be allowed on public and private lands. A total of 1,200 licenses were sold, and no additional licenses are available.
The three designated Wolf Management Units are:
- WMU A in Gogebic County in the far western Upper Peninsula – target harvest of 16 wolves;
- WMU B in portions of Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton and Ontonagon counties – target harvest of 19 wolves; and
- WMU C in portions of Luce and Mackinac counties – target harvest of eight wolves
Hunters are required to report successful harvest over the phone on the day of harvest. Once the target harvest is met for a management unit, the entire unit will be closed for the season. Licensed hunters will be required to check daily by phone or online (www.michigan.gov/wolves) to determine whether any management units have been closed.
Successful hunters must present the carcass to a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) check station within 72 hours of harvest. DNR staff members will seal the pelt and collect a tooth, female reproductive tracts and harvest location information.
Michigan’s wolf population has grown significantly since 2000, with a current minimum winter population estimate of 658. The target harvest is not expected to affect the overall wolf population trajectory, based on published scientific research.
This limited public harvest has been implemented to help reduce conflicts by targeting removal of wolves from packs with a history of conflict. The hunt may also change behavior of wolves in the hunt units – making them more wary of people, residential areas and farms – and reduce the abundance of wolves in these management areas that have experienced chronic problems.
To learn more about the state’s wolf population and Wolf Management Plan, visit www.michigan.gov/wolves.