To the editor:
What used to be criminal - killing wolves not directly involved in livestock or dog conflicts- was legalized through forceful acts of Michigan's legislature and governor. The consequence has gone from being fined to getting a trophy, bragging rights and feel-good news coverage. When wolves are killed and taken out of their socially-important packs, the public is subjected to gruesome photos and tall tales alleging heroism. The stories sometimes include embellishment about the danger of being in the wolf's presence and the false claim that removal of the predator will benefit the ecosystem and society.
A successful wolf hunter has, in effect, killed an intelligent and beautiful wild dog, that most likely just wanted to stay as far away from him as possible. Wolves taken in the hunt were never a threat.They were killed for simply being wolves. What's cool or even acceptable about that?
Describing wolf hunting as challenging and difficult is a stretch, when baiting, predator calls and howling for wolves have been allowed from the get-go. If it's truly difficult, that is because wolves are elusive.
Some states allow wolf hunting with greater severity than Michigan; but remember, we have just gotten started. Already our lawmakers have acted against the will of the people by passing PA 21 to nullify a successful petition drive to put the issue of the wolf as a game animal to a November 2014 vote. Michigan citizens, including many of us in the U.P who value and treasure the presence of wolves, are conducting a second petition drive to repeal PA 21 as well. If that does not succeed, the politically-appointed Natural Resources Commission will continue to have unprecedented power, and there will be no chance for voters to appeal game species designations through referendum, as voters did in 2006 with the mourning dove. For more information go to keepwolvesprotected.com.
Wishing everyone peace and compassion for all of creation, including wolves.
Great Lakes Adviser, Wolfwatcher