Michigan wolf hunting could be back on again after lame-duck session.
A hunting season for gray wolves could be back on the books after the Michigan senate passed Senate Bill 1187 in a lame duck session on December 8.
The bill doesn’t open the doors for a wolf hunting right away. It still needs to get through the house and a signature from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder before the end of the year.
There’s also still the matter of gray wolves still being under federal protection. But the bill does allow for wildlife managers to open up a season if those federal protections are ever dropped.
And there have been plenty of pushes in recent years for those federal protections to be removed. Michigan is just one of several states where lawmakers and other groups have been battling hard to open up the animals to hunting.
But there are also like “Keep Michigan Wolves Protected,” fighting for the protection of the animals. “It’s disappointing that these legislators can have such contempt for what their own constituents want,” Jill Fritz, the leader of that group told Mlive.com. “It’s up to the House to do it differently.”
It seems her group has the popular opinion in the state. Voters rejected proposed laws for a wolf hunt back in 2014. Democratic Senator Rebekah Warren told Mlive.com she feels the will of the people needs to be heard on this issue.
But there have also been those who have argued the majority of Michigan residents living in the more populous southern parts of the state don’t deal with the same wolf-related problems residents of the more sparsely-populated northern and Upper Peninsula parts of the state do.
This is something that Republican Senator Tom Casperson, who introduced the bill on December 1, has argued. The Upper Peninsula is where the majority of Michigan’s wolf population is said to live. There’s an estimated 618 wolves there according to Mlive.com.
“Quite frankly, this entire issue needs to really be addressed in Washington,” Casperson told Mlive.com. “Congress needs to deal with it. I believe they will deal with it and this problem will go away.”
For now it seems, Michigan residents will have to wait and see if a lot of pieces fall firmly into place before hunting of wolves becomes a thing in the Great Lakes State again.