DNR: Farm losses not primary reason for wolf hunt

A western Upper Peninsula farmer's heavy livestock losses are not the primary reason for the first wolf hunt in Michigan since the animal was placed on the endangered species list nearly four decades ago, officials said Friday.
AP Wire
Nov 9, 2013

 

About 1,200 hunters have purchased tags authorizing their participation in the hunt, which begins Nov. 15. A total of 43 wolves can be killed in three sections of the U.P., where Department of Natural Resources officials say there have been a large number of complaints about the predator. The state's wolf population is estimated at 658.

Opponents contend the DNR's numbers have been skewed by a high number of attacks on cattle owned by John Koski, who operates two farms in Ontonagon County. MLive.com reported this week he owned 122 of the 248 cattle that were killed or injured by wolves since 1996, most in the past three years.

"We do not center the hunts around that one farm," DNR biologist Brian Roell said in a phone news conference. "There's no one farm or one incident that drove any part of developing" the zones where wolf hunting will be permitted.

Wolves in Michigan and most other states had disappeared by the time they were declared an endangered species in 1974, making it illegal to kill them unless they threatened human life. They began returning to the Upper Peninsula in the late 1980s and rapidly multiplied.

By 1999, their numbers had exceeded 200 for five consecutive years, the threshold for declaring them recovered. But lawsuits blocked the federal government's efforts to remove them from the list until last year.

A state management plan identifies hunting as a way to deal with problem wolves in places where non-lethal methods fail, said Adam Bump, the DNR's furbearing animal specialist.

"We identified three areas where we couldn't resolve conflicts in a satisfactory way with the tools we had," he said. "We felt it was appropriate to recommend a limited season" in those zones, one of which includes Koski's farms.

Koski contends there are simply too many wolves. Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a group that opposes the hunt, says he hasn't done enough to protect his herds. In an August statement, the group said that when Koski's animals are removed from the total, "the actual amount of livestock losses due to wolves is minimal and cannot justify a wolf hunt."

Comments

Lakota05

And the lies continue and the liars - #senator Tom Casperson from Escanaba.

rajaju

The problem is the association that these so called wolf hunters bring on themselves when they associate wolf killing and other less than savory past behaviors by the same hate groups,has anyone seen the Wisconson Wolf hunters facebook posts , I would suggest that a person should explore the site,two days ago they had a group of hooded men all with guns holding a dead wolf up and making threats,the gore on these posts is amazing,its not about hunting or wolves its political,

“The hero in American political tradition is the man who stands up to the mob -not the mob itself.“
-Conservative commentator Jonah Goldberg Just for the sake of argument, pretend that instead of this be ing 2013, it is 1963. And suppose for a moment that our tristate region is Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, not Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

Imagine that Ku Klux Klansmen - “anonymous“ townsfolk with hoods on their heads -are brazenly partaking in violence against African Americans and white civil rights activists.

The question is: Back then, would you, or I, or any of us, intervene know ing that speaking out isn't socially popular and brings with it certain risks? Would we have the moral resolve to do what's right?
Many people in the day, including weak-spined law enforcement, politicians and clergy, looked the other way, necessitating federal intervention to protect fellow citizens from the racist mob and to uphold laws of the land.

In recent weeks, our region has witnessed some truly sickening acts of personal behavior coming from individuals masquer ading as so-called sportsmen. Their target: wolves.

If you find the KKK analogy offensive, then know it was actually invited by a group of Wyoming wolf killers on the Bridger-Teton National Forest who donned outlaw masks re markably similar to the hoods worn by Klan members 50 years ago in the Deep South.

In a monumental gesture of dumb thinking, they circulated a picture of themselves on Facebook, white sheets concealing their faces as they posed with a dead wolf and clutched an American flag.

Bragging on social media, they attracted swarms of kindred hateand expletive-filled rants (punctuated by poor grammar), directed threatening ly at the federal government, environ mentalists and wolf-loving tourists. Implicit were vows that more wolves would be killed by vigilantes.

This follows another episode in which a Wyomingite recently shot a wolf south of Jackson, strapped the bloodied carcass to the rooftop of his vehicle and parked the rig on Town Square to shock horrified onlookers.

His guide and publicity agent, who notified the News&Guide, is a man who had his outfitting license revoked for poaching a bald eagle because it was eating trout in his pond. The Town Square incident comes in the wake of at least 10 Yellowstone National Park wolves -enormously popular among tourists and important for science -being shot dead when they crossed the park boundary into Montana and Wyoming where “sport“ hunters were waiting.

There's also the Montanan who posted instructions on the Internet for how to poison wolves. And the Idaho trapper who proudly circulated a picture of himself smiling in front of a live, injured and terrified lobo cowering behind him in a trap.
Back in Wyoming, who can forget the snowmobilers who chased down a wolf until the animal collapsed from exhaustion and then drove over it for good measure? These are just a few of many brutish examples.
What's revealing is that no elected official, member of law enforcement or game warden in the three states has said a discouraging word.

Lack of public condemnation of these despicable acts could be misinterpreted as condoning, and condoning resides on the same slippery slope as be ing complicit.

Are these the values that we in the region are trying to teach our young people and is it behavior that should be emulated or denounced?
Let's be clear: This is not how real sportsmen act. Nor does it reflect the spirit of ethical hunting in which wildlife is respected and valued, a lesson taught to our children who are required to take state hunter safety classes.

Still, elected officials, tourism representatives and community leaders (especially multigeneration “native“ citizens of our states) remain meek and mum. Through their silence they embolden the mob mentality, fueling more abominable behavior.

How can governors and congressional delegations act bewildered when citizens in the rest of the country have little faith in the ability of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana to be sound wildlife guardians?
Some may claim there are no parallels between the violence carried out against civil rights activists 50 years ago and the boorish vigilantism of certain wolf killers. But the similarities of ignorance and hateful actions are striking.

They make all of us look bad.
Todd Wilkinson writes his column for the News & Guide every week. He is author of “Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled Planet.“

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horst

rajaju,

How do you go from Wolf hunting to the KKK...YOU"RE an idiot!!!!!

rajaju

No YOU'RE The idiot , the pictures are of men in HOODS,does that ring a bell there KKK,

horst

Stupid people like you making stupid correlations between an animal and a race of people that have suffered at the hands of their oppressors makes you a HUGE IDIOT. Don't try to justify your stupid statement.

rajaju

Calling someone stupid and a idiot for having a different view than yours ,Doesn't that seem like something a hooded bigot would say....how bout it a man called horst

horst

You’re not being called an idiot for your opinion. Your being called and idiot for your KKK analogy. REALLY!!! The wolf hunt to slavery….. wow a bigot….you must be one of those bleeding heart liberals that regress to PERSONAL ATTACKS when you can’t admit you’re wrong or can’t prove a factual point. And yes, I did personally attach you for your comments but I couldn’t begin to print the comments my two “black” work colleagues were saying about your KKK analogy. I should have said you’re “ignorant” (meaning ill-informed) but "idiot" worked better because you not only made the stupid KKK analogy, you tried to explain it and justify it…..I tire of you….have a nice day

rajaju

Again you come up with some fictional black "FRIENDS" to support you,just look in the mirror and try to get a grip on reality,I didn't write that it was from the Wyoming Paper,what a fool,You continue to think I care about you or you're little fox world,grow up this area's changing and you can't stand it,move to Wis with your Republipuke friends you'll be back cause you love telling people what to do

rajaju

I have emails of me asking Mr Bump to attend the meetings for the wolf hunt held in the UP but Mr Bump said I could email them to him,but Safari Club Int was invited , Bear hounders was invited,a whole bunch of anti-wolf but no pro, whats up with that Mr Bump?????sound science

rajaju

The Forum meeting is open to the public to observe. At the meeting we will provide an opportunity for the public to provide written comments. The Forum is comprised of a diverse group of stakeholder organizations.

If you have thoughts you’d like to provide regarding wolf management you can send them to me via email if that is convenient for you.

Adam Bump

Bear and Furbearer Specialist

DNR- Wildlife Division

normmackey

There is no "sound science" behind the wolf hunt. The DNR and NRC, given carte blanche for wolf control for the first time, did not even attempt to try and use their new freedom to manage wolves without a hunt at all. They immediately declared what had worked well in most cases as inferior to destroying wolves at random, to reduce their population based on the "correlation" that with more wolves, more wolf problems tend to occur, and that therefore wolves should be killed at random to reduce problems.

Their preferred correlation theory cannot reduce the problems by more than the percentage of wolves killed, which is incredibly poorer than the results already achieved by deterrence and directed removal of problem wolves. It is a smokescreen for allowing a sport wolf hunt, and nothing more.

The DNR and NRC need to learn the difference between sound science and fraud. They have to know if they actually want to manage wolf density in the areas they mention, that the sport hunt randomly killing wolves out of packs will not reduce the number of pups being born at all, other wolves in the packs will simply take over the reproductive roles, so they will instead be reproducing at a
higher rate per adult wolf.

What they are doing, in effect, is running what in deer would be a pure buck season on the wolf population, removing animals not needed for reproduction and making room for more packs to move in and breed. If they were serious about managing wolves they would remove the smallest, fastest reproducing whole packs, as well as problem wolves. With the same 43 quota they could remove at least 15 or so of the groups and assure immediately that 80 or 100 fewer pups are born in the spring, immediately addressing the "problems".

However, even looking at real wolf biology and their social nature, by all evidence, is utterly taboo. It would mean abandoning the sport hunt they are so eager for, and which hunters and power broker politicians demand. The DNR and NRC insist on pretending wolves are pair-breeding, or polygamous like deer for management purposes, so that they can get their hunt.

The DNR has been very clever in how it cooperates with wolf hate propagandists. While not quite issuing provably false data itself, it has removed that which might contradict their accusations, such as that wolves are damaging the UP deer population. The following web page (still available thanks to the magic of the Internet Archive - Thanks Wayback Machine!), The Impacts of Wolves on Deer in the Upper Peninsula, too graphically showed that this could not be the case: http://web.archive.org/web/20121... , so it was removed from the DNR website just before it could interfere with pressure for the passage of the original wolf hunt bill near the end of 2012.

Later it was replaced with the current http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,16... "The Impacts of Wolves on Deer in the Upper Peninsula" which despite the misleading title does not refer to wolves AT ALL. Censored to delete all the real data, such as the huge number of deer killed by other factors, replaced with vague and generic statements regarding "predators", like "the role of predation is getting more attention by both sportspersons and deer managers", linking to an indeed revealing study about them, in the knowledge most people would not dig deep enough into to find that the study's results were that the coyotes, bears, and bobcats in UP wolf habitat take several times as many deer as the wolves, and that readers would assume the statements actually applied to wolves as the "predators" mentioned.

They thus assured that those reasonble among the "sportspersons", whom the DNR *must* pay attention to, would not be educated by the truth instead of anti-wolf propaganda, "pressure" the DNR to do exactly what the DNR wanted to do in the first place instead of the opposite.

pocodot

Alright, I admit I was not at the top of my 7th grade math class but why issue 1200 tags for "a total of 43 wolves that can be taken"? How do you regulate 1200 sportsman in the 3 sections of forests where wolves can be taken? Is there more to this authorization process that I have misunderstood? Can any hunters or reporters clarify this for me?

horst

The 1200 license's is nothing but a cash grab by the state just like everything else with the state and money grabbing. Hunting has proven to be an effective science based method for controlling and improving wild life. Most states including Michigan have done it with deer, turkey, game birds, water fowl.

rajaju

Hunting is a proven method used to control ,lets see,Carrier Pigeons (none left)....bears(thats why there isn't any 5yr and older in Wis )wolves(I only kill what I eat)..wolverines(try to find one now) another mental midget comment

horst

I love how people like you selectively pick your facts to justify your argument. Carrier Pigeons were gone before any conservation efforts even existed and they were killed off by market hunters using punt guns mounted to the front of a boats, which amounts to a cannon loaded with birdshot. One shot killed hundreds of birds. That wasn’t hunting it was mass food gathering. Why are you bringing Wisconsin’s bear population into this??? This isn’t Wisconsin…we have no control over their game laws and procedures and frankly, “I DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THOSE CHEESEHEADS”(how do you know they’re not managing it to keep 5+ year old bear out?). Our bear population in the UP and northern lower Michigan in loaded with 5 year old bears. Plenty of 5+ year old bears are harvested every season in Michigan (because we manage it, MORON). Wolverines are not native to Michigan and were rare to see one even in the 1800’s. The state got the nickname from either the Indians describing the yearly white settler’s appetite or some people believe that Ohioans gave Michigan the nickname around 1835 during a dispute over the Toledo strip. Rumors in Ohio at the time described Michiganians as being as vicious and bloodthirsty as wolverines. This dispute became known as the Toledo War.
You can cut and paste any crap you want from other websites but the FACTS remains: 100% of the wildlife that is managed or reintroduced and then managed by hunters, flourishes…all 50 states and Canada have proven this out, again and again
Finally, if it wasn’t for hunting and hunters you wouldn’t even be able put your moronic posts here. Hunters are the ones that paid 100% for the reintroduction of the wolf, turkey, elk…etc.etc..etc..
You continue to prove my point about you as stated above by continuing to post your misinformed and nonfactual based opinion. But I’m sure you’ll continue to post because you have some non-fact based agenda to proliferate.

rajaju

BLAH....BLAH...BLAH... so everything you posted is fact right because you said it ..what an *ss,try putting some links in it from where you get your facts Fox News Maggot

horst

NOW...reintroduced in the 1970's...deer regulations and hunting seasons enacted in Michigan decades ago when the deer were almost gone… links are useless to someone like you…you could be spoon fed the information and still not believe it…I could go on and on and on but obviously you're clueless about what's going on around you and more concerned about running your mouth…do your own research, that’s the only way you’ll find out science based hunting works and hasn’t failed yet…and don’t try and use the pheasant population in Michigan to refute or make your point (if you have any clue what I’m talking about) The pheasant is not native to Michigan.

rajaju

Based on what ,your facts out of your head,you sir are a crazy man and too old to change,kill'em all is your mantra,if its something you don't agree with,thats why this wolf hunt is bogus ,it was shoved down the peoples throats by cancerous old men like yourself,teapartiers,and liars

horst

Your obviously one of those Hume Society of the USA nut cases by the way you attack and carry on since you can’t debate at an intellectual level…oh and I’m 25 years old but wise beyond my years…I drank the Obama cool aide the first time around but when I got out of college after his first term and couldn’t get a job because of his failed policies I started thinking for myself and not following like a lemming over a cliff…KEEP drinking the lib cool aide and you’ll remain a dunderhead your entire life…..

rajaju

Sir you are so far off its sickening , first you lied when you said you weren't coming back to this page , you are a liar, second I'm older than you ,third I make more money and have been employed longer than you,and fourth my ethnic background would certainly suprise you, so go back to your little bigot world of "Good Ole Boys "redneck" background or grow up and get in the game ,your world is over, you are a ancient monster from our past that we are trying to get out of this area.......

rajaju

Wolves are stealthy......Those who set our public policy cannot be.

Michigan is on the verge of its first-ever licensed hunt for wolves, a species that teetered on the edge of eradication just two decades ago. There are strong arguments – informed, passionate and citing science – on both sides of the issue.

The need for the hunt is not for debate here; it is the way it came about – in a series of distortions, falsehoods and questionable actions that give the appearance of an intentional path laid around public inspection and participation.

The Department of Natural Resources says it used "sound science" to set the hunt. But the policy-setting process was eroded by inaccurate information, passed along by a cast of actors who either didn’t check the accuracy of what they were promoting or who had no interest in doing so because they were bent on the outcome.

Examples:

-- Resolutions by the state House and Senate in 2011 urged Congress to remove wolves' endangered status. They cited an apocryphal story about three wolves threatening a daycare center, one that suggested children were present and that the wolves had to be killed by “federal agents.” That never happened, an MLive.com investigation found. State Sen. Tom Casperson, R- Escanaba, who introduced the language along with then-Rep. Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine, apologized Thursday on the Senate floor. That's commendable, but the damage had been done.

-- One of the DNR's top wolf experts said publicly, “You have wolves … staring at people through their sliding glass door while they're pounding on it, exhibiting no fear,” Adam Bump told Michigan Radio in May. That did not happen, either. He now says he misspoke.

--More than 2,000 emails sent to Natural Resources Commission Chairman J.R. Richardson during the public comment period for the hunt were deleted, he conceded, after initially denying it. Most of more than 10,000 others were never opened, a DNR spokesman said.

-- Cattle losses due to wolves are about half what they would be if you subtract one problematic farmer in Ontonagon County, who has received $38,000 in state money for his losses, more than all other farmers combined. He also has a record of poor livestock management practices, including leaving dead cattle on his property – a wolf magnet, officials say.

Worse, Casperson and fellow Republicans intentionally bypassed a petition drive – signed by more than 250,000 voters earlier this year – to stop the hunt and put it on a statewide ballot in 2014. That sidestep deferred power to the Natural Resources Commission to name game animals.

Once the public was disarmed, the NRC promptly put wolves on the hunting list. This gamesmanship is so cynical it challenges the argument that the hunt is based on "science," a term referenced so often by lawmakers and wildlife officials it seems like political marketing. Hunt opponents are now working to collect more signatures to undo this latest chicanery.

NRC and DNR leaders are calling this a very conservative hunt. That is true – 43 out of a population of 650. But what is the rush? Wolf attacks on cattle and dogs are down this year – after lethal measures were more widely allowed to dispatch problem wolves after endangered status was dropped.

Wolves are here to stay. The problems they pose in their interactions with farmers and residents are real, and those people need help. There is room, and time, for reasonable debate about the methods to address those issues.

But in the realm of public policy, there is no room for distortions, no justification for hijacking a process that had passionate advocates on both sides, no excuse for those who serve state residents to not be deliberate, honest and open about the process.

We all know a wolf’s intentions. Those behind this wolf hunt need to own up to theirs.

This is the opinion of the editorial board of MLive Media Group, the parent company of MLive.com. The board is made up of the company's executive leadership, content directors and editors who oversee the 10 local markets that make up MLive Media Group.

 

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