Michigan Officials Say 77 Percent of Harvested Wolves Were “Problem Wolves”

Daniel Xu | January 28, 2014

Michigan officials say that the majority of wolves taken in the state's recent season were "problem wolves."

Michigan officials say that the majority of wolves taken in the state’s recent season were “problem wolves.”
Image courtesy National Park Service

Michigan’s first wolf hunt in four decades ended earlier this year, with hunters harvesting a total of 23 animals. Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), wildlife officials agreed that 17 of the animals taken were “problem wolves,” or animals associated with packs that came into disturbing contact or conflict with humans and society. One of the wolves is still being investigated.

“What we do know is that roughly 77 percent of them were associated with packs that were known to cause problems,” DNR wildlife biologist Brian Roell told OutdoorHub. “We obviously can’t say that actual wolves harvested were the ones causing the problems, but they were associated.”

The majority of wolf conflicts involve livestock depredation, but encounters with pets and humans have also been reported.

“This hunt is designed around conflict resolution,” Roell explained. “We were specifically targeting animals that had caused depredation or nuisance-type behaviors. So we designed three rather small zones based on where we had long-standing historical issues with problem wolves. By doing that we concentrated hunters into those areas. So it’s not surprising that we have a large proportion of [harvested] animals that were known to cause problems.”

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