Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A collection of stories on Michigan's wolf hunt

The total count of wolves harvested after three days
of the season.

As of the morning of Nov. 18, six wolves have been harvested in Michigan's Upper Peninsula as a part of the first-ever wolf hunt this state has seen. But the hunt has been widely criticized by many, saying the wolves don't need to be hunted because the case made for the hunt had been falsified by state leaders. Proponents of the hunt, including the director of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources, say the dangers wolves pose to humans and livestock are enough to push forward with the hunt.

The hunt allows for a small number of wolves to be harvested in three areas: near Ironwood in Gogebic County, a portion of land surrounding Houghton spanning four counties and another area spanning parts of Mackinac and Luce counties.

No more than 43 wolves can be taken during the season.

I've said it before: I'm not a hunter, nor do I live in the areas with wolves in the woods. I've had one indirect experience with wolves, hearing them howl on Isle Royale when I visited in 2005. My day-to-day life is not affected by this hunt or the decision to start the hunt. But the issue has sparked so much controversy in this state that it's worth sharing some of what's been written. I myself curated some content on the discussion for the wolf hunt this time last year as it was being debated.

MLive wrote a weeklong series on the wolf hunt, talking to U.P. residents nearby and examining some of the claims being made for the hunt. I have not had the chance to read it all yet, but the series looks at a wide range of topics. You can find most of them here.

Before the wolf hunt opened, a vigil was held in Mount Pleasant, my former home for four years while attending college. The vigil was put on by the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, who believe the wolf is a "brother" and shares a history with the Native Americans that have resided in Michigan.

The outdoors editor for the Toledo Blade in Ohio penned a nice piece on the hunt, talking to several people regarding the hunt and providing a nice, out-of-state viewpoint.

One of the big names people will recognize in all this talk is southeast Michigan native and rocker Iggy Pop, who has written a letter to Gov. Rick Snyder asking him to halt the hunt.

And one of the more visual images comes in the form of this Detroit Free Press video, which talks to the man who harvested the first wolf (albeit off camera) and shows the wolf in the pickup truck. It's some very real imaging and worth a watch (Disclosure: I work for the same company that owns the Free Press).

I'm on the lookout for any inspiring pieces on this hunt. If you find any interesting stories, I'd love to see them.

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