LANSING (WWJ/AP) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources expects to make recommendations on a wolf hunting season by May or June.
Furbearer specialist Adam Bump outlined the agency’s plans for evaluating a possible wolf hunt during meeting of the Natural Resources Commission on Thursday.
The Legislature last month approved a bill authorizing a wolf hunt. Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation into law, but the DNR commission will make the final call.
Bump said the DNR has begun a survey to update the Upper Peninsula wolf population, which is believed to be around 700.
Over the next few months, the DNR will have public meetings, consult with Indian tribes and compile data about livestock and pets killed by wolves. The agency then will prepare recommendations on a hunting season for the Natural Resources Commission.
Supporters of the new law say it’s time to allow hunters and trappers to thin the population. They say wolves are killing livestock and venturing too close to towns.
Opponents say wolves are still recovering and it’s too soon for a hunt. Wolf advocates who accepted the idea of farmers protecting livestock, which is already allowed, recoil at talk of hunting — which they fear will slash wolf numbers drastically.
An informal CBS Detroit poll showed 77 percent of respondents were opposed to wolf hunting.
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