Trying to reconcile science with emotion


The wolf plan is the wildlife management equivalent of trying to put lipstick on a pig. No matter how they dress it up, it’s still a pig.

According to the apparachiks in the DNR, they will only consider public wolf hunts for conflict resolution, not for recreation. I guess they don’t want hunters and trappers to have any fun.

The problem is they are trying to reconcile science with emotion. It cannot be done. The limited wolf hunts scheduled for this fall are meaningless because they fail to address the overall problem. These hunts are an admission, that their policy of using non-lethal control measures and resounding to depredation complaints as substitutes for active management, is not working.

That constitutes management malfeasance because the plan conflicts with the provisions of the constitutional amendment approved by the voters in 1996. It mandates that game species be managed using sound science to the greatest extent practicable.

Potentially, that could be grounds for a legal challenge by disaffected stakeholder groups.

This politically motivated decision making ignores the fact that sportsmen and women pay for wildlife programs and we are entitled to reap the benefits. They are spending our money on this program whether we like it or not. They never asked us if we approve of doing so or if this is an appropriate use of our license dollars. It’s Big Brother knows best.

Like coyotes, wolves are prolific and intelligent and are all but immune to overharvest. Ontario, Canada, has long wolf seasons and liberal regulations. Most of their harvest is taken in the winter months with the use of snares. Michigan could learn from them.

Last, but not least, it is simply amazing how much unsolicited advice we are getting from all over the country. The letter writers, particularly from urban areas, think they have the right to tell us what to do. These folks reach into their vast fund of ignorance to expound authoritatively on a subject they know little or nothing about.

I have news for them. We Yoopers are perfectly capable of handling our affairs without interference from outsiders. We recognize that the grey wolf is here to stay and that it’s imperative for us to figure out a way to live with them. As for the know-it-all outsiders, we understand that wolves are best appreciated from a distance.”

John Hongisto

Deerton, Mich.