ESCANABA – An officer with the U.P. Trappers Association says Michigan would have met its quota of 43 wolves if the state would have allowed trapping like Wisconsin and Minnesota.
When the season ended Tuesday, only 23 wolves were taken in three zones in the Upper Peninsula.
Roy Dahlgren of Escanaba, chapter president of District 3, says trapping needs to be a part of the wolf management strategy in the Upper Peninsula.
They definitely need to allow us to trap,” he said. “I think the DNR realizes that but I think it is the anti’s, the people that don’t have the knowledge of how the animals need to be managed that are stopping it. If they allowed the biologists and the DNR to manage the wildlife in Michigan, the animals would be better off, you’d have more of them, you’d have a healthier animal out there in the woods.”
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials say the numbers were down in the Upper Peninsula because of the cold weather in December.
Trapping was not allowed in Michigan as a concession to wolf hunting opponents. The Natural Resources Commission removed the provision in July when it voted for a second time to set a wolf hunt in the U.P.
“There’s only been a few states that haven’t allowed trapping. They’ve never made the quota off of hunting,” Dahlgren said.
The wolf season in Wisconsin ended early when the state exceeded its quota of 251 wolves. Sixty-seven percent of the wolves killed in Wisconsin were taken by trappers.
Five of a maximum 16 wolves were killed in Unit A in Gogebic County, 14 of 19 in Unit B in parts of Gogebic, Ontonagon, Baraga and Houghton Counties and four of eight in Unit C in Mackinac and Luce Counties.