HART, Mich. (March 12, 2014) — A man from Hart harvested one of the 23 wolves killed in Michigan’s first-ever wolf hunt.
Matt Williams, 29, said he spent the day in the woods of the Upper Peninsula on opening day in November. He left empty-handed but returned on Dec. 29, where he took home his first wolf.
“We have to sustain a healthy population,” Williams said. “We can’t let them get over populated if we do they’ll be extremely susceptible to disease and that’s just a very cruel death.”
According to the DNR, the decision to start the hunt, came after seeing a significant population growth, since 2000. Michigan became the sixth state to name the wolf a game species. However, it’s a choice that brought backlash from wolf advocacy groups, like Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.
“Most of the people that I’ve talked to who hunt eat what they hunt and it’s a part of our culture, and I think that’s great,” Carol Jager, with KMWP said. “That’s why a lot of people love Michigan, live in Michigan. But, the wolf is a trophy animal. The wolf is purely trophy hunt.”
On Thursday, the wolf advocacy group plans to head to the state’s Capitol for a news conference. Afterwards, they’ll go to the Secretary of State where they’ll submit petitions to place a second referendum on the 2014 ballot to protect the wolves and allow the people who live in Michigan to vote on if the animals should be hunted.
Williams said he’s also signed a petition. His is aimed at passing a law called, Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
“That petition is to keep letting the Department of Natural Resources control and set the season and dates and use sound scientific information on how to set those limits.”