The 45-day wolf hunting season that began November 15 inflamed passions, both pro and con.
Now that the first-ever wolf hunt is wrapped up, what were the results?
John Barnes explored the impact of the hunt in a recent piece for MLive, which breaks down the ages of the 22 wolves killed over the course of the hunt. He joined us on Stateside today (you can listen to the audio above).
Barne's reports the following details revealed at the Michigan Wolf Management Advisory Council last week:
- The youngest of the 22 wolves killed was 0.6 years old, a female pup born earliest in the year. The animals grow quickly and can appear nearly full sized.
- The oldest two, a male and female taken at opposite ends of the Upper Peninsula, were 7.6 years. Those are aging wolves; life expectancy in the wild is about five years
- The average age of wolves killed was 2.6 years. In all, they were equally divided between males and females, 11 each.
- The average distance from where a wolf was killed compared to documented conflicts was five miles.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources had hoped that as many as 43 wolves would be killed in the three areas designated for the hunt.
The MDNR reported that the hunting period had little effect on the wolf population.
Now that the hunt is over, most hunters report feeling disappointed by the outcome. Barnes reports the inaugural hunt's low success rate frustrated most licensed hunters. Fewer than half – 45% – rated the experience as good or very good, responses to a post-hunt mail survey by the DNR showed.
No plans have been finalized for another hunt this year.
– Paige Pfleger, Michigan Radio Newsroom