The Numbers of Michigan’s Wolf Hunt

The Michigan wolf hunt has been a major talking point for hunters and non-hunters alike. Emotions are running high on both sides of the field but emotions don’t dictate fact and reason.

I’ll start off by saying the hunt runs $100 for the license for a resident which is insane when it comes to resident licenses. The hunt is also LIMITED to a total of 43 wolves. This means that out of the nearly 700 wolves in the state of Michigan we are wanting to cull 43 out of our wilds.

The first of four wolves taken on the first two days of the Michigan hunt.
The first of four wolves taken on the first two days of the Michigan hunt.

In the past it has been farmers and rancher may take a wolf if said animal is damaging goods or property, the issue with that is they are only able to do it if they see the animal in the act. While yes the wolves did just come off of our endangered recently the problem is the wolves are numbered throughout the state.

I say it is a problem because most of the wolf population is made-up in the Upper Peninsula near the border of Wisconsin. Down here under the bridge we don’t see wolves which makes many Michiganders believe we don’t have a strong number for the amount of land but just ask any Yooper and they’ll tell you about the wolf problem.

Enough rant, let’s look at some numbers.

Let’s assume that only one hunter is able to harvest one wolf until the maximum is reached. That means 1,157 hunters spent $100 each for a total of $115,700 for virtually nothing. If any of those licenses are made up of non-residents then said hunter would be looking at a $500 tag that may be good for absolutely nothing.

Now let’s look at what should be left and what they should be able to produce for off spring. Assuming 30% of the wolf population is a breeding population out of an underestimated 600 wolves. That gives us 180 breeding females, with the small litter running 4 cubs we would be adding another possible 720 wolves into the system, with a high mortality rate of 50% which means we would be left with only 360 wolves. Giving us a total of 960 overall possible.

This is taking into account the lowest average litter size with the highest average mortality rate. Might I also add that people that don’t live in a wolf-heavy area they should have no voice on what goes on in those areas, that’s like a Yooper telling Detroit how they should regulate parking.

The wolf hunt is on and I hope it is here to stay a well-managed, well-groomed affair.

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