... the most verified attacks in such a short period
Five hunting hounds have been killed in three attacks by wolves in the Upper Peninsula this week, just days apart. This time of year, wolves are protective of their young at the same time more dogs are in the woods. (Courtesy photo)
on August 09, 2014
This is the first time since records began in 1996 that so many attacks on hounds occurred in such a short period of time in the Upper Peninsula. This is training season for hounds, and many more dogs are in the woods than earlier in the year. “It is not uncommon for wolves to become more territorial toward other canines during this time of the year, when wolf pups are left at a ‘rendezvous site' while the adults hunt,” said DNR spokeswoman Debbie Munson Badini of the Marquette office. “Other canines - such as hunting dogs training for bear or rabbit hunting - that inadvertently come too close to these rendezvous sites may be perceived as a threat by the pack,” she said.
To date, there have been 16 wolf attacks this year. This week’s were the first involving hunting dogs. The rest involved livestock. While cattle owners are compensated for their losses, dog owners are not.
The hunt was of limited success: Up to 43 animals could be killed; just over half that were taken, 22.
The attacks come as conflict over hunting wolves in Michigan is peaking.
As many as three proposals could be on the ballot this fall, but lawmakers could make all that moot this coming Wednesday by short-cutting voter input.
Two anti-hunt referendums will be on the November ballot. The first was created to stop the hunt.
Lawmakers made that question irrelevant by shifting power to the Natural Resources Commission for declaring game species. A second proposal was added by anti-hunt forces to the ballot to trump that move.
The latest pro-hunt initiative would shift the battle back to lawmakers, who could again do an end-around a statewide vote. The House and Senate are scheduled to return from summer break Wednesday.
If lawmakers approve the pro-hunt initiative, the Natural Resources Commission, with input from state wildlife biologists, would determine game hunts. The anti-hunt questions on the ballot would be moot.
If lawmakers reject the initiative, or do not act, voters will face all three questions Nov. 4.