on November 23, 2015
HOUGHTON COUNTY, MI — The state is offering a reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed a gray wolf in the Upper Peninsula.
The Department of Natural Resources said a gray wolf was shot along M-26 in Houghton County on Saturday, Nov. 21, a half-mile south of Twin Lakes State Park.
The killing occurred between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and the DNR said the shooter's vehicle would have been parked along the road's west shoulder, facing southwest.
"The subject shot from the vehicle and struck the wolf as it was standing on the snowmobile trail (Trail No. 3) to the west of the highway," said Sgt. Grant Emery, of the DNR's Baraga Field Office.
Gray wolves are a federally endangered species and cannot legally be killed in Michigan except in the defense of human life. About 600 wolves are estimated to roam the Upper Peninsula, up from just six in the 1970s. In September, the DNR confirmed the second gray wolf in the Lower Peninsula in 90 years.
In 2013, 22 wolves were killed when the state held its first wolf hunt during a window of opportunity offered by the temporary delisting of gray wolves in the Great Lakes region from the federal endangered list. The Great Lakes population was re-listed by court order in 2014.
Hunting advocates argue the ascendant population warrants stronger management to reduce conflicts with livestock and comfort levels around humans. Animal advocates contend wolves pose a minimal hazard.
The wolf is a sacred clan animal among the Anishinaabe Native American tribes.
Poaching a wolf carries a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. The state also imposes a $1,500 animal reimbursement fee and usually suspends the convicted person's hunting privileges for about four years.
Anyone with information about the poached wolf is asked to call the DNR at 906-228-6561 or the Report All Poaching line at 1-800-292-7800 FREE.