Wolf shootings on the rise, rewards offered in open cases:

Article Posted: November 22, 2002

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Wolf shootings on the rise, rewards offered in open cases

Two more Gogebic County wolves recently were found dead
from gunshot wounds, and rewards are now posted for information in the
investigation of two Iron County wolf killings.
Officers responded Nov. 16 to a mortality signal from a tracking
collar and found the dead wolf in the Black River, north of Powder Horn
Mountain. This is the sixth known wolf killing so far this year, and the
second wolf found in the same area of Gogebic County in last several
days. The other wolf was found Nov. 6, eight miles north of Ironwood.
A $1,500 reward is offered in each of two Iron County cases
where wolves were found dead last month. Both animals died as the result
of gunshot wounds. Officials discovered the first of two dead females
Sept. 22, about seven miles north of US-2, on the east side of Forest
Highway 16. The other was located Oct. 2 near the Deerfoot Lodge Road,
near the Fence River in northeastern Iron County.
Other incidents so far this year include:
" Sept. 17, DNR officials recovered a dead wolf in Mackinac County
Northeast of Engadine in Mackinac County. The adult female was collared
in central Minnesota with a GPS satellite collar. Before coming to
Michigan she had moved from central Minnesota north into Ontario near
Thunder Bay. She came back through Minnesota, across Wisconsin, and was
first located in the Engadine area in early July. Experts suspect she
was shot in early September, and necropsy reports concluded that she
died of gunshot wounds.
" July 3, DNR staff responded to a wolf collar mortality signal
just east of Pickford in Chippewa County, and recovered the collar from
the East Branch of the Munuscong River. The collar had been cut off and
thrown into the River. This was an adult male captured June 11, about 20
miles north of St. Ignace in Mackinac County.
Rewards are offered for information leading to the
arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for shooting
the Iron County animals, through the Report-all-Poaching Program. The
Hotline, toll free at 800-292-7800, allows people to report
about illegal activity relative to wildlife and outdoor activities.
The gray wolf is listed as a threatened species in Michigan and
protected as an endangered species under federal law. Like bald eagles,
moose, fisher and other animals, wolves play an important role in the
ecosystem, and the wolf recovery is a strong indicator of Michigan's
environmental health.
There is no evidence that healthy wolves pose a threat to
humans. Each year, people occupying the same areas as wolves rarely see
the animals. Regardless, humans were known to have shot and killed six
wolves in Michigan last year. Five of those cases resulted in
"This year, we are reminding people who see wolves in the woods
that they do not need to fear them, and shooting them is both a serious
crime and a blow to wildlife conservation," said Lt. Thomas Courchaine,
DNR District Law Supervisor. "It is an offense we take seriously, and
plan to prosecute to the fullest extent possible."
Hunters are reminded that a moratorium on the coyote season is in
effect Nov. 15-30 to protect wolves.

Source: MDNR

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