Michigan has taken a step toward opening hunting and trapping seasons on wolves. The Michigan State Senate voted 23-15 Thursday in favor of a bill that would classify wolves as a game animal in the state.
The bill will now go to the Michigan House of Representatives for a vote. If it passes, the legislation would allow the state’s Natural Resources Commission to establish a wolf hunting season.
“We need to give the Department of Natural Resources another tool to manage the wolves,” State Senator Tom Casperson told the Detroit Free Press.
The Michigan wolf population has gone from an estimated low of six in 1973 to more than 700 now, with the majority located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Michigan DNR estimates wolves kill between 17,000 and 29,000 deer every year.