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Michigan’s canceled wolf hunt draws no howls

The state’s recent decision that there will be no wolf hunt in Michigan this year is getting mixed reactions, despite fear in the Upper Peninsula about the predators.

Many U.P. residents have been alarmed by the estimated 636 gray wolves in Michigan and their attacks on game animals, domestic animals and pets. Last year’s Nov. 15-Dec. 31 hunt was the first in Michigan in 40 years and resulted in 22 wolves being killed in the U.P., a little more than half of the state target of 43.

But the Michigan Natural Resources Commission decided more than a week ago that it won’t hold a wolf hunt this year, even if voters uphold two state laws that allow wolf hunting by approving two referendums on the Nov. 4 ballot. The state’s wolf population is down from 658 in 2013 and 687 in 2012, but up significantly from 20 in 1992.

“Even if the referendums are passed, there would not be time to establish a wolf hunt in 2014,” said Commissioner John Matonich.

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