Michigan House Republicans
Rep. DeBoyer: Gray wolf incident in Calhoun County calls for reason, restraint, and reforms
RELEASE|April 18, 2024
Contact: Jay DeBoyer

Legislator sends letter to DNR to gain clarity on investigation

State Rep. Jay DeBoyer has sent a letter to Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Scott Bowen taking issue with potential criminal charges for a hunter who accidentally shot and killed a gray wolf in Calhoun County.

The animal was reportedly killed in January during a guided coyote hunt roughly 300 miles from any known gray wolf habitat. DNR data has disclosed that there has been virtually no gray wolf activity in the lower peninsula over the last several decades.

The DNR said it is exploring potential charges against the hunter – which DeBoyer took issue with due to the admitted nature of the mistake and the fact that the state of Michigan does not make any sort of endangered recognition for gray wolves despite this being the case at the federal level. DeBoyer also advocates in the letter that the incident provides a need for further examination regarding the mismanagement of both wolves and coyotes in Michigan.

“As the wolf population has grown, there has been increasing interactions between wolves and human populations – particularly in rural Upper Peninsula communities where livestock is raised,” DeBoyer says in the letter. “The loss of livestock to wolf predation not only creates significant financial hardship to farmers, but also threatens the livelihoods of those who depend on agriculture for their survival.

“Punishing Michigan hunters and farmers will not help alleviate the issues we are facing. I am hoping common-sense and a commitment to solutions will come of this event – not criminal charges that will impact someone for the rest of their life.”

A total of 26 legislators joined DeBoyer in signing the attached letter.

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