DNR officials caught the men responsible for two separate Upper Peninsula wolf poaching incidents in a span of 24 hours.
A 58-year-old from Greenland Township and a 67-year-old from Menominee Township, both confessed to the crimes in Ontonagon and Menominee counties, respectively, on Tuesday.
Their names are being withheld pending their arraignments in the respective county district courts. Gray wolves are a protected species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and as such, can only legally be killed in defense of human safety.
“Wolves are examples of important wildlife species that play a critical predator role in the ecosystems of the Upper Peninsula,” said Lt. Ryan Aho, a district law supervisor in Marquette.
“Our conservation officers did some great work in obtaining confessions from these two individuals who killed wolves collared for study purposes by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.”
The investigation began when DNR Wildlife Division personnel received a mortality signal from the collar of an adult female wolf in Ontonagon County.
Sgt. Marc Pomroy and CO Zach Painter went to the site located off Gardner Road in Greenland Township.
“We gathered some information at the scene, and we conducted suspect interviews the following day,” Painter said. “During those discussions, the suspect admitted he shot the animal with a rifle, which we seized as part of the investigation.”
The Menominee County kill came during the firearm deer hunting season when a mortality signal was received from a 1-year-old male wolf on Nov. 19.
“I retrieved the collar later that day from a place along River Road in Lake Township,” said CO Jeremy Sergey. “The collar was intact, covered in blood, but was not attached to a wolf.”
On Tuesday, the man from Menominee Township confessed to killing the wolf, months after the original crime. He was, however, an original suspect developed by the DNR in November, according to a news release.
Illegally killing a wolf is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both, and the cost of prosecution. Source
Featured image information: A gray wolf shot in Ontonagon County Saturday is shown. A Greenland Township man has admitted to shooting the animal with a rifle. (Michigan )