12-year-old Ronnie Beckman and his dad, Caleb, were in the woods around midnight with Ronnie’s hunting dog. They were on a training session preparing for the upcoming hunting season. According to Upper Michigan Source, the 80-pound dog ran ahead and the pair heard barking and then silence.
When they reached the dog, they find a horrific scene. Scout was dead and Ronnie’s father stated that not much was left of the dog. The Department of Natural Resources confirms that the dog was killed by wolves.
The DNR states that there are over 650 wolves throughout the Upper Peninsula and they can be found in every county. A targeted wolf hunt was held in 2013 starting November 15 and ending no later than December 31. This was the first one in decades but voters in Michigan are signing petitions and urging the Legislature to keep the wolf hunt intact.
Hunters and residents of the Upper Peninsula state that they would like to see it go longer or even year round as Ronnie’s dog is not the only dog to die at the hands of wolves. Several others have reported wolves attacking their dogs. Wolves have even attacked cows and other animals.
People fear that children will be next, and the recent attack on Ronnie’s dog has caused him to now fear wolves. Others say that if you are going to live in the area, you have to learn to deal with wolves and be aware of your surroundings. It’s just the way of life when you share the land with wolves.
Michigan targeted specific area for the wolf hunt in 2013 and it was monitored closely by the DNR. Hunters had to check in with the DNR and report their kill. Only specific areas were allowed and these areas were closed as soon as the targeted amount of wolves was harvested.
The DNR hopes that removing wolves from areas of known “trouble packs” it will deter the wolves from coming close to families and farms where livestock resides. They also state that it will not endanger the overall population of the wolves.