The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been working on the wolf population for years. Find out how the population is doing here.

Michigan Wolves

At one time, Gray Wolves existed in Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas. When European settlers arrived in the region they felt they had to do away with the wolves to protect their livestock and horses.

The European settlers didn't understand that you need some of the wolves for nature to stay in balance. It wasn't just the settlers that made the mistake but citizens of Michigan and even the DNR didn't understand the importance of the balance until the wolves were eradicated.  European settlers began putting bounties on wolves and many were poisoned in 1838 and this went on for many years. By 1910 wolves were gone from the Lower Peninsula leaving only a small population in the Upper Peninsula.

According to, by 1959 one wolf left in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. In 1960 the state did away with the bounty and by 1965 wolves became protected by laws in Michigan. In 1974 the federal government protected the wolves under the Endanger Species Act. How is the wolf population doing in Michigan now? Let's find out.

Read More: Gray Wolf Mistaken As Coyote Killed in Calhoun County 

DNR Announces Current Status of Michigan's Wolf Population

The DNR recently released its 2024 report on the wolf population in Michigan. The report says there are a minimum of 762 wolves in the Upper Peninsula with an increase of 131 since 2022. The wolf population is finally at the numbers needed to survive and keep nature balanced with the other animals that live in the U.P.

Since that wolf was killed near Kalamazoo in Calhoun County earlier this year by a hunter mistaking it for a coyote, the DNR will continue to search for a wolf presence in the Lower Peninsula. You can take a deeper look at the DNR's findings here.

More Michigan Hunting Laws and Regulations You Should Know

Heads up hunters new and old, these are just a few Michigan hunting laws and regulations you may have not considered.

Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

Mort Neff and 'Michigan Outdoors' TV

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