U.P. Resident Found Guilty of Killing Gray Wolf
A resident of the Manistique area pleaded guilty on April 11 on charges connected with the death of a gray wolf in Iron County during the 2004 firearm deer hunting season. James Lakosky, 55, appeared in 95th District Court before Judge Joseph Schwedler, where he pleaded guilty to the charge of killing the radio-collared wolf.
On Monday, Judge Schwedler sentenced Lakosky to seven days in jail or 14 days of community service. In addition Lakosky was fined $910, paid $1500 restitution and was placed on probation for three months. The judge told Lakosky at sentencing that the penalty imposed was designed to send the message that it is not acceptable to illegally kill a wolf in Iron County.
Conservation officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources were called to the scene of the animal's killing in Iron County after the radio transmitter on the wolf went into mortality mode, a signal that emanates when the wolf has not moved for 24 hours.
Radio-collared animals are checked frequently from aircraft. Evidence collected at the scene led to search warrants being issued and several people being interviewed during the course of the investigation. The evidence was sufficient for the Iron County prosecutor to issue a warrant for Lakosky's arrest in connection with the shooting of the wolf on November 28 while he was hunting from a deer blind.
The gray wolf is protected by both state and federal law. Michigan's Upper Peninsula is home to about 400 wolves.