Despite a major push by hunters to approve the two statewide ballot proposals Tuesday that would have further regulated wolf hunting in the state, the issues went down to defeat.

The Detroit News is reporting today that those with the group "Keep Michigan Wolves Protected" are claiming a major victory, getting their referendum on the issue, which is basically a moot point.

Proposals 14-1 and 14-2 would have handed control of the issue permanently to the Department of Natural Resources Commission.  Members of KMWP urged a no vote on both saying they would take the issue of future animal hunts out of the hands of voters forever.

Prop 1 was defeated by a 55% to 45% margin.  Prop 2 went down by a more significant margin of 65% to 36%.

Wolf hunting supporters claim the victory for animal rights groups is symbolic at best. They favored a yes vote on the two but didn't actively run campaign ads to sway public opinion.

The threatened referendum halted the wolf hunt this year even though it was approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Snyder.   It is set to continue next year.

The first wolf hunt held in the state in 75 years killed 23 wolfs.  The state was looking for hunters to kill 43 of the animals that many had complained were preying on livestock and crops.

Members of the Humane Society of the United States say they plan an appeal of the law, claiming portions of it are unconstitutional.  Proponents of the law, though, admit while some parts of the legislation may be struck down, the majority allowing the hunts will stand.

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