The justification for hunting in North Ottawa Dunes is based on Ottawa County’s policy statement for deer management. This policy statement is misguided, biased and deeply flawed. And we argue that without an independent ecosystem impact study and a deer population survey in North Ottawa Dunes to substantiate the need for a hunt using solid data, and without baseline data to provide a starting point, how can the county even know that a hunt is necessary or what it will achieve?
In addition, this proposed hunt will pose a serious safety threat to families, children and companion animals that live in the area, and recreational users.
The safety buffer zone (450 feet from houses) is totally inadequate and provides no safety for residents. This inadequate buffer zone is reckless, negligent and an accident waiting to happen. The maximum range of a smooth-bore 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs is 5,205 feet (about 1 mile), and 4,498 feet for the muzzleloader. So how can a 450-foot "safety buffer zone" protect residents?
Furthermore, this "controlled" hunt will not achieve any long-term reduction of the deer population. This hunt will only make more food available for the remaining deer, which will trigger compensatory reproduction and a boom in the deer population.
This hunt has not been justified using solid data, will not achieve its objectives, will pose a serious safety threat to residents and recreational users, and in effect will turn the North Ottawa Dunes into a private recreational hunting preserve.
Susan Messer Mankoski
Tri City Safety Coalition