LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Questions hunt justification

Sep 11, 2012

Of the 14-page survey, only five questions/statements pertained to deer or hunting:

Page 2: Deer numbers should be reduced by as necessary to protect vegetation in high-quality natural areas: 66 percent of 536 agree and strongly agree. Hunting should be allowed in unimproved portions of county parks and open-space lands: 36 percent of 537 agree and strongly agree.

Page 13: Draw tags for hunting and let it be known to the public. Put it on the news or give fliers through the mail to people to let them know about hunting. Open up hunting to bow hunting

Page 14: More natural lands; undeveloped life preservations; no hunting. More preservation of wildlife areas and restricted access to these beautiful rare areas.

This survey is laughable at best. Refer to Page 14, conveniently not mentioned by Scholtz in a news release.

I was present at a meeting held at Spring Lake Township Hall on March 23. After the meeting, I heard Scholtz talking with an employee from Hoffmaster State Park. Scholtz was informed that the park is open while deer hunts occur. Scholtz replied he would not be within miles of a park that was not securely shut down while shooting was taking place.

Well, John, how do you propose to make sure hunting in North Ottawa Dunes is going to be safe? You can't!

Why were these meetings involving political leaders from surrounding municipalities kept secretive? The public has the right to know what our elected and hired officials are doing.

Cynthia Fricano
Grand Haven

 

Comments

Wingmaster

We should probably shut Michigan down on November 15th as there will people everywhere with guns! Yikes! Stop sensationalizing this hunt. Hoffmaster Park has been conducting these hunts this way for sometime without issues. By now everyone in the area of the Ottawa Dunes hunt is quite aware when it will take place. Have you ever been in these dunes to see the destruction of vegetation that is taking place. The elected officials are trying to do what is right for the park, it just doesn't line up with your stance on method. If you're a concerned citizen let's hear your plans to fix the issue.

GN

Hunting in a park adjacent to a densely populated and developed community with inadequate safety buffer zones, is not the same as hunting in public hunting grounds away from residential neighborhoods. The safety buffer zone is 450 feet. A shotgun slug projectile can travel 5,205 feet, and a muzzleloader projectile can travel 4,498 feet. Residents have valid reasons to be concerned about the safety of their family, children and companion animals




Unsubstantiated claims of deer destruction of vegetation is totally anecdotal and are not based on scientific fact. There has been no independent ecosystem impact study done in North Ottawa Dunes to analyze the current state of the ecosystem and the causes of any biodiversity problems that might be discovered, and there has been no deer survey to determine the current deer population. The dunes ecosystem is extremely complex, and if there are problems discovered, these problems will likely be more systemic, and not caused by the deer.




"Acid rain is more responsible than white-tailed deer for forests not regenerating, claims [Bill Sharpe] a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences forest hydrologist ... They can kill all the deer, but it will take a lot more than that to fix the forests." Penn State Expert Blames Forest Problem on Acid Rain, Not Deer", Penn State Live, 5/17/02. In a recent landmark study, "Regional-Scale Assessment of Deer Impacts on Vegetation Within Western Connecticut, USA", Angela C. Rutherford, et al., School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, Journal of Wildlife Management 74(6):1257-1263; 2010: DOI:10.2193/2009-068, concluded that deer density is not a leading factor determining variation in vegetation impacts. Furthermore, a study from Ohio University, "Indirect Effects of a Keystone Herbivore Elevate Local Animal Diversity", Katherine R. Greenwalk, et al., Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Journal of Wildlife Management 72(6):1318-1321; 2008, concluded that management of deer populations (e.g., via culling, sterilization, or carnivore reintroduction) could have the unintended effect of reducing local diversity of herpetofauna and invertebrates.

Wingmaster

GN your repeat post regarding the ballistic on shotguns and muzzleloaders are just plain wrong. You are demonstrating your ignorance regarding these weapons. First of all, muzzleloaders will shoot farther then a shotgun. A 14 year old that has gone thru hunters safety can tell you that. Secondly, assuming you could obtain these distances you would need to aim the guns towards the sky, and have absolutely nothing in its path. So stop putting these irrelevant ballistics into the conversation. There have been both of these types of weapons fired on private and township lands in that surrounding area every year without incident.

I can cut and paste hundreds of sources that speak to the deforestation impact whitetailed deer have when their densities exceed the carrying capacity of the land.
This from Thomas J. Rawinski Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Newtown Square, PA www.na.fs.fed.us June 2008. In a study: Impacts of White-Tailed Deer Overabundance in Forest Ecosystems: An Overview
"The current density is producing devastating and long-term effects on forests. Foraging deer “vacuum up” the seedlings of highly preferred species, reducing plant diversity and in the extreme, creating near mono-cultures. It could take decades or even hundreds of years to restore forests. . . . Deer have the capacity of changing forest ecology, by changing the direction of forest vegetation development. It doesn’t matter what forest values you want to preserve or enhance—whether deer hunting, animal rights, timber, recreation, or ecological integrity— deer are having dramatic, negative effects on all the values everyone holds dear."

You can take a simply walk in the spring time and see how many White trillium are left in the hills and dunes in this area.
The objections to this hunt are not fact based, they are emotional based. You are searching and finding anything to quote and twist to support your emotional argument.

If you are not going to bring new ideas or solutions, move on, your arguments are adding nothing to the conversation.

GN

Again, these maximum range figures were taken from a Pennsylvania Budget and Finance Committee commissioned report. This report was commissioned in response to the Casey Burns' hunting accident and law suit back in 2004 in Allentown, PA. Casey Burns, who was 18 years old and pregnant, was struck in the head while sitting in a car in her driveway. The shot was traced to a hunter who was hunting on a farm a half-mile away when he fired at a deer. The study's purpose was to try to find alternative firearms that could be used more safely in densely populated communities. What they found was that the shotgun slug is less safe and more dangerous in the field than a 150 grain .30-06 high powered deer rifle. One of the biggest surprises of this study was that at 0-degrees of elevation which would be a typical shot at a deer on level terrain, the rifle, shotgun and muzzleloader projectiles travel 1,408 feet, 840 feet, and 686 feet respectively, plus ricochet distances of 3,427 feet, 4,365 feet, and 3,812 feet respectively. As a result, the total distances traveled by the projectiles are 4,835 feet for the rifle, 5,205 feet for the shotgun, and 4,498 feet for the muzzleloader.




You can deny and dismiss these projectile range figures all you want, but they are the result of a comprehensive published study and report commissioned by the Pennsylvania Budget and Finance Committee. If you want to debate the results of their report, I would suggest you take it up with their firearms and ballistics experts.

Wingmaster

One question GN, explain the physics of a ricochet picking up speed and traveling farther! I'm sure you could have a career with NASA if you can prove that one!

Tri-cities realist

These richochet distances were either calculated or measured on an extremely hard and smooth surface. Exactly. If at 0 degrees elevation "the rifle, shotgun and muzzleloader projectiles travel 1,408 feet, 840 feet, and 686 feet respectively, and the ground was made of a substance that produce a perfectly elastic richochet (no lost energy), AND if the projectile experienced no deceleration due to gravity or wind resistance, then the maximum theoretical distance of the first richochet would be 2 times the original distance travelled, 2,816 feet, 1,680 feet, and 1,372 feet respectively. Yet this "study" (conducted by a communications company) stated richochet distances of " 3,427 feet, 4,365 feet, and 3,812 feet respectively." So the bullets would have had to richochet more than once. And of course the 2 conditions I supposed above do not occur in nature (100% conservation of energy and lack of gravity and wind resistance). Also in this area, the ground consists mostly of sand, which would be very difficult (if not impossible) to produce a richochet. The rifle distance is irrelevant since this area could only be hunted using a shotgun or muzzleloader (or bow and arrow I presume). So if you wanted to make the claim that the buffer zone needed to be doubled to 900 feet, you would at least be displaying some intellectual honesty. So if the proposed hunt were restricted to only archery weapons, would you support it?

Vast Right Wing...

GN feels that if the junk science lies being preached are published enough times, it will become fact!

Smartie

Well, there you go again!
STOP accusing others of what you are so accustomed doing yourself - you may just drive yourself crazy!

RenegadeX

GN, what is the ballistic coefficient of a 12 gauge shotgun slug at 450 feet?

Wingmaster

I know, same as a large horse fly!

ghresident

Man I have an idea, lets stop building high dollar homes and condo's in deer infested areas and pre-interview the ones wanting to buy them to see if there true city folks that have no hunting background or ideas about hunting, then turn down there offer to buy. These pen'd up socker moms and hubby's who have a desk job and only go to sports game there kids play should be banned. Hunting has been a way of life for how long?

GN

Hunting in a park adjacent to a densely populated and developed community with inadequate safety buffer zones, is not the same as hunting in public hunting grounds away from residential neighborhoods. The safety buffer zone is 450 feet. A shotgun slug projectile can travel 5,205 feet, and a muzzleloader projectile can travel 4,498 feet. Residents have valid reasons to be concerned about the safety of their family, children and companion animals




Unsubstantiated claims of deer destruction of vegetation is totally anecdotal and are not based on scientific fact. There has been no independent ecosystem impact study done in North Ottawa Dunes to analyze the current state of the ecosystem and the causes of any biodiversity problems that might be discovered, and there has been no deer survey to determine the current deer population. The dunes ecosystem is extremely complex, and if there are problems discovered, these problems will likely be more systemic, and not caused by the deer.




"Acid rain is more responsible than white-tailed deer for forests not regenerating, claims [Bill Sharpe] a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences forest hydrologist ... They can kill all the deer, but it will take a lot more than that to fix the forests." Penn State Expert Blames Forest Problem on Acid Rain, Not Deer", Penn State Live, 5/17/02. In a recent landmark study, "Regional-Scale Assessment of Deer Impacts on Vegetation Within Western Connecticut, USA", Angela C. Rutherford, et al., School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, Journal of Wildlife Management 74(6):1257-1263; 2010: DOI:10.2193/2009-068, concluded that deer density is not a leading factor determining variation in vegetation impacts. Furthermore, a study from Ohio University, "Indirect Effects of a Keystone Herbivore Elevate Local Animal Diversity", Katherine R. Greenwalk, et al., Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Journal of Wildlife Management 72(6):1318-1321; 2008, concluded that management of deer populations (e.g., via culling, sterilization, or carnivore reintroduction) could have the unintended effect of reducing local diversity of herpetofauna and invertebrates.

RenegadeX

GN writes in part. "'Acid rain is more responsible than white-tailed deer for forests not regenerating, claims [Bill Sharpe] a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences forest hydrologist ... They can kill all the deer, but it will take a lot more than that to fix the forests." Penn State Expert Blames Forest Problem on Acid Rain, Not Deer', Penn State Live, 5/17/02"

Here we go again. Science cherry-picked and misrepresented by opponents of responsible deer management. Anyone interested in what Dr. Sharpe really said? Am I the only one who reads this and think he is talking about Pennsylvania and not Michigan? "I agree that we need to control deer numbers," says Bill Sharpe, who has been studying the effects of acid rain on Pennsylvania forests for 25 years. "But the problem with our forests is caused by more than just deer. The acid-sensitive tree species such as red oak and sugar maple are not going to regenerate well -- whether deer are eating them or not. I am worried that we will suffer all of this heartburn over deer and still have a huge problem on our hands." Full article here: http://live.psu.edu/story/32769. What more needs to be said?

Lakota05

WingMaster - there are experts on both sides of the argument. There are numbers and figures for anything you want to quote - Remember Figures Lie and Liars Figure. Where there should be no argument, is that I should not have hunting in my back yard. My family has hunted for years and would never partake in a hunt this close to neighborhoods - particularly with semi-tame deer as the target.

ghresident

Lakota, you sound like a hunter but.....semi tame deer would be fenced in. These deer are semi domesticated. Homes were built in there habitat with nice yummy landscaping for them to eat.

Smartie

So now you are into semantics? Semi tame deer are fenced in? Semi domesticated deer are not? Why wouldn't it be in the reverse, pray tell? Is there truly a distinction between the two, other than your desire to be contrary?

ghresident

Deer farms have semi tame animals, they can be petted and handled. Can the deer in North Shore be handled the same way? No.

Wingmaster

You lost me there Lakota05, half of the hunting in the LP of Michigan is done in backyards. These so called semi tame deer you talk about are far more keen on how to avoid human contact as the are educated on our activities and learn when to take flight or stand until we pass. Seems you have missed that in the years of hunting your family has done?

GN

Those survey questions were intentionally crafted to elicit the response they wanted. What if the County would have included the survey questions below.




* Do you think it is safe to allow the use of high powered weapons in the North Ottawa Dunes that fire slugs which can travel 5,205 feet, with only a 450 feet safety buffer zone from homes?




* Do you think it is safe to allow the use of high powered weapons near a densely populated and developed neighborhood?




* Do you think it is safe to allow hunting in a park that can't effectively be shut down for safety purposes.




* Do you think it could traumatize residents and their children to find wounded deer bleeding to death in their back yards?




* Would you prefer to see safe non-lethal methods used to resolve deer-human conflicts.




If these questions were asked on the survey I think the responses would have revealed a very strong opposition to hunting in the North Ottawa Dunes.

Vast Right Wing...

GN just keep reporting the same junk science "facts" and maybe they will become truths - at least this time you took out shotguns and muzzle loaders.

GN are you aware more people are killed by deer in Michigan than in all hunting accidents in the US each year?

Smartie

You are rubber, I am glue...how interesting that you, of all people, accuse someone of exactly what you do, believing earnestly that if a lie is told often enough, it will become true!

ghresident

It must be true if its posted on the internet........oh boy.

truthhurts

man, if i could by a gun that has a trajectory of 5,205 ft then sign me up I want one (i think you are forgetting about GRAVITY). High power = rifle; rifles are not allowed in ottawa county, only muzzleloaders and shot gun which have heavy slugs and do not travel very far at all. 2.) don't dress up like a deer or bigfoot and you will be fine in the woods during hunting time. 3.) if your kids can't handle seeing a dead animal, then they better never ride in a car, go to a funeral, or eat meat..otherwise there is a dead animal on your dinner table. You are wrong and it is people like you that will make America weak.

ghresident

Yeah I dont think they'd let us hunt with a Barret 50 cal.......lol! I want to eat what I harvest.

Smartie

You obvioulsy are not an expert on kids, are you?
There's nothing wrong with correctly teaching kids about life and death and respect for life; there is, however, a danger in desensitizing young children by having them watch the killing of animals, especially dying animals that may be severely suffering!

truthhurts

sorry there is not award for having the most dumb posts.

43°North

you win!!

truthhurts

sorry there is not award for having the most dumb posts.

Wingmaster

Your right Smartie, its much better to be desensitized watching TV and playing video games!

ghresident

Desensitizing young children? Seriously? My children whom are now 28 & 26 , both male and female actually asked to go hunting with me from a very young age. Both are now proficent hunters who enjoy the bounties Michigan provides for them. Heres an exert from the DNRE; Michigan's Great Outdoors ... Pass It On!

Choosing the perfect lure, reeling in your first lunker after great battle ...
Sitting stock still after catching sight of a handsome buck, just yards away ...
Drinking in the sights and sounds of the forest for the first time, feeling right at home ...

If you have treasured childhood memories like these - from time spent in the company of family members or friends who wanted to share their love of the outdoors with you - count yourself lucky. Want to keep that tradition going strong? Good news! The Department of Natural Resources is proud to offer the new Mentored Youth Hunting program (starting March 1, 2012) for the 2012 hunting season - an easy way for experienced Michigan hunters and anglers to inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts.

The Mentored Youth Hunting program is designed to introduce youth under the age of 10 to hunting and fishing, offering a "package" license for just $7.50. For one low price, youth hunters under the age of 10 will be able to hunt turkey (spring and fall, any hunt period/location, on private or public land), deer (two tags, any deer) and small game, trap furbearers and fish for all species.

By eliminating the minimum hunting age in Michigan, the Mentored Youth Hunting program is geared toward parents and other adult mentors who want to teach children under the age of 10 how to hunt and fish. It lets parents determine if and when their child is ready to hunt.

The Mentored Youth Hunting program is an easy way to introduce children to Michigan's rich outdoor heritage, teach them about the importance of conserving our state's unmatched natural resources and help ensure that our hunting tradition continues to thrive. Every license purchased means important funding for wildlife habitat improvement and restoration, wildlife research, programs that provide access for public hunting, hunter safety education and much more.

Michigan's great outdoors ... pass it on through the DNR's Mentored Youth Hunting program.

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