LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Disputes Dr. Rotz letter

Sep 24, 2012

Have you taken detailed notes to support your statement that there is a catastrophic loss of plants within the park system? If you have, how has this adversely affected you? If you were starving and a plant filled with edible berries was within your reach, would you not feed from that plant regardless of ownership?

You write that, "Deer are beautiful animals in the right setting." Wrong! They are beautiful animals in any setting. I agree they are starving because of human intrusion and reduced browsing areas. If we continually encroach upon their habitat, don't you believe we have some responsibility to their well-being? Perhaps they do belong in the forest. But this area was a forest once, now decimated through development.

Homeowners suffer enormous financial losses because the deer consume cultivated plants? How much do flowers cost? Like so many that have written in favor of deer culling, Dr. Rotz has foregone compassion or viable alternatives. Of all people, you should be the stronghold of compassion, considering your profession. To kill without justification is an aberration of God's will.

Deer are known to carry ticks that can infect the human population with Lyme disease. If people cannot recognize they are infected and refuse to get treatment, whose fault is it? What about West Nile virus? Should we eliminate the entire bird population to stop this disease of unprecedented proportion? To state that deer have been found to be infected with tuberculosis and hemorrhagic disease is simply superfluous. 

To completely eliminate deer from our society would be utter folly. What about the other deer with legs? They are going to eventually migrate into this area in search of food. We must live in harmony with wildlife.

— Tim Kratt, Grand Haven Township

 

Comments

Smartie

An excellenty and yet often ignored point was made by Tim Kratt, nature abhors a vacuum. Even if all deer were to be killed, that vacuum would soon be filled with "outside" deer taking up the vacated space, filling the biological carrying capacity. Even if only a small number of deer were killed to satisfy a few selfish, ignorant deer haters, others would soon move into the area.
Lyme disease v. West Nile virus - the latter being the more problematic at this time, yet all the attention is focused on the the former, thus villifying deer.

Tri-cities realist

Still waiting for an alternative solution...

Smartie

WHY? I bet you're not willing to even consider alternatives to killing.......seems that everyone's already made up their minds.

truthhurts

seems to me that you 'activists' are the ones that have made up your minds. You people want everyone to think like you. Also, granted that you people have not come up with an alternative solution...all you do is keep stating the same crap over and over. You propaganda doesn't fly here. Get over the fact that something dies so that something else lives...that is life no matter who you are. Do you eat plants? plants are living, breathing cells you killer

Wingmaster

Maybe if "hunter haters" like smartie could get past their blind hatred, they would engage with the community and come up with solutions. We are still waiting smartie.

Tri-cities realist

Smartie, I am willing to consider alternative solutions. However, in order to consider alternatives, I first need to be presented with one.

Vladtheimp

I believe it would be useful for this discussion to substitute "deer" with "grizzly bears" or "wolves," have people imagining themselves in an environment where that is a reasonable concept (rural West, Alaska), and substitute "flowers" and "gardens" with "family cats and dogs" and "children."

I wonder if the opponents of the hunt would have a different opinion, or whether they simply oppose the culling because it is hunting, and they would sacrifice the pets and children to be politically correct.

Tri-cities realist

Hmm, very thought provoking Vlad, but they won't admit the answer. PC is the altar at which they worship.

truthhurts

i don't consider myself a 'deer hater' because venison taste better and is healthier, actually i guess that makes me a deer lover contrary to your comment. I like the fact that other deer will come back to the area where I like to kill them. Makes it easier next year, plus bait works well.

Smartie

With friends like you, no need for enemies, eh?

truthhurts

yep, everyone loves me!...even deer

Tri-cities realist

I marvel at how easily offended some people are ("extremely disturbing letter written...."). And once again Mr. Kratt criticizes those who offer no other solutions, yet offers NO solutions himself. Our solution is to cull by hunting, what is your solution? And by the way, hunters do not kill without justification. They do it to feed their families.

Wingmaster

Simply trying to show your "sensitive" to the deer does not solve the problem Mr. Kratt. What are your compassionate or viable alternatives? Your letter is full of the same hyperbole that some others bring to the conversations. Dr Rotz never says to eliminate deer from society. He is speaking of this urban environment so quit the drama. We are all growing tired of the opposing view throw out opinions with twisted facts and taking comments out of context to further an agenda. So if you truly are compassionate, lets start hearing some solutions from you and others like you. Yes, as TC realist says, we all continue to wait!

Orvis

Its just amazing to me. I know many hunters, and I do not oppose hunting. However, every hunter's motivation is to kill and consume. Never is it to "reduce the financial loss of flowers being eaten by deer", so really hunters...ask yourselves if you truly care about the reasons for this local hunt and post accordingly. Many of you are just trying to protect your right to hunt, yet nobody is trying to take that away. The real question is do we really need to open up areas that are typically closed for hunting? You didn't care when they were closed. Why are you so passionate now?

Wingmaster

Welcome to the conversation Orvis. If you have been here long enough to read more than one post you would see many of the hunters on here are speaking about the habitat destruction. You make a statement that every hunters motivation is to kill and consume is again inflammatory and exactly why you will see many hunters defend their SOLUTION to reduce the habitat destruction that is occurring. I cared about this area way before any of this discussion took place. I have been hauling trash out of those hills for years. I did not do that because I'm a hunter, I did it because I care about the environment in more than just words. If you have to ask at the end of your comments, why we have to open up a closed area to hunting, you obviously do not comprehend the problem and I suspect you are just posing as a friend of hunters. So let's here YOUR solution to the over browse problem.

Orvis

Your a rather comical chap! Thank you for being so defensive. A couple notes: The hunters do not own this solution, it's simply the one they like best, and the one that benefits them most, so they have adopted it as "their" solution (like you note above). Thank you for doing your part to help keep this area clean, we truly need more people like you, but let me ask you, how many hunters do you see out there doing the same thing? Lastly, you suggest that I may be POSING as a friend of hunters? Pump your brakes son, Just this last weekend my 11 year old was in the woods with his grand father and the ol' 30-30 for the youth hunt. No, not posing as a friend, I am a father of two hunters.

ghresident

Orvis, since you’re asking this question. You didn't care when they were closed. Why are you so passionate now?. Let me ask you this, the areas you hunt. How’s the population of deer? Do you have excessive numbers and an over browse issue? This is an opportunity to for a select number of sportsman to help alleviate and over browse problem, I’ve said this before, now I’ll say it again. These over populated deer areas body mass is considerably smaller than in areas where hunting is done every season. This hunt will allow a select few to let their areas rest from normal hunting pressure for a short period. Do you put extreme pressure on your areas or do you let them rest? Another question for ya, How many times have you been on state land with public access recently? They look like garbage dumps, do you pickup after the slobs or let it lay? Oh wait, do you even hunt?

Orvis

We own wooded property among cornfields in Montcalm county. Our property does not expirience excessive presure, but the surrounding areas do. I do not hunt on state land anymore, because I don't need to (formerly hunted Fisherman Island State Game Area). I do however utilize state property for Hiking, biking, camping and other outdoor related activities. Yes, I pick up what is left behind by others, but I must add that I think many Michiganders are good about leaving little behind. Regardless, this debate should not revolve around garbage on state land. My point was simply, that hunters never seemed to mind that the area was closed to hunting prior to the notion that it may become available. It wasn't hunters writing in to the paper about the problems, it was adjacent homeowners. Now that it has been proposed, and the opportunity to kill and consume has been realized, hunters are seeming to use any reason they can to justify the opportunity they would love to have. Even if they don't really hold these reasons near and dear to their hearts.

ghresident

You should look at the cow bridge or the willows after bow season starts, you’d be appalled at what the slob hunters are leaving in these areas. These are not sportsman like most of us, their pigs who make 90% of us look bad. The point failed to be made by many is “we” are stewards of the land. Conservation, resource management is part of what a true sportsman is. We are concerned about the over population and distress that these animals endure and the environment that they are damaging by over browsing. The only solution is to cull the heard.

RenegadeX

Love the 'ol 30-30 lever action. Say, what county was your family hunting in. Just curious.

Orvis

Montcalm

Wingmaster

Ok, brakes on Orvis. Now the same questioned to you that I ask all. What is YOUR solution if the hunting solution is not a good one?

Wingmaster

Errr, duplicate post..snip.

RenegadeX

So, given your name, do you flyfish?

Orvis

Yes. And for the record I have never released a fish because I felt there are too many fish in the river. Many make it to my dinner table, yet there are many that are released so that they may grow, spawn and be caught again.

ghresident

Orvis says; I know many hunters, and I do not oppose hunting. I don’t see anywhere in your posts that you hunt? If in fact you do hunt, your code of ethics and stewardship are way off key….Heres a little insight for you. Environmental stewardship refers to responsible use and protection of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices. Aldo Leopold (1887–1948) championed environmental stewardship based on a land ethic "dealing with man's relation to land and to the animals and plants which grow upon it.

RenegadeX

You ask a number of very good questions, so operating under the assumption you are genuinely interested in answers, I’ll throw in my 2 cents…”However, every hunter's motivation is to kill and consume. Never is it to ‘reduce the financial loss of flowers being eaten by deer’, so really hunters...ask yourselves if you truly care about the reasons for this local hunt and post accordingly”…For many who hunt, I’m not sure it’s as simple as you state. The actual part of “kill and consume” is really only a fraction of the time spent hunting. And while that is a motivating factor, given what I’ve just said, there is much about hunting/conservation that motivates people. Many hunters are part of clubs who indulge in conservation and charitable endeavors, and of course, they can spend time in habitat improvement where they hunt. The reasons for this hunt have been made very clear by the property owner (the Ottawa County Parks Department) and that’s to reduce the deer herd so that native vegetation (especially the spring budding and flowering) can have a chance to regenerate the forest, especially in the sensitive “critical dune” areas and the back dunes. Look at it this way, you like to fly-fish, right? Equate this vegetation with rocks/stones in a trout stream. Take those rocks/stones away, what do you have? Nothing but sand and sediment. How many aquatic insects that you try to imitate to catch trout live in the sand? Take the vegetation away in a forest because it can’t regenerate and you’re left with? Sand and a host of non-native plants that precious few animals utilize…”Many of you are just trying to protect your right to hunt, yet nobody is trying to take that away”…Well, you can bet they would if they could. The reason they can’t is because so many caring hunters are expressing their “passion” and work to protect that right. And really, if someone was telling you that you couldn’t fish a particular stretch of river, using cherry-picked science and emotionally-charged logic as the reason, wouldn’t you do more than just scratch your head? I’m a member of Trout Unlimited and the last time I looked, they were pretty aggressive in protecting access for fly fisherman, no?... The real question is do we really need to open up areas that are typically closed for hunting?”…The answer is we aren’t opening this area up solely to allow hunting, we are opening it up to allow the management of deer who are destroying the ecosystem’s capacity to rejuvenate itself. Hunting just happens to be the most efficient way to do this regardless of the specious argument known as “compensatory rebound” which has been thoroughly debunked in these fora. I’m sure this will get the backside clapping on some, but we don’t prohibit the exterminator from going into a house he’s never been in before simply because he’s never been in it. Of course, the idea isn’t to exterminate all the deer, just manage their population so they are not a threat to the ecosystem and, ultimately, themselves….I’m not sure we are any less passionate now, it’s just that technology has made it infinitely easier to express ourselves in a way where that passion is visible to so many more people. 10 years ago, you could read these comments in the paper and maybe, write a response, mail it, and then a week later, it might be in the paper. Now, it’s real time and because so many people have access to the information, I think many of us want to be sure people have access to all the information, not just the comments of a persistent few. Hope this helps.

Wingmaster

Well said RenegadeX. I can only slightly disagree with the only motivation of a hunter is to kill and consume. I have witnessed hunters go thru all of the dedication to the sport and go to deer camp to cook and go to the woods to nap in nature, not caring if they kill an animal or not. Hunting needs to be defended on every level if we are see it past down to future generation. Hunting bonds humans to the environment around them. It maintains balance in nature. It teaches life lessons, the impact, and our role in the earth we inhabit. Growing up in the area, and watching what is happening, compels me to not only defend slander against hunting and hunters, but take part in the community effort to see that this area is maintained. A controlled hunt remains the best option to achieve that.

Orvis

Thank you for a well thought out and valid response. You make many good points. I wish more conversations on here were as courteous. It is refreshing. It is much easier to entertain others points of view when a bit of respect is shared.

RenegadeX

Thank you for considering my comments.

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