LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Opposes deer hunt

Sep 10, 2012

 

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
Grand Haven
 

Comments

Tri-cities realist

"boom in the deer population." Hahaha. I think she meant boon. And either we now know the identity of the poster on the previous article, or where she gets her "facts", from tribune blogs.

black foot

Susan,
What is the Safety Coalition about and what safety issues in our community are you addressing?

Tri-cities realist

Apparently only opposing the proposed hunt as noted on their Facebook page.

sirhansalot

A hunt must be done each and every year, Sorry but the deer are animals and need to be taken for food to be eaten by people..

Springtime

Ottawa County purchased this land for the sole purpose of hunting, not for the public, just for the close friends of the Parks Dept manager to hunt closer to home. It was not voted on by the people of the TriCities, they used our tax dollars to purchase it and now the people that live in that area are going to be subjected to gunfire in their backyards, this is beyond belief, where are the rights of the people that live there and do not want bullets flying by their familes. We have heard how safe this is all going to be and yet the media is full of stories everyday about people being shot. The hunting should be up North on State land where it belongs. I believe that the Kitchel-Lindquist Board and the TriCities Safety Coalition has already stated they are against the hunt, this should tell you something.

Wingmaster

The land was purchased as I recall to protect the dunes from being sand mined. Before that, people in the area, were as you say, subject to gunfire. I do not recall one incident of someone being shot as a result of hunting. The only people getting shot everyday are in our big cities! So quit the drama.

RenegadeX

Springtime, oui vey...How many days will be devoted to hunting versus days that are not? The answer ought to put to rest your assertion.

Redbeard

Susan may be right about the max range for shotguns and muzzleloaders, however she is obvioulsy not aware how ballistics works. In oder for a projectile to reach that max range one would probably have to be shooting up at a 45 degree angle. A shotgun or muzzleloader fired on a level trejectory will drop into the dirt withing a couple hundred yards depending on how rolling the terrain is. Yes that is more than the 450 saftey buffer but her statement that the range is nealy a mile is misleading.

Mr. Conservative

i completely agree. she obviously knows nothing of what the talks about.

Bina Robinson

There is no doubt that the loss of life experienced by deer from human hunting stimulates their reproduction. This is a universal natural reaction to preserve a species. Another example of this is the human baby boom that followed World War II. Far from reducing the number of deer, hunting seasons stimulate the birth rate and even tend to increase their numbers.

truthhurts

.

truthhurts

hahaha, really?

Wingmaster

Huh, seems like there would be a whole lot more Dinosaurs and Passenger Pigeons around.

43°North

yeah, stupid cave men hunting those dinosaurs into extinction like that...

black foot

Bina,
I got in contact with a deer farm this afternoon in Ravana, Ask them about your theory, this is what that said, if a doe has triplets it will kill the weakest to let the other two survive,that is just coming from a twenty year deer farmer. Hope this helps.

RenegadeX

Deer enjoy a nutrient-rich environment in Southern Michigan. We have created ideal "edge habitat" for them with the segmentation of our forests. They "bed" in the forests during he day, and then migrate to feeding areas (grass-rich meadows and farmed fields) from dusk till dawn. Whether we kill them or not, you will still see does giving birth primarily to twins as there is abundant "carrying capacity" for these hooved ungulates. Regulated hunting provides the means to manage populations, provide lean and healthy protein for human consumption, and affords kinship with the natural world that too many of our citizens seem to lack.

Wingmaster

Take your kids hunting so you do not have go hunting for your kids!

RenegadeX

"Bina Robinson" continues to spout the same tired and disproved assertions of the Defenders of Urban Wildlife who have been unsuccessful in gaining public support for their opposition to urban deer management practices in Grand Haven. She and they like to shout the term "compensatory rebound" based in part on a study they at one time included on their website. It was a 30 year-old study co-authored by Dr. Ronald Labisky and was entitled Reproductive Dynamics Among Disjunct White-tailed Deer Herds in Florida. The study found, in part, that there was slight increase in fertility rates in hunted herds vs. non-hunted herds. Note my use of the term slight and what Dr. Labisky says about HIS findings. Their use of this study caused me to read the study in its entirety. Furthermore, I reached out to Dr. Labisky and was shocked and surprised that he responded to my email inquiries. We all know what "Bina Robinson" and her ilk say. Hunting deer means the remaining deer will have more food; therefore, more deer will be born. Well. I'll repost some of my conversation with Dr. Labisky and let others be the judge as to the veracity of the statements from Defenders of Urban Wildlife and "Bina Robinson". His comments are in parenthesis ( ) and I emphasize key points with ALL CAPS. The text display features of this forum are a bummer, but I hope you all can read this. (First off, managing deer herds is urban settings is a complex problem, and I have never researched urban deer populations. I can offer some comments, and will. No, I have never heard of the term “compensatory rebound”. I suspect they derived the term from a statement that Richter and I made on page 969 of our 1985 paper: “Although pregnancy rates DID NOT DIFFER SIGNIFCANTLY between hunted and nonhunted sites in Florida, the number of fetuses per pregnant doe was greater on hunted than nonhunted sites. The index of net reproductive gain, fawns excluded, was 1.240 in hunted herds and 1.075 in nonhunted herds, suggesting that HUNTED HERDS WERE IN BETTER BALANCE with the carrying capacities of their ranges.” I stand by that statement, and besides that concept is as old as the hills. But, let’s tease it apart, by starting with the term carrying capacity. In Florida, nutrition is very poor; levels of crude protein, phosphorus, and in vitro organic matter digestibility in major forages in pine flatwoods habitat “was deficient year-round with respect to the nutritional requirement of white-tailed deer” (Kilgo and Labisky. 1995. Florida Scientist 58: 327-334). Furthermore, does in Florida do not breed until 18 months of age, whereas a high proportion of does in the Midwestern states breed as fawns, e.g., (94% in Illinois). Another facet in Florida is the high predation rate on fawns; a minimum of 60% (94% by extrapolation) of fawns were killed by bobcats in the Florida Everglades (Labisky and Boulay. 1998. American Midland Naturalist 139: 275-281). In your part of the world, PREDATORS ARE ABSENT or at low population levels. All these factors contribute to the low density of deer in Florida (range of about 10-30 deer per square mile)—far lower than densities in your part of the world. Thus, we have a few problems with deer in urban settings, save for homes/landscapes nested within inviolate natural preserves. In fact, statewide, the sportsman cry is for MORE deer, thus, we harvest few does. Bottom line: MANAGEMENT OF DEER IN FLORIDA IS MUCH DIFFERENT THAN IN MICHIGAN. Your region of Michigan has good forage that provides high nutrition; thus, productivity is high, which contributes to moderate/high densities. Urban areas and parks, thus, become sanctuaries for deer—resulting in deer damage to natural and urban landscapes. The problem is too many deer in environments with limited carrying capacity. Noteworthy, in this respect, is that the overpopulation of deer has occurred in many Midwestern states in the past 50 or 60 years (e.g., Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota), which led to the now general practice of harvesting female deer to reduce populations. Some of these reductions were drastic, thereby unpopular, but necessary. Some folks have championed sterilization and other related techniques as a means of reducing populations. In my opinion, such approaches are cost-prohibitive and ineffective. For example, if you do manage to render the entire herd incapable of reproduction, you still have the “standing” herd intact and capable of continuing damage to the vegetation until they die. Furthermore, you will continue to get an influx of deer from surrounding environs. YOU ARE ALREADY AT HIGH REPRODUCTIVE LEVELS, SO THE REDUCTION OF DOES TO THE SO-CALLED "COMPENSATORY REBOUND" IS INCONSEQUENTIAL IN YOUR SITUATION. The bottom line is that you need to reduce your deer population before it gets out of hand.) Remember, this is the author of the study opponents of hunting and culling say “proves” THEIR theory called “compensatory rebound”. Am I the only one who finds it telling that Dr. Labisky has never heard of the term? What is most disappointing about “Bina Robinson" and her ilk is they want to pretend they understand what they view as the “science” behind their positions. But unlike science, their positions don’t stand up to a modicum of “peer review”. Their minds are made up and that’s just the way it is. What is surprising to me is when you peel back the onion layers of who these people are...they are educated urbanites, pampered by our modern life, who have spent precious little time in the wild. This absence of experience with wildlife oozes from their writings like water from a wet sponge.

Wingmaster

Wow, very impressive. Your post is worth repeating every time this study is twisted by others to offer flawed opinions to this debate. Thanks RenegadeX for doing what investigative reporters are supposed to be PAID to do. See Tribune reporters, that is what someone there could be doing with their time rather then coming up with silly worded polls or inflammatory titled piece regarding this hunt. Actually call the author of the repeatedly posted study on here and ask questions! For those that are lurking and following along with this discussion, this should give you pause to think. If you are of the same views against this hunt as Bina Robinson and others you should really be thinking long and hard. Notice how most on this forum that are pro hunting and hunters themselves, spend time actually studying and understand throughly the complex problems of urban deer. I suspect those same hunters, like myself have been already practicing if the are bowhunters for at least a month now. We are dedicated to being competent when we entire the field. We respect the game we hunt deeply. We practice and are very familiar with our weapons. We have all been through safety programs and most have spent additional time practicing that safety with Mothers and Fathers and peers. Yes I said Mothers. There are more and more female hunters involved with the sport. I have spent time afield with both of my daughters many times before they were of age to hunt and now that they are. I would not be exposing my kids, that I love dearly, to an unsafe environment. Like my father did with me, we discuss safety nearly every time we uncase our guns. We hunters find it very offensive when the uninformed make wild claims regarding how unsafe hunting would be. I feel safer at a camp fire with hunters then I do in a coffee shop in the city with these so called compassionate people. So if you are a non hunter that is fine, but hunting the deer in this park offers a cost effective, safe solution to this problem.

newspaperlawyer

I think its about time for the counties parks tax to expire... then the land with stay private and nothing to worry about...

Redbeard

Springtime get real, every year several hunters die from heart attacks, and that is about it, very few die from intentional or accidental gunshot wounds. People who hunt are not wild eyed gunslingers out to murder.

Bina hunting does not stimulate reproduction, just ask the Carrier Pigeons, the American Bison and the Bengal Tiger. Proper wildlife management is what maintains population, It is rediculous to assume that the killing of humans in WW2 caused the baby boom, no it was just a bunch of lonely guys coming home and gettig hitched

You may be right that the park is too dangerous a place to hunt but your arguments do not stand the realty test.

ghresident

Susan, your safety coalition is flawed at best along with your ballistics data or should I say one sided with a closed mind. this is a 500 acre tract that will have limited numbers of hunters drawn by the lottery system. I hardly see this as a safety threat as you call it. We as hunters care more for YOUR safety than harvesting an animal.

Mr. Conservative

You know nothing of guns. You know nothing of hunting. Hunters are not retarded like you. A 450 foot buffer from houses is more than enough. Families are not in any danger. Hunters actually know how to shoot and what is beyond their target. No hunter is stupid enough to shoot toward the houses. I am a avid hunter myself and safety is number one on my list of priorities, having a good time is number two. 1 mile for a rifled slug is a very very long distance. To acheive that, you would have to be pointing the gun almost straight up in the air. Compared to most guns, that is a very short distance. Most hunters would be using sabot slugs in 12 gauge shotguns with rifled barrels. That is even more effective and accurate than a regular rifled slug. Your ignorance is really annoying and you should get your crap right before making and @$$ of youself on the GH tribune.

43°North

This is a fake coalition made up by this person who lives in Florida.

 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.