OUR VIEWS: Hunt opposition off target

Sep 21, 2012


Some of the concerns may be valid, but others are way off target.

The problem occurs when people forget that these are wild creatures and instead view them as some sort of lovable Disney creation.

These are real animals, living in a natural world that is unkind and unforgiving. Toss out your misconceptions that these are cute, cuddly, peaceful creatures. They're not. These are living, breathing animals that have three primary goals in life: to eat, to avoid predators and to reproduce.

And these wild creatures are capable of overrunning the land on which they live, which is the case in many residential areas across the state. They have no natural predators, other than the occasional coyote.

A more legitimate concern about the proposed North Ottawa Dunes hunt is safety, but even those concerns are overblown. Non-hunters often assume that all deer hunters behave like Amos Slade, the trigger-happy protagonist in Disney's "The Fox and the Hound” who sends lead flying in every direction whenever he's out on the hunt.

In reality, hunters are an inherently safe bunch. The number of hunting accidents in Michigan number around a dozen per year, and many of those involve hunters falling out of tree stands. The number of times a hunter actually fires his bow or his gun and hits something other than his intended target is miniscule.

Granted, North Ottawa Dunes is situated adjacent to a few residential areas, notably North Holiday Hills. But many hunters already set up their blinds in areas close to residential areas. This is nothing new.

Deer hunts have been held in other popular parks across the state. Near Traverse City, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and the park is open to hunting during the fall months.

While we realize that not everyone will support this hunt, we recognize the need to manage the deer herd at North Ottawa Dunes. We’ll put our faith in the experts who recommended the hunt, and our faith in those who participate in the hunt to do so safely.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



"The number of times a hunter actually fires his bow or his gun and hits something other than his intended target is miniscule".....Tell that to the people in Cutter Park!!


(...snip....duplicate post ...)


Are people who are hunting the cause of concern in cutter park? Well? Are they?

Tri-cities realist

Orvis, your comment has nothing to do with the discussion. The incidents in cutter park occurred while the grand valley state police were target practicing. While the safety issues with the north Ottawa rod and gun club are unfortunate, I'm more concerned that the errant bullet was fired by a so-called professional. How ironic. Actually it's not, since most hunters are as safety conscious (if not more) than police, since we don't have the "law" to back us up if we make a mistake.


Wow, You folks are really a hoot. First you publish a series of "articles" whose primary purpose seemed to be to stir up your readership into a frothy outrage and then, after you've successfully milked that outrage on both sides via the Comments section you now come out and say our views are misplaced and unwarrented and to just let the "experts" have their way. Really? For the record I'm neither a hunter nor do I have anything against hunting, I don't have the educational background, or the level of interest in this topic to put out a good argument for either side so I won't bother. However I do have an issue with your articles on this subject and the way your views have been presented here. I question your motives and the level of journalism that I've seen presented here lately.


Sure, shoot (no pun intended) the messenger.


Careful now... I've recently had many similar posts deleted for questioning the "our views" column. Evidently if you question their motives and journalistic integrity it is tantamount to "libel and defamation".

We can share "our views" here too, as long as they don't question the almighty editorial board!


Amen LessThanAmused. Do they really, truly think this boils down to Disney & Bambi? Nice try Tribune. Maybe when someone gets hurt you will do an editorial on Elmer Fudd.


How dare you agree with someone questioning this column?! Have you no respect for the calming and unifying position the paper takes on issues like this? All they're trying to do is inform with facts and a balanced viewpoint so people can form their own opinions through meaningful dialogue.

Yeah, right! (Hope you get a chance to get a good laugh at this before they delete it for being "libel and defamation". Man I gotta get me a copy of whatever dictionary they're using!)


Great example of biased and unprofessional journalism.

Magic Mike

To their credit, it is an editorial and not an actual news story.


Oh please! An editorial is supposed to encourage critical thinking and take a stand on an important issue, not just stir the pot on hot issues.

An editorial should contain newsworthy information along with a rational opinion to persuade readers on meaningful issues, but my opinion is that the main motivator here consistently seems to be keeping a controversial issue alive.

(Note to the editors: this is my opinion, not intended to defame or libel anyone, but merely sharing an observation and opinion.)


So, what kind of journalism would it have been if they had printed an editorial aligned with YOUR beliefs?

Mr. Conservative

ATTENTION FOLKS! Anything that is not extremely liberal is BIASED!


Truly amazing!
A sort-of retraction, if one can call it that, yet still containing so much totally useless information! An inferred Disney-created "Bambi", reference, most likely meant as derisive toward those who oppose the hunt for many valid reasons, doesn't belong in serious reporting.
Wouldn't it be great if a life and death subject were given equal consideration with valid points that could be discussed intelligently for a change?
Fear mongering, terrifying residents of "transmitted" diseases from deer, completely off the wall, quickly removed (probably after comments that proved it not being the case), and now this?
Truly amazing, and definitely chutzpah!


One more observation, and I shall try to forever hold my peace: "The proposed deer hunt at North Ottawa Dunes has created a firestorm of outrage among those who oppose the hunt."

I would say that those who are for hunting at North Ottawa Dunes were far more opposed to ideas presented by those who were against it; and they were also extremely emotional in their defense of killing deer!

So, the Tribune claims that some of the pro-hunting comments were NOT way off target?????

Seriously....just sayin'


What ideas? Wingmaster has been polite and persistent in asking those opposed to a reduction in the herd to help the vegetation heal for their ideas on how that might happen on the 500 acres of North Ottawa Dunes. Let's have that conversation so you can prove what a "smartie" you REALLY are. It would have to be better than the literary tantrums which seem to be the hallmark of the opposition to these efforts at conservation and stewardship of one of the last large assemblages of fresh water dunes IN THE WORLD.


Everything that was presented about safety was regularly and very condescendingly pooh-poohedf!
You ask what ideas, go back and check.


The question at issue is how to best mitigate the damage to the vegetation at North Ottawa Dunes due to the unnaturally high number of deer. It is NOT not an issue unique to that area. Hunting in some form has been happening on the adjacent 1200 acres of Hofmaster State Park for several years now without incident and is helping park officials achieve biological diversity goals. My question to you is how the related goals of Ottawa County can be accomplished at NOD without a reduction in the herd. I have not seen a realistic response to that. Perhaps I missed one?


I'm very disappointed in The Grand Haven Tribune. What an arrogant and condescending piece! Professional journalists report on both sides of a story in an objective and unbiased form. They present facts so the public can make an informed decision about an issue. They don't label and insult their readers because they have expressed a different view form their own, and they certainly don't invalidate their readers' concerns, telling them how to think or feel about a certain topic.

NO, I don't live in a Looney Toon or Disney fantasy world. I live in a very real world where deer are not the out of control diseased foragers overrunning towns across America that you want to depict. Yes, they eat, poop, reproduce, try to stay safe and survive and die. That is what all forms of life, including humans, do. We can coexist with them while protecting our gardens. It’s really not that hard.

You mock readers about believing in fantasies, and then tell them to follow your own. Where there are weapons, accidents happen. That is the real world. Hunters can be careful, but they are still human, bullets can ricochet, people can access the hunting zone unknowingly, wounded deer can run into traffic. Maybe for you a few hunting accidents is nothing to worry about, but ask the families of those who have lost a loved one. It is not a belittling matter. Weapons have no place in this community. We don’t need to wait for a tragedy to happen. We can avoid it. This is the real world. Won’t you join me?


Weapons have no place in this community???????????? Then you better take them from the local police departments and ban my second amendment rights.


I loved the response other than this part. Weapons (i.e. guns) are a second amendment right.


YES! Great response.

Tri-cities realist

Susan, "Our Views" is the editorial opinion section of the Tribune, distinctly separate from the regular news section. But I'm sure you know that, right?

Mr. Conservative

you spew some of the biggest bullsh*t i have ever heard


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks. Discussion Guidelines


What exactly were the personal attacks? BTW, there was a young man killed in a hunting accident in MI today - and he was shot from 450 feet away........


I can only guess that Trib moderators must interpret criticism of their editorial as personal attacks. So much for free speech. It must be nice when you own the newspaper, the website, and the ink. Another example of fair and balanced.


Yes, they certainly do. Very frustrating indeed!



The Grand Haven Tribune's editorial board is incorrectly positioning the opposition to hunting in the North Ottawa Dunes as opposition to hunting. That's not the case at all. The issue is that residents in North Holiday Hills and others living in close proximity to the North Ottawa Dunes property, i.e. it's in their back yards, oppose this hunt because of safety concerns for their family. According to the International Hunter Education Association, approximately 1,000 people in the US and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters every year, and just under a hundred of those accidents are fatalities. It's just not safe to allow hunting adjacent to a densely populated and fully developed neighborhood. How can a 450 foot "safety buffer zone" protect residents when a shotgun slug projectile can travel 5,205 feet, and a muzzleloader projectile can travel 4,498 feet? It can't!!!! This misguided hunt will threaten the safety of families, children, and pets. There are appropriate places to hunt. That place is not in residents back yards.



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.