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.
 

Comments

ghresident

Gee thanks Wing, I thought the three of us had something going good here....lol!

Tri-cities realist

Smartie, what's your response to the statistics...

ghresident

Its funny how you say recreation/trophy hunting, I do relax in the woods or duckblind. However I have other forms of recreation, Hunting is my time to relax and enjoy nature, I actually prefer fresh venison over that garbage store bought crap. If you think I'm in this as a trophy hunter, your dead wrong. Antlers are just a bonus.

Mr. Conservative

Most hunters hunt for food. Not sport. Try it sometime.

Smartie

Wingmaster wrote, "The Trib, after some prompting, comes up with an article that supports the hunt." I find this comment extremely disturbing and questionable: What exactly did Wingmaster mean by "after some prompting"? Who managed to influence the Trib to write the editorial to endorse the hunt, and why would the Trib's editorial board succumb to outside pressure, and from whom? If that is the case, it definitely doesn't say much for the journalistic integrity that we would expect from a newspaper. What IS going on here?

Springtime

Well John, I mean Wingmaster, you have created a divided community, are you satisfied now?
Residents who have been concerned about safety are now being bullied both on this website and in the paper by the editors of the Tribune. This tells me safety is the least of your concerns, you are planning on going ahead with this hunt regardless of how the majority feels. I guess if someone gets hurt they will just sue the hunter and not you, right?

Wingmaster

Well Springtime, slow down your not as smart as you are trying to give yourself credit for. I guarantee you do not know who I am. Now we all understand how you have come to your understanding and wrong side of this issue. You start with twisting facts, mix in some seriously flawed opinion, then let your ego take over. I still have not seen one solution come from you on any of these post. Now if you want to disagree and debate the solution, lets talk. If you just want to spew your uninformed opinion and accusations, move on because I am more interested in thoughtful sound debate.

ghresident

Springtime, how is it Wingmasters posts have created a divided community? Others have spent time gathering data with factual evidence about overpopulation, culling and deer disease. While some just goggle and post the closest thing they can find in an attempt to stop this hunt without any credible data to support their case, other than they just don’t want the hunt in there supposed back yard. What has created a divided community is 5 articles on the Tribunes website about this hunt, whether it be our views, letters to the editor, ect. Here’s a view that will try and cover both sides, the opposed are either ANTI’s or PETA, maybe just concerned residents surrounding Coast Guard Park. In reality it doesn’t matter who they are, there concerned about their safety, do you blame them? I don’t, I’m concerned about safety in everyday life, anyone who isn’t concerned plain just doesn’t care about life in general. Yes this park is open to the general public just like a ton of stateland around us that is open to all the hunting seasons and has been for years. Others are saying hunt, just not in my back yard. Fact is hunting is happening all over the county in people’s backyards, some may like it and others don’t. But they have to live with it. Yes accidents can and do happen in hunting, there’s no denying it. Someone not unloading there firearm crossing a fence, not wearing a safety harness in a tree stand and falling. Or the worst failing to know what their intended target is and taking a shot causing the loss of life. Just like the 17 year old a couple days ago, he was shot with a 22 caliber rifle for anyone who hasn’t researched it. The big problem here is we as hunters are being made out as the bad guy like we are gun slinging outlaw’s from the wild west. Fact is we are not, we care about safety more than most, however there are a select few who have no respect and should not be even handling a gun. We have family’s just like the rest of you, we also have children and yes were concerned about their safety just as much. As I have said before, I care and respect my surroundings, this includes the property and the people surrounding the areas where I hunt. If I didn’t I wouldn’t be hunting there today like I have for many years. If this park was open to public hunting and hunted every year like the rest of the surrounding stateland, this big debate wouldn’t be going on now. These articles have divided the community by all the comments pro and con about this hunt.

Smartie

It's almost next to impossible to sue a hunter because of the buck fever excuse/defense....they can get away with murder of innocent people by using that lame excuse.

Smartie

A message for anyone, especially Wingmaster (no master of math, that's for sure!) who wonders why the percentage in the poll doesn't change with every single vote....it's just plain math!
One vote isn't enough, based on the total number of already cast votes, to change the percentage!
Is that clear?
One vote can change the percentage when there are only a handful of votes in the beginning.; we are way past that stage, in case you haven't noticed. Thanks for understanding how this works!

ghresident

Being an open source hosting administrator specializing in IP protocol tracking, polls can be manipulated in numerous ways, in the right hands anyone can do this. It’s not rocket science by any means. Numbers and percentages mean nothing when a poll has been tainted or tampered with. I’ll look forward to your rebuttal Smartie………

Wingmaster

Thanks ghresident for providing facts to my secondary point. Random polling can be easily manipulated.

RenegadeX

Smartie, how was my math on the per capita accidental death rate of automobiles versus hunting?

Smartie

In regard to what Wingmaster wrote (a few comments below), "The Trib, after some prompting, comes up with an article that supports the hunt." I find this comment extremely disturbing and questionable: What exactly did Wingmaster mean by "after some prompting"? Who managed to influence the Trib to write the editorial to endorse the hunt, and why would the Trib's editorial board succumb to outside pressure, and from whom? If that is the case, it definitely doesn't say much for the journalistic integrity that we would expect from a newspaper. What IS going on here? Does anyone know?

GN

How very interesting, since the Trib buckled under some apparent pressure to pen a pro-hunt editorial (according to Wingmaster), how much sweet talk or prompting would it take to reverse their position to an anti-hunt editorial?

Smartie

I would wager that it depends on who's doin' the sweet-talkin'......

Wingmaster

Do you think maybe they were able to read these post and see their lopsided reporting and try to balance it out....oh hey by the way, what's your solution to the over browse problem?

Wingmaster

Don't ya think the Trib is reading these post. Wow....oh hey by the way what's your solution to the over browse problem!!!

Smartie

I would say that, yeah! The deer are removing tick habitat!

Wingmaster

So you are now admitting you do not care for the the natural world around you! Just as I figured.

Smartie

To what and to whom might you be referring to, Sir Wingmaster?

Smartie

The Trib is reading my comnments, but not yours? Hmmmm, I wonder what that means.

kathy p.

Yes, what is going on here? This is very confusing to me - something is going on here that doesn't appear to be right.

Wingmaster

Yes, something doesn't seem right....the 2 of you (Smartie, Kathy p) are on here at the same time. Sounds like the collusion you are all inferring.....oh hey since your here, what's your solution to the over browse problem?

RenegadeX

What is going on here is the Tribune choosing to not cherry-pick science and succumb to unfounded hesterics to offer an opinion on what it views as the responsible stewardship of a unique public park that I suspect many in this forum have never even traversed in any meaningful way.

Smartie

RenegadeX, ouch, you're killing me with your spelling - and it's not even a typo!

RenegadeX

You can't offer a simple rebuttal to my comments so you are going to pick at my spelling? That seems the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt, no? I do respond with an iPad in these forums and those new-fangle devices are hard to tipe with ;-)

Foxy Lady

Since hunting causes the reproduction rates of a deer population to
double or triple, hunting is not a solution to a problem, but a
commitment to a permanent problem. This phenomenon explains
why hunting as a management tool has resulted in an everincreasing
number of deer.

Leave deer alone, and their population will stabilize. Many studies
have proven this.

When towns kill deer, they convey a message to our children that
killing is the way to solve our problems. This is not a good idea.

Hunting is Animal Cruelty. Period.

ghresident

Your Views do not reflect the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune Comment section.

RenegadeX

While that MAY be true, it is certainly inconsequential.

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