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

Hawkeye

Hunting deer , without question, doesnt just cause long painful deaths for these magnifcent animals, hunting deer also is the primary cause of many vehicle accidents that result in the property damage and injury for humans. Recent studies have clearly shown that deer vs vehicle accidents always are by far the most numerous during the busiest parts of hunting season. Its not the cold, not the rut, etc.....its frightened animals , running in a blind panic at every sound because they are being pursued and shot at by very scary human hunters. Why do we allow a small 5% of the population who are hunters control such a life and death issue??

Wingmaster

If you knew anything about deer behavior Hawkeye, you would realize deer don't run in "blind panic". Why are there so many road kill deer in the spring when hunting season has been over for months! Jeez, read some of the post on here from ghresident and Renegade X. They have presented tons of data for you to read, which you wont. So just by the nature of your comments you are an anti hunter that's here to attack the only reasonable solution to the over browse problem. Lets hear your solution, not your attacks.

RenegadeX

Because there is no group that contributes more to the health and vitality of wild animals and the places they inhabit. http://www.fws.gov/budget/2013/P...

ghresident

Great read Renagade, Thanks!

Mr. Conservative

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained profanity. Discussion Guidelines

RenegadeX

You give free speech a really bad name. Sigh.

Mr. Conservative

protesting the rights gays, muslims, animals, illegals, transgenders gives free speech a bad name. Obama give free speech a bad name.

RenegadeX

Yeah, but the moderators aren't snipping Obama's post.

Mr. Conservative

obama is the worst thing ever to happen to america.

LessThanAmused

'Bout time....every one of this vile person's rants are hate filled and devoid of any useful input. Now go back and delete his other posts full of obcentities and empty of content. You could just delele his account.....it's not like anybody would miss him.

Mr. Conservative

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

Tri-cities realist

Hawkeye, please, please, please post links to these "recent studies", I am dying to read these facts. Thanks.

ghresident

Could you post some data to substantiate your opinion, I have 5 parcels that are ¼ mile off of a main highway that I hunt. Never in my 20 years hunting these areas have I ever pushed a deer into blind panic causing them to be hit by a vehicle, some of these areas are as little as 10 acres. So what you’re saying is by hunting this 500 acre tract, were going to push these deer out to North Shore road to be hit in a blind panic as we enter or leave the woods? As others have said, what’s your solution to the over browse problem at hand?

Zeke

And people though I was harsh and rude! ;-P

RenegadeX

As many of you will recall, there are a number of posters in this forum who claim that hunting deer leads to a phenomena called "compensatory rebound". Simply stated, when you kill deer, there will be more food for the remaining deer who will then respond by having increased reproductive rates that negate the controlling effects of hunting. It seems a 1985 Study in Florida is the source for this. When I reached out to the author of the study, among the many things he qualified was that Michigan, unlike Florida, already has high reproductive rates so even if something called "compensatory rebound" existed (and he had never heard of the term), it wouldn't matter here. I guess that's why Michigan, with HALF as many licensed drivers, has five times the projected car/deer accidents as Florida. http://www.statefarm.com/aboutus...

Hawkeye

Pennsylvania-based Erie Insurance, which has analyzed deer-vehicle collision data in the state for more than a decade, found that the opening day and opening Saturday of deer hunting season are "[t]wo of the most dangerous days to drive." According to the Missouri Insurance Information Service, increased deer activity associated with hunting is a "major factor" in the rise in deer-vehicle collisions in the last three months of the year. With more people (hunters) in the woods, deer are spooked out of wooded areas—often out onto the middle of the road.

Deer are very senstive and aware of their natural surroundings and when their peaceful natural homes are invaded by hunters who have no interest other than killing them, they get very frightened. As someone who enjoys the outdoors 365 days a year , the deer on my land are very calm in my presence.

RenegadeX

Links to sources please so they can be reviewed in their entirety and not just the stuff cherry-picked by you. Thanks for considering.

ghresident

We’ve read the one from Pennsylvania-based Erie Insurance already, did you Google that or take it from one of the many posts here that contain that study? Read my post in response to you below. I’ll look forward to your reply. Again what’s your solution? Seems no one can shed any light on this except for redundant duplicate posts that have no solution to the problem.

RenegadeX

"Peaceful, natural homes"? Really? http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=i... and http://m.youtube.com/watch?featu... and http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=n.... I would strongly encourage you to rethink your assessment that deer live in a world free of predation.

ghresident

The deer on my land are very calm in my presence. Uh yeah, there probably waiting for you to fill their feed bin..................

Wingmaster

You are overlooking couple of major points Hawkeye. 1. Deer density in the area of that study. 2. The type terrain and area of the study. 3. Deer do not have homes but bed and feed in several different areas based on weather conditions, environment conditions, human activity, (that includes you), and time of year. By your comments, you are attaching human characteristics to an animal. Animals have dens, nest....It may seem like a minor point, however it does give one insight into how you view animals (deer) on the same level as humans. Deer when spooked do not run for miles until they get to a road then become suddenly unaware of their surroundings and get hit. Incidentally you are making a point for hunting programs to reduce deer overpopulation in areas were the deer have exceeded the land carrying capacity. More deer equal more car/deer accidents. Welcome to my side of the argument!

Hawkeye

Odd that hunters cant understand a positive connection to animals, other than baiting them to shoot them.... The deer I and my large dog encounter, are familiar with us, and know we will do no harm. Many times mothers will bring their fawns out, suprisingly early, because they know we are friends, not threats. These deer are comforatable in our area, and I swear they stick to the safety of our lands, sensing they are safe there.

The car vs deer accidents , no matter what the deer density , always spikes during the peaks of hunting activity. Its known both by common sense and by many studies....

RenegadeX

Perhaps we should ban driving? No more deer killed on roads regardless of the season, right? And you say "bring their FAWNS out". Kind of speaks to that HIGH reproductive rate we've been discussing, no? And actually, I connect with non-human animals better than I connect with human animals. Can't understand why though????

Wingmaster

Hey maybe next time you take that walk with the deer you should turn your dog loose and walk away. Bet Fido will run up to the fawn first to rub noses! Let me know how that positive connection turns out.

Mr. Conservative

i just vomited in my mouth a little bit

LakerVille

You know you live in a great place when the biggest debate is about an urban deer hunt.

RenegadeX

GN writes in another thread 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 thinks 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? Those of you who oppose these management practices and then parade these quotes out like they are a smoking gun (no pun intended) really do your cause no good.

PeopleAreAmazing

This smackdown had to hurt........well done!

PeopleAreAmazing

Is it just me, or should Mr. Conservative win a gift certificate to anger management counseling for posting the most deleted (profane) comments in a single thread...ever? Classy.

RenegadeX

While not condoning his rants, one can certainly understand the frustration given how unresponsive those opposed to deer management are to even the most simple of questions.

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