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 firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.