Saturday, July 16, 2005

Anti-Michigan Initiatives

Last September, our legislators enacted a hunting season for doves. Hunters had fought long and hard for the right to hunt doves in Michigan. This is done in 39 other states successfully without any damage to the population, of course, and provides recreational opportunity, meat on the table, and significant influx of dollars to the economy. In Texas, dove hunters bring $22,000,000 to local economies as well as state coffers for license, etc.

Unfortunately, a national level radical group has targeted the state of Michigan, its hunters and its economy for destruction. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has decided that our legislators.

I'm going to let you in on a fairly well-kept secret. The Humane society of the United States is not associated with any state humane society, does not operate or assist any shelter, and has one agenda and one agenda only as far as wildlife population control is concerned.

"We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States ... We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state."
Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the US (HSUS), formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Full Cry Magazine, October 1, 1990

Interesting, no?

Imagine. A group says, "We want to help animals." Then they sue the National Marine Fisheries Services for their part in research efforts targeted at saving a declining population of Steller sea lions, whose population in Alaska has declined by nearly 80% in less than three decades. Nice work, HSUS - how about we let them just end up extinct because your organization doesn't want any interference in their habitat?

Now I certainly recognize that research and hunting are two different issues but they are also quite intertwined, especially if you want a healthy population that lives in concert with the human population of any state.

Presently deer harvest management in Michigan is established primarily at the county level, with the exception of area specific regulations applicable to managed hunts. Because Michigan's diverse landscape is undergoing changes in deer habitat quality as well as variances in human demographics, deer population level objectives must be determined and redertimed yearly, which the Department of Natural Resources does at a State level. The MDNR examines harvest trends and develops new harvest strategies for areas with similar deer populations and land uses.

In Oakland County, where I live, in the year 2003 there were 1,761 deer-vehicle crashes. Statistics vary, as does theiravailabilityy for recent years but deer-vehicle crashes in Michigan in 1996 numbered over 68,000, showing an annual increase each of the preceding years, according to Michigan State Police Crash Statistics. How much does this cost the economy and individuals in terms of damage and human lives and injury? Nationwide, each year, there are more than 1.5 million crashes involving deer, causing an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damages, 150 lives lost, and more than 10,000 injuries.

There are fewer natural predators today than in pre-settlement times and there is no argument (other than from various lunatic groups such as the HSUS, PETA, ALF, etc.) that regulated sport hunting is the best way to control deer numbers. Without hunting, deer management and population control would be impossible but the HSUS wants to end all hunting, all animal population control (other than spay/neuter programs), all breeding, and even humane methods for euthanasia. From its web site:

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is commonly used for euthanasia and anesthesia of laboratory rodents. It is a common euthanasia agent apparently because of its ease of use, its relative safety, and its ability to euthanize large numbers of animals in a short time span. In large institutions and those with significant rodent-breeding programs, there are occasions when many rodents are euthanized in a short time, and an appropriate gas agent is often the best method.

They then go on to say that CO2 should be reconsidered as a euthanasia agent and that "decapitation by well-trained personnel, using well-maintained equipment may be acceptable." Don't put them to sleep - that's inhumane. Decapitate them instead? What the hell? I'm sorry but these people are quite insane.

And I would contend that our state's hunting, fishing and wildlife management is really none of their business when their main focus is simply to stamp out or citizen's right to hunt, fish and regulate their own wildlifepopulationss.

The dove hunt law, passed by our legislature and signed by our governor is under siege by this group, which has been a driving force behind a petition drive to change our law and end dove hunting in Michigan. A Michigan-based citizen led group has been formed to oppose the 2006 ballot initiative that would ban the hunting of doves in Michigan. I freely admit to being involved in the effort and to volunteering to do their web site work. You see, I believe that it is wrong for anyone other than the citizens of our state to make the decisions that govern our hunting heritage.

Please visit the
Hunting Heritage DefenseCommitteee web site and consider donating and/or endorsing our fight against an outsider group. Endorsement costs nothing, but helps us in our fight and no information will be sold or otherwise shared. Every dollar donated helps us in our efforts to educate the public on this ballot initiative.

We need your support against radical outside interests attempting to abrogate our rights and destroy our heritage.