May 21 09:38 PM
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Hunting/fishing regulations

Dear Woods-N-Water News:

I have faithfully bought this publication every chance I could since 2002 through a move from Michigan to Georgia and back to Michigan. I grew up in an outdoor family with a father who although was not a hunter, was very much into the sport of muzzle loading and owned a Winchester 94 30-30 and a Marlin 22. My dad took my brother and I shooting often and instilled in us good gun safety and showed us how much fun being outside truly is.

As I have read the letters to the Woods-N-Water News over the past two years I feel as though the state is overly complicating the management of our outdoor resources. I also feel that the Michigan DNR is in the business of revenue generation more than anything else. The reasons to support my thoughts are as follows: I understand there needs to be a scientific basis for the setting of seasons and regulations, but the rules and display of the current hunting digests are too complicated in my opinion. Think about how it is structured - let's just say you have access to public and private lands in multiple counties across the state (which is my situation - Gladwin Co., Saginaw Co., and public land in Tuscola Co.), and lets say you want a doe tag for each different DMU, well that is going to run you $45 - really, $45 bucks for three doe tags, in three different areas - absurd, and not to mention the $15 bucks for the regular firearm license. Also, what is up with the way the numbers of doe tags are distributed in terms of availability for public or private lands?

Now I have access to private land, but why are the two differentiated - I am surprised more public land hunters haven't wrote whoever they need to write to ask this simple question - what difference does it make if the deer is killed on private or public land? I truly believe the public land hunters are at a severe disadvantage in taking game in regard to this part of the structure - just look at the number of tags available for each, and you will see what I mean.

I lived in Savannah, Georgia for five years and had the opportunity to kill my first deer down south. My deer tag in 2008 cost $19 and I could harvest two bucks and ten does. I harvested a doe in January 2009 and that was possible because my tag was good for a year from the date of purchase (something else Michigan does not do, and in my opinion probably to foul up hunters so our conservation officers can write us tickets). Michigan hunters - we need to wake up, seriously. We have let this ridiculous bureaucracy destroy our outdoor freedom. We are limited to hunt deer for fifteen days a year with a rifle? Look at the long seasons in Georgia and Texas - I don't believe their herds are declining either. Let's say you are out of town on business for a majority of the season, and your sons or daughters have their own obligations, it is very reasonable to state that some families do not get the chance to hunt together for years.

Also, this whole baiting ban is ridiculous, and I guess my thought is to those that do not want to use bait to hunt you have the freedom not to. No one now in the Lower Peninsula can bait, but you can bait in the Upper Peninsula, is the DNR doing the UP deer herd a disservice? This ridiculous regulation needs to be struck down.

Our own Ted Nugent split and now lives free in Texas, his Spirit of the Wild on TV looks pretty fun. I seriously hope Mr. Snyder cleans up the DNR, simplifies and expands hunting opportunities as well as fishing opportunities. Do we need an all species and a restricted license? I smell a bureaucrat somewhere that realized they could con us out of more money for everyone.

Now, I know I am bashing our own DNR pretty good here, and there are some things they do well currently, like the amount of public land and the access we have to the waters of this state. I also like to hunt the managed area for waterfowl at Fish Point, but would gladly pass on Pointe Mouillee as the folks that run the managed hunt there are pretty rude and not very customer service oriented.

Well, I thank God there are organizations like the NRA and the MUCC here in Michigan as well as this publication that are looking to expand the outdoor sports and have the interests of hunters and fishers at heart. I thank God I am here in Michigan and can fish and hunt with my friends and family. I thank God for every moment I get to spend time outdoors - I just wish our state run department would step out of the way and let us all enjoy it more simply and freely.


Brandon E. Wescott

June 01, 2011

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