This is the ninth article by John Gunnall that has appeared in Michigan Turkey Tracks. John is a retired school educator who has served as Superintendent of Schools for the Mattawan, Detour-Drummond Island, Crystal Falls, Hale and Banger school districts. Many others who have been outdoorsmen and hunters over the past eight decades have witnessed declining game populations, declining hunters within our ranks and questionable management practices in the name of ”Hunter Opportunity”, “Recruitment And Retention” and “Impact On The Economy”, among others.
Leaders who conduct their affairs as “omnipotents” never achieve the self-reflection required to consider ideas other than their own. Cowed subjects eventually mount their collective voices as was the case even against the vaunted “Julius Caesar”.
Our current leaders in the Michigan DNR hierarchy are deservedly reaping “high octane criticism” for continuing to drag their feet once again in hinting that they must hear from hunters (of all excuses) and create transition regulations for several months to “reinvent the wheel”, in order to keep the “baiting fiasco” in place until 2019.
The “outdoor stewards” as real hunters themselves long ago passed a resolution condemning deer baiting (30 years ago) only to be dismissed by the blind ambitions of Lansing omnipotents controlled by money. One positive twist from the spread of CWD has been its effect to eliminate baiting thereby returning our requirement to protect and already ravaged habitat in order to support deer. The domino effect for hunters, the timber industry, nature, etc. will usher in a whole new criteria for decision making in Michigan.
The “resource stewards” met on March 6th in Clare, MI and reiterated their resolution ignored for many years standing to condemn the baiting of deer. Their meeting reflected once again their long past disapproval and disdain for DNR leadership in Lansing that lacked the “moral compass” to eliminate baiting only until now when forced to. Numerous hunters who read the Michigan Outdoor News and the “dance with words” there included by the DNR wildlife chief are not surprised at his “rhetorical dodge ball” maintain the “now” doing what is right was always right long before CWD to restore ethical deer hunting. The credibility of their message is further confirmed by a membership laced with the former Michigan Department of Conservation and Michigan Department of Natural Resources field leaders.
By the time you read this piece, our Governor, DNR Director, and Commissioners, etc. will have have received a new “stewards resolution” requesting the immediate cessation of deer baiting. The stewards spoke with one voice in reiterating their several generations of opposition to baiting and their desire to bring an end to the “scarlet letter” all Michigan citizens must bare before any new deer season commences in 2018.