Defend the Hunt by Donating Your Deer Hide

LANSING—A new program called “Defend the Hunt” is asking Michigan deer hunters to donate their hides this year to protect hunting rights. The program, coordinated by Michigan United Conservation Clubs and the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, will use the proceeds from the sale of the hides at fur sales to donate to the campaign protecting hunting rights from the anti-hunters trying to repeal Public Act 21 of 2013.

The law, passed on a bipartisan basis in May, allows the Natural Resources Commission to name game species and issue fisheries orders under its mandate to use sound science, which was approved by Michigan voters in 1996’s Proposal G. The law also provides free hunting and fishing licenses to active-duty members of the military from Michigan.

“The Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association is proud to team up with MUCC in the Defend the Hunt program to defend hunting, trapping and fishing rights in Michigan,” said Dennis Cronk of the MTPCA. “As trappers, we understand the danger of the recent misleading advertising and emotionally charged claims about sound scientific wildlife management that anti-hunters have recently made in Michigan.”

DTH Base

A front group for the national anti-hunting organization Humane Society of the United States, calling itself Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, is circulating petitions to repeal the law in an effort to stop the state’s regulated wolf hunt, for which licenses went on sale on Saturday, September 28. The hunt has a quota of 43 wolves in areas of the Upper Peninsula that have experienced chronic pet and livestock depredation. DNR biologists do not expect it to have an effect on the overall wolf population of over 650 wolves, which is more than three times its recovery goal. They do expect it to make wolves more wary of humans in those areas.

However, the anti-hunting group has spread misleading talking points such as that the population is fragile, that they would be shot from helicopters, and that the hunt is about “trophies,” rather than to reduce wolf-human conflicts. The money raised from the sale of donated deer hides through the Defend the Hunt program will be used to educate the public about Public Act 21 and correct the anti-hunters’ false claims.

“Defend the Hunt allows individual Michigan hunters to defend their rights without having to dip into their wallets,” said Drew YoungeDyke, grassroots manager for Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “It promotes the North American Model of Conservation by utilizing all the usable parts of the deer and ensuring that wildlife is managed with sound biological principles, not anti-hunting talking points.”

Drop-off sites will begin collecting deer hides on November 1. A listing of drop-off locations and a short instructional video on how to salt and preserve deer hides are available at www.defendthehunt.com.

Founded in 1937, Michigan United Conservation Clubs is the largest statewide conservation organization in the country with a mission to unite citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage. The Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, founded in 1974, protects the rights of Michigan sportsmen to harvest surplus furbearing animals, realizing the need for furbearer conservation and education, and assisting the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in wildlife management.

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  • Rork1

    MUCC and outdoorspeople should ask themselves if they support the principle that wildlife
    management should be democratically decided, as enshrined in most versions of the North American Model, or if we just forget about why we all thought that was an essential idea until, what, two months ago.

    PA 21 doesn’t call for a wolf-hunt, it calls for no voter referendum power over some NRC decisions. (Thought I’d make it clear for readers.) My car is stuffed with bow-hunting gear now, but this is not defending a hunt, it is defending a bad law. Given our defeat in the dove hunting ballot question, how do we expect citizens to go for a what-ever-you-say game law? You could instead fight the referendum questioning a law that actually made wolf hunting legal (Public Act 520). We wouldn’t be giving up our rights that way.

    • Drew YoungeDyke

      The NAMWC states that game laws should be decided by the people and enforced by state game agencies. “By the people” doesn’t mean a popularity contest, it means in accordance with a democratically-elected government, as opposed to game being allocated by chance or a free-for-all. It also states that democracy of hunting means that everybody has an equal opportunity to hunt, and that sound science should be used by government agencies to manage wildlife. Taken together, PA 21 absolutely supports all of those concepts, including the bipartisan vote that led to its passage by democratically-elected (just last November, in fact) legislators.

      • Drew YoungeDyke

        My vehicle’s loaded with bowhunting gear, too, btw, but that’s no excuse to support an organization trying to take away everyone else’s hunting rights (HSUS).

        • Rork1

          HSUS sucks. That doesn’t make PA21 good. That logic eludes some.

      • Rork1

        So a democratically elected legislature taking away our rights is pro-democratic?

        • Drew YoungeDyke

          Taking away what rights? To overrule biology with misleading 30-second commercials?

          • Rork1

            Being disingenuous doesn’t bother you, eh?

            I’m talking about the right of citizens to vote about what is and is not game in MI – I think it’s the main point of PA21.

  • Jim S

    Defend the hunt program sounds great but you have no drop off point’s in southern lower michigan

    • Drew YoungeDyke

      Jim S – working on it and we’re welcome to suggestions if you know of a place that can do it!

  • Kim Peltier

    where are the drop off points for southern lower Michigan

    • Drew YoungeDyke

      Hillsdale County Conservation Club, and we’re recruiting more, too. If you know of a business or club that could be a potential drop-off point near you, please email dyoungedyke@mucc.org. Thanks!