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.”
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.