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Exploring an Environmental Issue: Hunting

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Megan Doyle

on 3 April 2013

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Transcript of Exploring an Environmental Issue: Hunting

Exploring an Environmental
Issue: Hunting in Michigan Megan Doyle John Den Uyl
Miranda Veeser Trevor Brooks Environmental Impact Economic Impact There is a hunting industry in Michigan that pulls billions of dollars from hunters and hunting-related expenses each year. Where do we get revenue? With an overwhelming consensus that hunting supports the Michigan economy, the debate turns to future licensing fees. Negative Environmental Impacts Positive Environmental Impacts Negative Environmental Impacts Positive Environmental Impacts Modern Hunting History of Hunting in Michigan The History
of Hunting - Throughout history, hunting has been compared to warfare
- Hunting in ancient Greek mythology and literature is seen as a triumph of human over beast
Hunting seen as good training for a warrior
Aristotle sees hunting as a moral activity
Many battle scenes in the Iliad and Odyssey are depicted through hunting metaphors
Ancient Greek goddess Artemis is the “Divine Huntress”; a hunter and also “friend and protector” of other animals
(Cartmill, 1996, p. xi - xii, 29) - First people in Michigan hunting animals such as mastodons and caribou
- 6000 B.C.E. glaciers disappear, animals seek cooler temperature → in next 4000 years hunting transitions to animals we would see in Michigan today
- 500 B.C.E. → Earliest evidence of agriculture in Michigan
Native Americans not relying entirely on foraging (hunting and gathering)
- Hurons (part of Great Lakes Tribes) hunt for animals to use the resources they provide besides meat (hides, etc.)
- Ottawas dependent on hunting and fishing
- Chippewas as dependent on hunting as pre-agricultural tribes
- French fur trade seen as threat to Native American hunting grounds → major source of conflict with Americans as well
- By end of the 19c Michigan has developed a tourist industry → large attraction = hunting grounds
(Dunbar, 1995, p. 9-14, 32, 79) Hunting Season
"Michigan’s hunting season typically opens in September or October. The deer season is staggered between firearms and archery, with archery hunters starting first, to prevent a sudden influx of hunters. The exact date changes seasonally due to deer populations." (Dauvachelle)
Disputes between Hunters
“One final issue of the past decade has involved the management of social conflicts between hunting groups with different characteristics, hunting methods, or values. For example, deer hunters that do not bow hunt expressed a concern about the fairness of allocation in the harvest. Deer hunters that do bait complained about the territoriality of baiters or ethics of baiting or the image of hunting being tarnished by those using that method. Muzzle-loaders questioned the use of scopes on firearms that they felt should be primitive. Hunters without access to private land complained about the increased opportunities that some hunters had to take antler-less deer or large bucks.” (“Deer Management History in Michigan”) Hunting is a viable and efficient way to limit the growth of game animal populations.
When populations are not in balance with their environment, they have the ability to alter the presence of critical vegetative cover and change populations of other animals in the area.
When a deer population increases beyond optimal levels, more vegetation is consumed, leaving less food for other herbivorous animals and possibly damaging the abundance of vegetation. This has the ability to alter an entire food web.
Hunting can help control the spread of disease among populations. (Not true in all cases)
* Chronic wasting (lesions on brain) in deer and elk of the American West has only worsened in response to hunting. Economically sound way to provide food.
Sustainable practice on a small scale
No care-taking necessary
Food, shelter, personnel
Organic/Free Range
Provides Habitat Preservation
Michigan State Game Areas, State Wildlife Areas, State Forests, etc. Not all animal populations need to have restricted growth
Michigan Wolves (Only 687 in the state)
Michigan Moose (Around 500 in the state)
Open hunting on these species can decimate their populations.
Alters Food Web
Michigan Deer are an important source of food for bear, wolf, coyote, and bobcat populations. Hunting increases the presence of humans in wild areas.
Can lead to degradation of vegetation, increased erosion, increased impact over environmentally sensitive areas, etc.
When people travel into natural areas, they rarely leave the area with only their footprints left behind.
Specific hunting seasons rapidly change population size.
Populations of game animals often decrease rapidly during their specified hunting season(s), leaving behind an overabundance of food.
High population growth may occur to offset the amount of available food.
Hunters often focus on one gender of a species.
In Michigan, there are multiple doe deer for every buck.
Can lead to population expansion According to the 2011 National Survey of Fish, Hunting, and Wild-Life Associated Recreation, 37.4 million people (16 and older) participated in hunting or fishing at some point during the year in the United States.

There is a large consensus that hunting is pivotal to Michigan’s economy.

Michigan hunters spent $2.3 billion on trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011. Wildlife-watching activities bring in $1.2 billion in trip-related expenses and equipment annually.
Michigan's hunter participation ranks third in the nation — 795,535 licensed hunters in 2011 — contributing nearly $28 million in federal funds to wildlife management and wildlife habitat restoration (DNR, 2013). Licenses: to hunt individual animals, to hunt a certain number of animals, vary by season, age, residency, etc. (DNR, 2013).
Gear: almost anything you can imagine such as clothing, lights, bait, optics, accessories, game calls, decoys, dog training and supplies, and much more.
One of the largest hunting stores in the country is just a 30 minute drive from Ann Arbor (Cabela's)
Additional sources: lodging, camping, tourists, and food & drink. Licensing fees have not only been competitive but typically cheaper compared to other Midwestern states. However, a new budget proposal for 2013-2014 seeks to increase the cost of hunting/fishing fees which would mark the first increase in nearly 17 years. The added revenue would further wildlife conservation efforts (DNR, 2013). Where does it go? Local businesses and communities, federal, state, and local taxes.

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources uses a large portion of revenue from hunting (mainly licensing) in order to help maintain its organization and further wildlife conservation efforts.

“Deer hunters harvest around 450,000 deer per year, providing venison for countless citizens and helping to minimize impacts on the agricultural and forest product industries,” (DNR, 2013).

Steve Knaisel, owner of a resort in Cadillac, Michigan says of hunting seasons:
“There’s no way to measure how important they are to us…Somebody comes to my resort to stay, they’re more than likely going to go out to a restaurant, they’re going to spend money on gas, they might go shopping downtown — maybe they forgot to bring something," (as cited by Campbell, 2013). http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10363_14518-173829--,00.html http://static.photo.net/attachments/bboard/00R/00Rn3D-97418384.jpg Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Wildlife Division Report No. 3512. (2013). Michigan Deer Population/Harvest Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Wildlife Report No. 3485. (2008). In Summary Despite moral objections, hunting benefits the state of Michigan as long as it is regulated and practiced in moderation. As long as these conditions are met, hunting in Michigan yields economic and environmental benefits. Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Wildlife Division Report No. 3512. (2013). Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Wildlife Division Report No. 3512. (2013). Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Wildlife Division Report No. 3512. (2013). Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Wildlife Division Report No. 3512. (2013). Feb. 15, 1999. Land Ho! Should Government Be Landlord?
http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=1856 Hunting Demographics Traditionally, hunters are adult men. This is because of the stereotype that hunting is dangerous and therefore unfit for delicate women and children.
Regulations exist for young hunters:
“Hunters must be at least 10 years old. Children ages 10 to 11 may only hunt with an archery bow. Children ages 12 to 13 can hunt with firearms only on private land or commercial forests, and only archery on public lands. Restrictions are lifted on individuals ages 14 or older.” (Dauvachelle)
“The Mentored Youth Hunting program is designed to introduce youth under the age of 10 to hunting and fishing [… and] is geared toward parents and other adult mentors who want to teach children under the age of 10 how to hunt and fish.” (“Youth Hunting”)
Also, hunting culture has seen a change in recent years:
“In modern culture, hunting has been dominated by a stereotype of burly men in camouflage who view the pastime mostly as a sport. But a new, younger generation of hunters has started shooting not as a recreational activity but more as an ethical method of connecting with the source of their sustenance. And more women are entering the sport, changing the shape of the industry, literally.” (Licata et al., 2012) Then Now Perceptions of Hunting Non-hunters often criticize hunting for being cruel and unnecessary. Hunting for sport is seen as savage, primitive, and harmful to animals. ("Why Sport Hunting Is Cruel and Unnecessary")

However, hunters insist that their experience in hunting is not centered on the suffering of the animals.
Hunting reinforces:
Cultural values
Connection with & appreciation of nature

Over time, as the popular perception of hunting changes, hunting becomes more culturally accepted as a pastime and sport. (1999) (2009) http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/2012-2013_hunting_seasons_and_bag_limits_table_391227_7.pdf (Frawley, 2001) ("A Portrait of Hunters and Hunting License Trends: National Report," 2010) Hunting Throughout History Hunting Throughout History - Middle Ages: Hunting becomes an activity for the elite; the hunted seen as tragic and noble
- Renaissance: Hunting is morally wrong
Growth of “anti-hunting sentiment” largely due to new developments in science
- Discovery of New World/Colonialism: European hunt symbolic of oppression, opposed by anti-imperialists
- Today: “[Hunting] is intelligible only as a symbolic behavior, like a game or religious ceremony, and the emotions that the hunt arouses can be understood only in symbolic terms”
(Cartmill, 1996, p. xi - xii, 29) http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/S6.1.html Gaston Phoebus, Livre de La Chasse
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