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Tag Archive | "deer hunting season"

Hunters needed to help the hungry


 

By Keith Creagh and Phillip Knight

Keith Creagh is the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Dr. Phillip Knight is the executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan

Michigan’s hunters know firsthand the pride and satisfaction of being able to bring home a nutritious meal of wild game to the family supper table. They also know how hard it can be sometimes to provide that food.

Imagine trying to feed your family without the available means.

That struggle – with its stress, disappointment and anxiety – becomes particularly tough on families during the holiday season each year, with increased demands on a household budget.

Nearly 1.5 million Michigan residents – 15 percent of our residents and 18 percent of our children – live with the stress of not knowing when they will eat again – of not having a secure food source.

As we head toward the holidays and the firearm deer hunting season, hunters can help make a positive impact on this problem by donating venison to a family in need through Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.

Since 1991, this group has helped connect donors, wild game processors and charities that feed people in need.

The board of this all-volunteer, unpaid organization – sportsmen and women concerned about making a positive difference in their communities – works to coordinate processing of deer harvested by hunters with local, licensed game processors throughout Michigan.

Over the past quarter century, food banks, pantries and shelters have distributed an estimated 608,000 pounds of venison donated by hunters. This translates to more than 3 million meals provided to struggling families.

Hunter donations of venison add up to over 20,000 pounds each year, providing over 100,000 meals.

Hunters can donate a whole deer, or a portion, by visiting a participating game processor. A list of processors involved in the program is available by calling the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger hotline at 1-586-552-6517 or by visiting www.sportsmenagainsthunger.org

Game processors are reimbursed by the pound for the meat they process. They also work with local food banks or soup kitchens to distribute ground venison.

Monetary donations can be made to the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger program when purchasing a hunting or fishing license or by making a Help Feed the Hungry donation at www.michigan.gov/estore.

These funds help cover the costs of processing, packaging and transporting donated venison.

This year, with the generosity of hunters – and the financial support of hunters and non-hunters – 32 different community agencies have received a total of over 20,000 pounds of ground venison. This significant donation is from just 16 different processors working with the organization.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) is an important partner in the Sportsmen Against Hunger program, working to distribute donated venison across the state.

This annual initiative aligns with the council’s mission to create a food-secure Michigan, where each person has access to proper nutrition acquired by dignified means.

The council is uniquely positioned to help distribute the donated venison. Last year, the FBCM’s seven partner food banks, distributed more than 181 million pounds of food to over 2,800 food pantries in every Michigan county.

Michigan food banks work with Sportsmen Against Hunger to help bring quality meat to the tables of people in need. Meat contains protein which ranks among the food items most needed by those without regular access to food.

The FBCM looks forward to working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Sportsmen Against Hunger to grow this program, so more people have access to wholesome food.

In addition to the DNR and the Food Bank Council of Michigan, the program is sponsored by several organizations, including Safari Club International, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Bow Hunters Association, Ted Nugent World Bowhunters and the United Methodist Men’s Club.

Michigan is home to a proud, long-standing hunting tradition. Last year, more than half a million hunters in Michigan took to the woods during the firearm deer season. They brought home roughly 165,000 deer.

With the firearm deer season again upon us, we urge hunters to consider donating to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. It’s a gratifying way to help friends and neighbors by providing healthy venison meals to families who need food.

Struggling families across Michigan will deeply appreciate your generosity, especially during the holiday season.

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Be an ethical hunter: buy a license before you go out 


OUT-deerAnd don’t loan kill tags

From the Michigan DNR

Conservation officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources urge deer hunters to engage in an ethical hunt: buy a license before going out and don’t loan kill tags.

Every deer hunting season, DNR conservation officers encounter individuals engaged in unethical hunting practices and tackle many cases of individuals buying a hunting license after harvesting a deer or loaning kill tags to a friend or relative.

“Each year, we see cases of individuals waiting to buy licenses until after they have shot a deer,” said Dean Molnar, assistant chief of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “We remind all hunters that you must buy your license before you go out to hunt and have it in your possession when afield. Buying a license is not only the ethical and responsible thing to do, it is the law. Harvesting a deer without a license is poaching.”

Deer poaching in Michigan carries a restitution payment of $1,000 per deer, a $200 to $1,000 fine and jail time up to 90 days. In addition, a violator’s hunting privileges are suspended for three years. Under the new law that took effect last year, antlered deer are assessed an additional $1,000 in restitution plus the standard $1,000 for illegally killing any deer. In addition, deer with eight points but not more than 10 are $500 a point, while deer with 11 points or more are assessed a penalty of $750 per point.

Additional years of hunting privileges will be revoked for violators, depending on the number of points on the illegally harvested deer. Michigan also participates in the Wildlife Violator Compact, which includes hunting revocation in participating states.

Another unethical practice encountered frequently each hunting season in Michigan is the loaning of kill tags to an unlicensed individual who has harvested a deer.

“Loaning kill tags is among the top violations we see while on patrol, and is often done for friends or relatives who are from out of state to avoid paying the nonresident license fee,” said Molnar. “Kill tags must be validated and attached immediately to your harvested deer and visible for inspection. It is unlawful to loan out or borrow kill tags.”

For more information on deer hunting in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/deer.

To report a natural resource violation, please call the Report all Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/rap.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. To learn more about the work of conservation officers, visit www.michigan.gov/conservationofficer.

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Be an ethical hunter 


 

Buy a license before you go out and don’t  loan kill tags

Conservation officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources urge deer hunters to engage in an ethical hunt and be aware that Michigan’s new hunting licenses carry certain conditions. The new licenses approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013 took effect March 1, 2014. Deer hunters should be aware of the two options they have for licenses:

Single deer license, valid throughout archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. This license has replaced the separate archery and firearm licenses. Hunters who buy a single deer license may not buy a second single deer license or the deer combo license.

Deer combo license, which includes two kill tags, one regular and one restricted. Hunters who want two deer licenses must buy the deer combo license instead of the single deer license. This is required to implement antler point restrictions, which apply based on whether the hunter has purchased two deer licenses. The deer combo license is valid for use during the archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. A hunter can use both kill tags in the firearm seasons, both in the archery season or one in each season.

Michigan’s new license structure requires hunters to choose at the time of purchase if they want the opportunity to harvest one or two antlered deer, and purchase either a single deer license (one kill tag) or a deer combo license (two kill tags). Because this is the first year of the new structure, some hunters may have bought a single deer license without realizing they couldn’t buy another antlered deer license later.

Those who bought a single deer license and haven’t used it, and would like the deer combo license instead, may bring the unused license back to the store where they bought it during business hours (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) and ask the agent to call the DNR. The DNR will void the single deer license, the agent will keep the voided license and send it back to the DNR, and the hunter may then buy a deer combo license. Those who bought the single deer license online should call DNR Licensing at 517-284-6057 during business hours.

Every deer hunting season, DNR conservation officers encounter individuals engaged in unethical hunting practices and tackle many cases of individuals buying a hunting license after harvesting a deer or loaning kill tags to a friend or relative.
“Each year, we see cases of individuals waiting to buy licenses until after they have shot a deer,” said Dean Molnar, assistant chief of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “We remind all hunters that you must buy your license before you go out to hunt and have it in your possession when afield. Buying a license is not only the ethical and responsible thing to do, it is the law. Harvesting a deer without a license is poaching.”

Deer poaching in Michigan carries a restitution payment of $1,000 per deer, a minimum $250 fine and jail time up to 90 days. In addition, a violator’s hunting privileges are suspended for three years. If an antlered deer with eight or more points is poached, fines are increased under a new law that takes effect this hunting season. Under the new law, antlered deer are assessed an additional $1,000 in restitution plus the standard $1,000 for illegally killing any deer. Deer with eight points but not more than 10 are $500 a point, while deer with 11 points or more are assessed a penalty of $750 per point. Also, additional years can be added to the hunting privileges revocation.
Another unethical practice encountered frequently each hunting season in Michigan is the loaning of kill tags to an unlicensed individual who has harvested a deer. “Loaning kill tags is among the top violations we see while on patrol, and is often done for friends or relatives who are from out of state to avoid paying the nonresident license fee,” said Molnar. “Kill tags must be attached immediately to your harvested deer and visible for inspection. It is unlawful to loan out or borrow kill tags.”
For more information on deer hunting in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/deer.

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