Hunters gaining ground in SE Michigan

With hunters and snowmobilers fighting to maintain their right
to use the Huron-Manistee National Forest, and hunting property
being nibbled away here and there around the state, it is quite
nice to see what’s happening in southeast Michigan’s Washington
Township right now.

In February, the township board, on the advice of a committee
formed a year ago, voted unanimously to repeal a 30-year ordinance
that made it illegal to hunt west of M-53 between 26 and 28 Mile
roads. The committee recommended that the township follow a
long-existing state rule that prohibits hunting within 450 feet of
an occupied dwelling without permission of the owner.

The township lies in the northwest part of Macomb County, a
place with plenty of room for hunters in some spots. It’s just east
of Stony Creek Metro Park, which has an abundant deer population
that has been held in check in recent years though hunting.

Next step is for the Department of Natural Resources to hold a
public hearing on the proposed rule change, and that’s set for
March 30. The public will have a month after the hearing to submit
written comments.

Imagine! Hunters getting more ground, instead of less, and a
redundant law possibly being pulled from the books. The township
said the move will preserve the rights of hunters and people who
just want to shoot on their properties.

Indeed, it will. The rule was never necessary in the first
place, since the longstanding “450 feet rule” protected property
owners already. It’s great to see the township recognizes that fact
and is moving to make things right.

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