LEGISLATIVE_HEARTBURN. As much as we may hate it, politics is a
big part of our hunting and fishing traditions here in Michigan.
Don’t believe me? Take a glimpse at the list of bills that were
introduced in the state House and Senate during the past couple
years, many of which stand to die a quick death when the
legislative session ends later this month. (Any bill not approved
by the governor by the end of the year will officially be dead for
this legislative session and will have to be reintroduced when the
next session begins in January.)
House Bill 5740 would establish an auction for a certain number
of elk permits; HB 5839 would eliminate the boat launch fee at
public access sites; HB 5957 would eliminate the need for a hunter
safety class for anyone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon;
HB 6319 would prohibit hunting of exotic mammals in enclosures; HB
6461 would create a transferrable motor vehicle permit pass for
state parks; and Senate Bill 1510 would allow crossbow permits for
people with temporary disabilities. This is just the tip of the
iceberg. For a peek at some of the other legislation that has been
introduced, go to www.michiganlegislature.org.
One bill that did receive legislative action last week (only
Heaven knows why this one was addressed over the others) is HB
5331, which eliminates the practice of requiring people
participating in – but not carrying a weapon or owning a dog used
in the hunt – a bobcat and bear hunt to purchase a participation
license. It was passed by the House in September and by the Senate
last week. Its fate now rests with Gov. Granholm, who must sign the
bill before the end of the month or it, too, dies in session.
Another bill that has received a lot of media attention is HB
5741. Originally, 5741 was written to allow the use of a crossbow
during the archery deer season by disabled and senior citizens. It
was amended at the last minute in the House to allow the use of a
crossbow during the archery season by any licensed hunter. Passed
by the House in June, the bill is now in the hands of the Senate.
It has been amended to allow the NRC to have the power to change
crossbow regulations. If the NRC decides to allow the use of
crossbows by any licensed hunter, the bill would limit the number
of crossbow permits available annually to 20 percent of the number
of combination licenses sold the year before (approximately
An aide in the office of bill sponsor Joe Sheltrown, D-West
Branch, said last week that the bill has about a 50-50 chance of
being taken up by the Senate before the end of the session. The
Senate will only be in session Dec. 18, but could be called back on
Dec. 23 or Dec. 30 to vote on pending legislation.
A more likely scenario is that the bill will be reintroduced in
the next session and the process will begin again.
LAST_CALL_FOR_DEER_STORIES. Time is running out to enter the
second annual Michigan Outdoor News Deer Hunter Writing Contest.
The deadline for entry is Jan. 1.
The contest is open to anyone age 18 and older. We’re looking
for stories from the 2008 deer-hunting season, including archery,
firearms, and muzzleloader.
Check out the ad on Page 12 of this edition of MON_and get
writing. You could be the next winner!