The NRC made me a criminal

I don’t want to belabor the Natural Resources Commission’s
latest decision on the practice of baiting and feeding deer in
Michigan, but I have to say that reading follow-up articles on the
subject and listening to other hunters talk about it has been
interesting, to say the least.

One of the arguments used by both NRC members and hunters in their
consideration of rescinding the baiting ban was that the law put
legal hunters into the position of having to engage in illegal
practices. Really? How can someone be a legal hunter if he or she
is doing something illegal?

Those who voice that argument are saying that, because bait was
still widely available and was being used by many hunters and those
who like to feed deer, that it was too tempting for otherwise
law-abiding citizens to resist using it. So, the law against
baiting was making law-breakers out of them.

If you extend that logic, then if I go out and rob a bank or
embezzle from my employer because I want a little more money in my
pocket, we should repeal the law against stealing so that I won’t
be a criminal anymore. Or maybe it should be OK for me to use lead
shot for ducks, or live decoys, because they were both legal once
upon a time. We should be able to use snares for deer and traps for
bear, too. It used to be legal.

If baiting wasn’t shown to be a questionable practice when it comes
to transmitting disease in our natural resources, I wouldn’t care
who used it. I don’t ridicule those who use it when they hunt. I
have hunted deer over bait. And I don’t blame people for wanting to
use bait to lure deer into their yards so they can watch
them.

But as the years go by, we’re supposed to get wiser, not just
older. Practices that were once widely accepted are no longer so,
and usually for good reason. Continuing to allow baiting just
because many people did not want to follow the law does not make
sense.

Categories: Michigan – Tom Pink

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