Sault Tribe can’t fit moose in its game bag
The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians just announced
this month that its Inland Conservation Committee voted to oppose
Michigan’s proposed moose hunt. The tribe’s new chairman, Joe
Eitrem, was quoted in the news this week saying, “The Sault Tribe
is not in agreement with the state of Michigan concerning the
appropriateness of a moose hunt.”
The tribe’s action puts a kink in the discussions on the hunt,
as Michigan’s 2007 Inland Consent Decree with the tribes will not
allow the hunt without tribal agreement. However, the decree does
not cover the western Upper Peninsula, where most of the U.P.’s
moose live, and where the hunt is being proposed.
One has to wonder about the tribe’s contention on whether the hunt
is “appropriate.” This same tribe believes it is appropriate to
hold longer seasons and take more animals and birds than other
hunters are allowed.
For instance, if you are a licensed tribal hunter, you may:
• Shoot twice as many squirrels, ruffed grouse or rabbits per day
as is allowed to other hunters in Michigan – and use artificial
light at night for the rabbits – during a season that runs Sept.
• Shoot four sharp-tailed grouse per day over a two-month
• Shoot five deer per season starting as early as Labor Day
• Shoot two gobblers between April 15-June 15, and then another two
turkeys of either sex between Oct. 1-Nov. 14.
This doesn’t include seasons and bag limits for elk, bear and
waterfowl, which are set annually. Traditionally, the waterfowl
season for tribal members is longer than it is for Michigan
hunters, and the bag limits are much more generous.
So the Sault Tribe’s governing board has questions about the
appropriateness of hunters taking 10 moose per year while funding
further study of the herd? It would appear to me that the tribal
board just doesn’t believe its members have enough room in their
game bags to fit a moose.