Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Michigan letters to the editor: Too many shooters, not enough hunters

I’ve just completed my 70th deer hunting season. I’ve hunted through all types of weather both good and bad. I’ve kept a daily journal for those 70 years and find it very interesting.

I’d like to challenge Steve Grover in his recent letter to the editor that the DNR consider a change of the Michigan gun hunting opener to the Friday preceding Nov. 15. (Michigan Outdoors News Dec. 23, 2022).

They tried that in the early to mid 1960s.

The season opened Nov. 9. The hunters didn’t like it. Weather was too warm. Too many bucks that were shot on the first day spoiled, including mine.

They then moved opening day to the Friday preceding Nov. 15. Hunters said it was still too warm so the DNR went back to Nov. 15. Sometimes it works out well, other times not.

Nature makes the call, not humans. One year we had to wait for the ice to break up to get our boat in the water for fishing. We’re dealing with nature and trying to adjust it to fit what we want. It just doesn’t work that way.

I think our problem is that we have too many shooters and not enough hunters.

Hans Feld Ewen

Are pheasant hunters getting their money’s worth?

After reading the pheasant release program article in the Dec. 23 issue of MON, I’m wondering if stamp buyers are getting their money’s worth?

Using the numbers from the article, the cost per bird in 2019 was about $15.50 ($90,000/5,800 birds). In 2021 the cost dropped to roughly $14.58 per bird ($45,000 state funds plus $25,000 donation/4,800 birds). For 2022 the cost per bird rose to just over $24 ($50,000 diverted funds/2083 birds).

The proposed amount to be spent in 2023 is $150,000 ($50,000 allocation plus $100,000 allocation) for 6,249 birds, or three times the birds purchased in 2022.

Does it really cost that much to raise a pheasant or is the cost of administering the program that high?

Considering ,as reported, that nearly 38% of those participating pay little to nothing for stamps (active duty veterans, lifetime license holders, etc.), I would hope that those involved in the Michigan Pheasant Hunting Initiative can have input into the program to oversee costs.

I understand that bird flu (highly pathogenic avian influenza) probably has something to do with higher costs, but a $10 increase per bird? Hopefully some stability can bring down costs resulting in more birds on the landscape.

On another topic Mr. Grover (MON Dec. 23) mentions changing the firearms deer opener. This has been brought up before but each time the majority of hunters opt to keep the date Nov. 15. The DNR’s Chad Stewart stated that 34,629 bucks were reported killed on opening day (Nov. 15). Imagine what effect that would have on deer populations to have that many bucks removed at the peak of the rut on Nov. 8.

Having hunted for 50-plus years in the northern Lower Peninsula my experience has been that significantly fewer people travel there to hunt after the rifle opener while the woods are full for the end of the early bow season.

Also, changing the firearms opener to the second Saturday would mean that some years hunting over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday would be eliminated.

Lastly, how do you add quality time to bow season for the time lost in November or would the several hundred thousand who bow hunt have to bite the bullet, so to speak?

Everything in setting season dates is a balance between different competing groups, the calendar, and what’s best for the resource.

Mike TenBrock Branch

Support for wind turbines in the Great Lakes

I am writing in regards to the opinion column written by Mike Schoonveld. His stance is that putting wind turbines in the Great Lakes is not a good idea.

He lists a number of questions, which he answers himself, saying they are all “no”. He says that if even one of these were a “yes” he’d be on board with the idea.

Well sir, the easiest “yes” is to the question about them being “out of sight, out of mind.”

Not sorry, Mike, but this is an emphatic “Yes!” I don’t see off-shore oil rigs in our oceans and I don’t think much about them. If there were 10, 100, or 100,000 wind turbines in the Great Lakes that couldn’t be easily seen from shore, there wouldn’t be much thought given to them – sort of like fracking or buying oil from foreign countries.

Back to all of these questions that Schoonveld somehow knows the answer to be “no.” I simply ask that you reference the studies that have been done and numbers involved surrounding them.

Mr. Schoonveld asks if they would be easier to put up and maintain and at face value it would seem unlikely, but by how much? How much maintenance has to be done? How much does it cost? Is it still profitable? What do we care if it costs the owners of these more to maintain?

He then gets into a very slippery slope when he infers that the turbines on the land are environmentally more friendly than those that would be in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes and the surrounding land is very, very diverse. One cannot make a statement saying land or water-based turbines are all better or worse than others, yet he throws that out there hoping the sheep just eat it up. No, Mike, that’s not how it works.

With projects like this there must be several environmental impact studies done.

It is through research that these decisions are made. Scientists, not fishing guides, will collect data and make decisions based on data.

And that slippery slope?

You know, the one where he goes off about environmental concerns. Well, wind turbines are an example of what needs to be done to help the environment from the catastrophe that continues to build due to the burning of fossil fuels.

He claims to be worried about spawning habitat of fish, but what fish will be left if the water temperature climbs by 10 degrees due to climate change? I look at the wind turbines as an opportunity to create fish habitat.

Don’t put them in areas of known lake trout, whitefish, etc.… spawning.

My answer to you Mike is “Yes.” Yes, you are wrong.

Brian Driscoll Gladstone

Move the deer opener date

I started deer hunting in 1964. Opening day then, and now, is a problem and an inconvenience in scheduling and getting time off work and school. Family and friends had the same problem, which has continued to this date.

This past season my son and grandson were unable to get off work until the weekend, losing four days of hunting.

Hunting license sales have slipped and we’re losing more hunters every year.

Stop using excuses like “tradition” to keep the opener on Nov. 15. Those people who created the tradition are dead now and not an influence to new hunters.

How about the excuse that big bucks need to breed? Who’s stopping the little bucks from taking cuts on the big bucks? You can’t control breeding.

It’s time to move Michigan’s deer opener to the second Saturday in November. That should make everyone happy. Plus that wouldn’t punish those who can’t afford to take time off work, or hurt their opportunities to harvest a deer.

Opening day of gun season is the best day to kill a deer and the second day of the gun season is the second best day to kill a deer. Holding those days on a weekend would be prefect.

What’s wrong with getting more hunters in the field? You would move more deer and see more deer. That would also increase commerce.

Let’s not take decades to enact something good that could produce immediate results.

Stephen Story Comstock Park


Outdoor News has updated its website. To access the online poll, visit, then highlight the Local button in the navigation bar and click Michigan. The poll is about two-thirds the way down the page in the middle of the screen.

Online Opinions

This issue’s question ————————————————- Ice is forming on lakes in the north and southern lakes should be tightening up very soon. What’s your favorite species to target through the ice?

Walleye Pike Panfish Trout

Online results from last issue’s question —————- The Pure Michigan Hunt winners will be selected later this month. The real winners of this program are the state’s birds and animals since all proceeds are earmarked for habitat projects. Did you purchase a Pure Michigan Hunt application last year?

Yes 67% No 33%

Vote @ Discuss @

Attention Readers

Michigan Outdoor News invites letters from its readers. All letters must have the writer’s name, complete address and phone number. (Phone numbers will not be printed.) Letters should be no longer than 250 words. Form letters will not be printed. Michigan Outdoor News reserves the right to edit. Address letters to:

Letters to the Editor, Michigan Outdoor News, PO Box 199, Lake Orion, MI 48361-0199.


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