Conservation Affairs April 2016

By: Larry Witte

FORMER SCI EXECUTIVE NAMED INTERIM DNR DIRECTOR
Bill Moritz who served as natural resources deputy at the DNR has been appointed interim director of that department. Bill served previously as chief of DNR’s Wildlife Division and before that as Executive Director for SCI and SCI Foundation.

Bill earned a bachelor’s degree in  sheries and wildlife biology from Iowa State University, a Master’s degree from Montana State University and a doctorate from Southern Illinois University.
We congratulate Bill on his new role in serving Michigan’s sportsmen and women.

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD)
Michigan ended the year 2015 with four con rmed cases of CWD in Ingham and Clinton counties and one suspected CWD positive deer found in Clinton County. Since  nding the  rst case of CWD in free ranging white-tailed deer in May 2015 in Meridian Township in Ingham County, nearly 4000 deer have been tested. DNR stresses that this disease is serious and that they will continue surveillance. The Department will consider what additional steps may be needed to be taken for next year’s deer hunting seasons.

INCREASED PENALITIES FOR POACHING BIG GAME
New laws for 2016 increase  nes and provide license revocation for illegally killing elk, moose, and bear. The penalty for illegally killing an Elk is now $5000 plus $250 per point for an animal with 8 to 10 points, or $500 per point for 11 or more points. The minimum penalty for a moose is also $5000 or $10,000 for an antlered moose plus $250 per point for an animal with 8 to 10 points, or $500 per point for 11 or more points. The penalty for illegally killing a Black Bear is now $3500.
A mandatory 5-year hunting license revocation is required for a  rst o ense. A second o ense will result in a 10-year revocation. New for this year is a  ne of $1000 for the  rst illegally constructed snare plus $250 for each additional one. The Michigan Hunting Dog Federation reports that snares with smaller than the required 4 1⁄2 inch stop have killed dozens of hunting dogs in recent years.

DEAD COUGAR FOUND IN UP’s DICKENSON COUNTY
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation O cers are seeking information on a dead cougar found 4 miles north of Iron Mountain. No information has been provided as to the cause of death of the male cougar found by conservation o cers on February 1 in Breitung Township. Cougars are classi ed as non-game protected species in Michigan.

NO SHOOTING RELATED FATALITIES IN 2015 HUNTING SEASONS
For the second year in a row there were no shooting related fatalities in any of Michigan’s hunting seasons in 2015. Twelve incidents in which individuals were injured in 2015 is up from 10 incidents recorded in 2014. The 12 incidents from more than 715,000 licensed hunters is equivalent to almost one incident per 60,000 hunters. Seven of the 12 incidents were self-in icted wounds attributed to careless handling of  rearms. Other incidents were caused by failing to identify the target, walking in front of a shooter and hoisting a  rearm by a rope attached to a trigger guard.
DNR attributes this relatively safe season to hunter orange and the hunter safety education program.

2016 DNR CONSERVATION OFFICER ACADEMY NO. 7
Twenty-four conservation o cer recruits are completing a 22-week training academy that includes 14 weeks of basic police training and 8 weeks of specialized conservation o cer training. Following graduation the probationary o cers will complete 18 weeks of  eld training. During their  rst two years after  eld training, o cers will complete additional specialized training, including search and rescue and marine, waterfowl, snowmobile and trapping enforcement training.
Conservation O cers are certi ed police o cers with authority to enforce all of Michigan’s criminal laws. Recruit school No. 7 includes 22 men and 2 women. The recruits range in age from 21 to 45. Seven are military veterans and 3 are previous law enforcement o cers. They will be a welcome addition to the corps of o cers protecting Michigan’s natural resources.

2016 LICENSE APPLICATION PERIODS
Spring Turkey: The application period was January 1 to February 1. If you were an unsuccessful applicant you may purchase a leftover license online or from a license agent beginning at 10:10 am on March 8. Any limited quota license remaining at 10:00 am on March 15 may be purchased by any hunter. License for the May 2-31 hunt (Hunt 0234) may be purchased over the counter beginning March 15 through the entire spring turkey season. Black Bear: Apply for a permit between May 1 and June 1. Consider applying for a point if you do not plan to hunt bear in 2016 but may wish to hunt in a subsequent year. The more points you have the greater your chance of drawing a license. Michigan Elk: Apply for a license between May 1 and June 1. One hundred elk licenses were issued last year. Fall Turkey: Apply for a license between July 15 and August 15.
Remember that hunters must purchase a base license (small game license)before they can purchase any hunting license.

THE TRAVELING HUNTER
(Reprinted from The Marcellus News October 29, 2015 from the 80 years ago column.)
Dr. H.D. Rose left Friday for a few weeks’ hunting trip in Mexico. Mrs. Rose received a telegram from Dr. Rose a few days later stating, “Trip to Mexico O . Too Many rebels.” No further particulars were given but news items in the dailies state that bandits in Mexico are robbing hunters, taking their guns and ammunition from them and leaving them stranded. Probably Dr. Rose heard of this and decided to remain in the good old U.S. A. (Joanne’s hometown newspaper.)

Posted on March 28, 2016 .