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Catch and Release Deer Hunting?

 
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Catch and Release Deer Hunting? Reply with quote

A True Story… (and I will keep it short) This is about hunting and shooting...

Dateline: November 27, 1995, 30 minutes before dark.
Place: Farm country…A small hill overlooking a ravine in a 10 acre open field.
Weather: unusually warm, sunny, no snow on the ground.

I had been sitting there ”hunting” for maybe an hour. Half asleep, mind wandering , enjoying the warm breeze out of the west and clear blue sky. I had been evening-sitting in this spot for twenty years. The deer always move from the lowlands through this ravine to the cornfield, next farm south, just before dark..

For some reason, I noticed a brief flick of white. There my friends, was a buck perfectly blended into the grass that had been standing there 75 yards away for at least 15 minutes. Nearly invisible. He was as clueless that I was there, as I was…that he was there. I never saw him come in.

I picked up my rifle and got a better look. This big boy wasn’t a local. Never seen it before. I guessed a 10 pointer 200+ pounds (see below). I could see only his head, rack... part of the deer.

This was my first and last case of BUCK FEVER. This was absolutely the largest buck I had ever seen with a rifle in my hands. (and incidentally the last huge buck I have seen while hunting, since).

Raise the rifle, compose myself, take a deep breath… + marks the spot. All systems go… On auto pilot now...

I choked. Something felt wrong? I sort of froze up and couldn’t fire the rifle. I briefly lowered the rifle…the buck saw me and bolted for the woods. Gone. All happened in four or five seconds… which felt like four or five days.

(Muttering to myself on the way back in ) “So… Old man… You going soft? Why are you sitting there hunting with the intent of shooting a deer and when the once in a lifetime opportunity stumbles upon you… and then you fumble it? You have taken big deer before….blah blah blah”. I didn’t get it until the next day.

The next morning, the neighbor kid, probably 18 at the time, nailed it. It was his FIRST buck. It dressed at 235lbs/ 12 points . He was calling every body. “Come up to our pole barn!” Show and tell! As odd as it sounds to a non hunter, this was a landmark in this young mans life. Like he went through a portal or something. He earned his stripes as a respected “buck hunter”… I guess. He was even bigger cheese at the local buck pole contest. Came in second but only by a couple of points. On his mantle, he has an 8x10 photo taken of him and the buck. And still wants to tell the story about it. Just as I remember bagging my first buck at deer camp… and being honored as a legitimate skilled hunter, and indoctrinated into "the legion". Two of us went through portals, in turn, decades apart. Now it was his turn?

Me? I never spilled the beans. Why didn’t I shoot it? I did “shoot it”. I could have easily fired and killed it but didn’t need to. I had the drop, game over, Checkmate. I made the right decision, looking back. My dad taught me well.

So the moral of this story is? If you are a buck hunter and sportsman, it ought to be obvious.

On a Stack of Bibles.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis I like the story it always seems better when a young hunter gets his first buck I love it. I would rather see a first timer shoot a nice buck then me it is a lot of fun to watch the excitement. Also they will be buck hunters for life.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking about that event some more after I wrote about it.

Most of my deer hunting "trophies" are the experiances. Pranks at deer camp, unusual things I have seen happen or happen to others. Getting a pickup unstuck in 4' of snow. Just being out there and taking it in... and letting the rest of the man made world go by.

I have certainly taken my fair share of deer and earned my stripes in this regard. For some reason, that part of the hunt seems the least important anymore. I suppose one has to have those experiances to be able to enjoy hunting? Nor do I go fishing to catch fish.
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:01 am    Post subject: I Reply with quote

Conis .. I truely enjoyed your story ....
It hit right in a soft spot in my heart ...


I hope you are saving all these messages ..its like your life history ....
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree wih you Conis the best part of deer camp is being there with everyone else. And the stories the card playing and every thing else. But I do remember my gun now. Don't want to get in trouble for that again.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. don't forget your gun. Looks bad.

Reminds me of "Two Gun Pete". what a character. (the Kewenaw camp, early 70's)

He always took two guns to his blind. Plan A (close) and Plan B (far). Pete had 4-5 assorted bullets none of which fit either rifle. Every night someone would fish one out of his trousers and hide it until he was down to zero after 4-5 days. Pete said nothing. Probably didn't even realize.

The funny part was when a nice buck walked right in front of him (witnessed). As if it would have made any difference, bullets or not.

Pete cheated at poker too. But you couldn't not like the guy. The camp victim and a great sport. Long departed. Great times and many memories.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:54 am    Post subject: Re: I Reply with quote

theeislandgirl wrote:
Conis .. I truely enjoyed your story ....
It hit right in a soft spot in my heart ...


I hope you are saving all these messages ..its like your life history ....


Thanks.

I kept journals and scrap books of hunting and fishing camps, trips etc dating back to 1966... Group pictures, Old licenses, unfilled deer tags. What a "museum".

My grandfather encouraged me to do this so I would "remember" people and events decades after... The "Trophy book". Had I not written some of it down, those memories would have faded and been lost by now.

Lost them all in 1997 with the house fire. Broke my heart, too. The good news is that I have his. I consider them a treasure.
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: BOOK Reply with quote

You sure do have a treasure that your Gandfather left behind
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Conis
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:43 pm    Post subject: Re: BOOK Reply with quote

theeislandgirl wrote:
You sure do have a treasure that your Gandfather left behind


Yes it is a treasure!

He kept a deer camp journal from 1923 to 1951. They hunted in the UP, around Newberry. Tent camp with 20-30 men. It took a week to get there from Newaygo County, and 10 days to get back. Earliest trips were horse and wagon. The venison coming back was either jerked or salted and packed in oak barrels. They weren't there for sport. Strictly business.

No where in the journals have I read anything at all about how they got across the straits. I assume by ferry, probably small and steam powered?
(Mike??? Fill in this blank)

More interesting are his daily log books from his duty as a conservation officer in the 30's- 40's. All encounters with violators had to be logged, tickets/arrests or not. He was actually involved in shoot outs with deer poachers. He couldn't spell and his handwriting was god awful scrawl. One of the main reasons he even got the CO job was because he was marginally literate. One tough old bird.

Some of the photos are truly amazing. What an untamed era.

The information in these records reflects a lot of of Michigans History. Maybe worth trying to transcribe them and have published. What an enormous task that would be!

C
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:48 am    Post subject: gran Reply with quote

Conis

I find this bit of history very interesting ..wish I could read more ...
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis they used to be car ferries running from Mackinaw city to saint ignace. They were big ferries 1000 pass. I don't remember how many cars each one took. I do have pictures of a couple of them. There were the Cheboygan and the petoskey and the last one running was the railroad ferry the chief wawatom. not spelled right The chief ran into the 70's then they shut her down. It was powered by coal. Ran from mackinaw city (Shepler) owns the dock now to Saint Ignace.starline owns that railroad dock.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Back to the original theme Reply with quote

the idea of catch and release is not as far fetched as you might think. The idea of hunting only big bucks and not shooting does or young deer is not a great way to develope the monster bucks of yesteryear (back in the day). The law of natural selection works just the other way. Kill the biggest bucks with the biggest rack and next year's does are fertilized by smaller bucks. Gene pool goes down hill. Not to mention that short and young deer that can't reach the tree boughs are going to starve in hard winters. Hunters should be like the coyotes or wolves; eat the young, sickly and slow deer. Allow the biggest, strongest, tallest to survive and kill (hunt or shoot) the ones that are less likely to survive or benefit the herd.
How about this: you have the big buck in your sight, you squeeze the trigger and bang, a photo is taken of the cross hairs on the shoulder. Perfect shot! The game-checker observes the photo, issues you your certificate of success, asks if you want the meat (harvested from genetically un-desirable deer) and gives you the names of local taxidemists who will prepare a mount based on your photo. Want the thrill of the kill? (you sick-o!) Sign up to be one of the herd thinners, killing the undesirables.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rudy,

That technology exists. Rifle scopes with either still or video cameras built right in. I suppose that makes the rifle optional? Or use a paintball gun to illustrate "this buck has been whacked" All the hunters get their own color?

I been studying up on the various terms QDM and TDM (Trophy management) different apporaches with different goals. All of which require doe thinning. Fewer deer= larger deer. Problem is allowing the public to complete this task. If is doesn't show horns, Its brown and its down, button bucks, spikes and maybe a few does.

Generally speaking, The DNR seems to have one of two strategies: Taking the herd to the lowest possible numbers in farm country OR quantity over quality elswhere. Sex ratio be moot.

One approach the local QDM "clubs" have tried, which seems to be working, is "slot harvesting of bucks. Leave the small bucks and the dominant alpha breeders. Take only 4-6 pointers or 6-8 or whatever. Kind of subjective but the intent is to thin the average 2-3 year old bucks. Same approach as slot fishing and that has been show to work, too.

No easy solutions, every approach has trade offs.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kevin Gibbons wrote:
Conis they used to be car ferries running from Mackinaw city to saint ignace. They were big ferries 1000 pass. I don't remember how many cars each one took. I do have pictures of a couple of them. There were the Cheboygan and the petoskey and the last one running was the railroad ferry the chief wawatom. not spelled right The chief ran into the 70's then they shut her down. It was powered by coal. Ran from mackinaw city (Shepler) owns the dock now to Saint Ignace.starline owns that railroad dock.


This would have been back in the 1920s. I don't have a lot of information to go with but I assume they would have taken cars to the straits? There were roads although unpaved. I suppose the Mackinaw Trail would have been the one the travled? Runs from Lansing to Mack city. Later becoming US27. In fact, the original trail is about a mile from me and is now the Mecosta Isabella county line. That would have been in the early 1800s when the state was being surveyed (still a territory?)

I would also assume that in the 20's, roads in the UP were much less developed than in the lower. From what I could decipher, they hired teams to haul them and their gear from St ignace to Newberry, which took 2-3 days depening on snow etc. I doubt they plowed the roads in thos days.

A bunch or work to get there but it much have been worth it. In 28 0r 29 the camp took 60-70 bucks in two weeks. All cut over and whitetale herd exploding.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paintball hunting. I see this wasn't a Conis concept.

A hoot to read these posts:
http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Paintball_20Hunting

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
more:
JUST FOR A LITTLE CHAIN JERKING FUN>>>

I sent he following query to the ASK THE DNR via their website, topic "hunting" subtopic "deer". re paintball hunting. Lets see if they take this seriously and respond?

Response from DNR via auto email was:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Your question has been received. You should expect a response from us
within 10 business days.


Question Reference #060728-000015
---------------------------------------------------------------
Summary: I was wondering if it's OK to go out and practice
some pre season rifle deer ...
Select a Topic: Hunting
Sub-Topic: Deer
Date Created: 07/28/2006 05:16 PM
Last Updated: 07/28/2006 05:16 PM
Status: Unresolved
Michigan Resident?: Yes


Discussion Thread
---------------------------------------------------------------
Customer (Terry DuPuis) - 07/28/2006 05:16 PM
I was wondering if it's OK to go out and practice some pre season rifle deer hunting with paintball guns, on real deer. Any restrictions? We thought we might all use different colored paintballs. of course we would be extra careful not put their eye out or anything.

Thanks TD


Last edited by Conis on Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:03 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conis, I know you're a busy man, but, it would be really cool if you ever found the time to post the entries from your Grandfather's logbooks on the site. Even if just one or two entries at a time, maybe in a special, non-message board forum. Like I said, I know you're busy.....but if you find the time, I'm sure everyone would be interested.
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theeislandgirl
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: I Reply with quote

Conis ...

I am game for that !!! Exclamation

It would be very special for you to share your Grandfathers writtings and appreciated by all !!!!

I found it very interesting the writings you shared with us ..... Exclamation
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there is interest, I would be glad to. Perhaps this winter when the snow is flying.

I am gone a lot over the summer and on-line only a few days at a time when home. The journal and logs are packed away with other family valuables and I will have to dig them out. Much of the handwriting is illegible, torn pages, water smeared. Some is in ink, other is (dull) pencil. Hard to decipher. A lot of is is just NOTES/Names/dates with no reference to anything. But there is some interesting stuff.

In fact, I haven't gone through them completely my self. I knew they existed but never thought much about them. I found them in a trunk when I was clearing my moms estate in 2003. Fortunate, too, that I didn't have them in 97 (fire).

The photos are what is REALLY interesting. I have posted a few.

http://www.bois-blanc.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=8979#8979
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Conis
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On 7/28, I sent the following query to the DNR

Quote:
Discussion Thread
---------------------------------------------------------------
Customer (Terry DuPuis) - 07/28/2006 05:16 PM
I was wondering if it's OK to go out and practice some pre season rifle deer hunting with paintball guns, on real deer. Any restrictions? We thought we might all use different colored paintballs. of course we would be extra careful not put their eye out or anything.

Thanks TD


7/31/ DNR response, typically vague. What are they supposed to say? Nothing? Something? I'll bet this is a NEW question.

Quote:
Discussion Thread
---------------------------------------------------------------
Response (Jaqueline Waber) - 07/31/2006 01:07 PM
The use of paintballs and paintball guns on state land is prohibited. Shooting at or attempting to shoot at deer when the season is not open is also prohibited.


Should I keep this going? Follow up question:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I understand paintballs and paint guns are off limits on state land. This wasn't my question.

Is it necessary to have a hunting license to shoot deer with paintball guns on PRIVATE LAND, during the rifle season?

Please define the terms "shooting" and "shooting at". With a firearm? With intent to kill? Being non lethal, why would a hunting license be required?And what difference would it make as far as "open season"?

Paintball guns are not classed as firearms or lethal weapons. Therfore it is assumed deer will not be injured or killed. But marked with a ball of paint on contact.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DO I dare? Why not. Turn up the heat. Make em work.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Conis:

Thanks to your diffucult quetions to the DNR we will now have 13 extra pages to decode this fall!!!

THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR EFFORTS!!!
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will take the DNR a couple years to figular it out or how much a licience for paintball guns will cost. Then they will put on a point system depending on what color you use. And will issue a small game painball licience and a deer paintball licience and a season. Then the procedes will go to Iraq.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No response yet. They are working up a section on deer painting and appropriate techniques... in and out of season.

I probably shouldn't have even gone there with this. Left things in the grey zone re "deer shooting". Now we are going to have a youth season paintball deer shooting permit, adult supervized, blue only under the age of 11assuming they have a drivers licensce, by lottery of course.

Lottery application fee $642. Put it on your VISA. Lock and load... SPLAT!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a complete transcript of my volley with the DNR as far as deer shooting with paintballs, shooting over bait and all of it. I have to admit this gal (Jaqueline Waber) is good on her party line response. Thats what she is paid for. The site is about DNR public relations.

Sometimes more is said by avoiding a question, than a detailed direct answer. Draw your own conclusions

Debate As follows:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Customer (Terry DuPuis) 07/28/2006 05:16 PM
I was wondering if it's OK to go out and practice some pre season rifle deer hunting with paintball guns, on real deer. Any restrictions? We thought we might all use different colored paintballs. of course we would be extra careful not put their eye out or anything.

Thanks TD

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Response (Jaqueline Waber) 07/31/2006 01:07 PM The use of paintballs and paintball guns on state land is prohibited. Shooting at or attempting to shoot at deer when the season is not open is also prohibited.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Customer (Terry DuPuis) 07/31/2006 06:47 PM
I understand paintballs and paint guns are off limits on state land. This wasn't my question.

Is it necessary to have a hunting license to shoot deer with paintball guns on PRIVATE LAND, during the rifle season?

Please define the terms "shooting" and "shooting at". With a firearm? With intent to kill? Being non lethal, why would a hunting license be required? And what difference would it make as far as "open season"?

Paintball guns are not classed as firearms or lethal weapons. Therefore the deer will not be injured or killed. But marked with a ball of paint on contact.

Maybe I need to rephrase this a different way: Any rules about painting deer or the techniques employed?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Response (Jaqueline Waber) 08/02/2006 09:37 AM
Using live animals for target practice is illegal, period. I cannot understand why anyone would want to inflict that type of stress on an animal, wild or not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Customer (Terry DuPuis) 08/02/2006 10:58 AM

I philosophically agree.

Why then... Does the DNR permit shooting of deer feeding on bait piles? (Notice I used the term shoot, NOT hunt.) Doesn't this pathetic practice equate precisely to "Using live animals for target practice".

I was also wondering if a mortally wounded deer, poorly shot by an unskilled, unqualified and incompetent marksman, feels any "stress" while it crawls off to die? How frequently does this happen?

Too bad there are so few true-ethical hunters left. I don't own a paintball gun, either.

Is it just me or are there some ethical contradictions popping up? Thanks for the insights.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Response (Jaqueline Waber) 08/02/2006 12:39 PM

Hunting is permitted under state law under specific circumstances, i.e., open seasons, license requirements, hunter safety requirements, firearm type limits, minimum/maximum calibers, etc. whereas using live animals for target practice is strictly prohibited.

While it is true that there are most certainly inexperienced hunters participating in the hunting sports (that is part of the reason the state requires hunter safety courses to be passed in order to buy a hunting license) as well as unethical hunters participating in the hunting sports (and that is why we have Conservation Officers policing sportspersons) the vast majority of hunters are ethical and will always attempt a clean kill to reduce the stress on the animal being hunted.

Just as there are always drivers who will break the law and speed, the vast majority of drivers observe the speed limits. There will always be hunters who break the law as well.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Customer (Terry DuPuis) 08/02/2006 01:53 PM

Thank you for your continued response.

I annually refresh myself on current rules and regulations. I suppose we will agree to disagree?

This subject has much more to do with sporting ethics than paintballs.

While there may be a percentage of ethical hunters, many are poor shots and many deer are crippled/wounded/not recovered each season. That’s how it goes, I guess. Short of demonstrating some level of marksmanship ability in order to qualify for obtaining a hunting license, how could it be any different? I read somewhere this IS a requirement in some countries. (this is a statement, not a question or suggestion).

I view shooting deer over a bait pile totally unethical and unsporting. But yet it is still permitted? We have an entire generation of deer shooters, lacking deer hunting skills, as a result of this practice. How can this excused as anything BUT "using live animals for targets"? If this practice constitutes hunting and fair chase... then some definitions of hunting must have changed within my lifetime?

So then, "the use of live animals for targets is illegal" except if the animal is standing there eating bait? I must be confused about the term "target" and exceptions. You haven't addressed this.

I wonder what the "deer hunting interest" would be, if this practice were banned as it has been in many other states. This being still another subject better saved for some other time.

To the best of my knowledge: Paintball guns are not considered firearms. It so seems that hunting/firearms rules/regulations would be difficult to apply to someone who hypothetically wanted to pursue this gray-zone activity as "sport" (ethics/stress all aside).

I pose this question one last time from a strictly legal standpoint:

While not lethal, a paintball impact is painful and could cause injury, especially to eyes/ears. Obviously, it would be quite illegal to shoot an unsuspecting human in any circumstance except in a mutual consent "game". I am sure a number of charges could be applied. Assault for one.

Animals can't file assault charges. Are there any SPECIFIC laws (or precedents in place to which could be applied? I.E. "harassment of wildlife", "cruelty to animals", etc."

Your response will be welcomed. I will not pursue these questions further.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Response (Jaqueline Waber) 08/02/2006 03:18 PM

You have your opinion and you are of course entitled to it. I would suggest that if your feelings are this strong that you get involved, if you're not already, in the process where hunting regulations are created. Specifically, the Natural Resources Commission and it's monthly public meetings.

Hunting over bait will always be a hot topic, but how is this any different than hunting in a cut corn field or the woods where acorns attract deer? This is a rhetorical question, no answer needed.

While you may feel that hunting game over a pile of food may be some sort of target practice, state laws permit this type of activity and defines it as hunting.

The number of wounded deer due to hunting is probably not as high as you may think. In my career, I had to dispatch far more deer maimed by automobiles than by hunters, and there are far more cars out there year round than there are ever hunters in the woods during deer season. I don't think anyone will try to limit the

Here is the statute that prohibits the use of animals as targets:

THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931

750.49 Animal; definition; fighting, baiting, or shooting; prohibited conduct; violation as felony; costs; dog trained or used for fighting or offspring of dog trained or used for fighting; prohibited conduct; exceptions; confiscation of dog; award of dog to animal welfare agency; euthanasia; expenses; forfeiture of animals, equipment, devices, and money; disposition of money seized; additional exceptions.
Sec. 49.

(1) As used in this section, "animal" means a vertebrate other than a human.

(2) A person shall not knowingly do any of the following:

(a) Own, possess, use, buy, sell, offer to buy or sell, import, or export an animal for fighting or baiting, or as a target to be shot at as a test of skill in marksmanship.

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Customer (Terry DuPuis) 08/02/2006 03:54 PM Again, thank you for your response.

The state statue does clearly outline "as a target to be shot at as a test of skill in marksmanship". I am glad to know such a law exists. I would think animal cruelty statutes might also be applied?

Baiting will be a hot topic as long as it is permitted. Definitions beyond this.

In my mind, an animal should be hunted before it is taken. Fair chase. Baiting is just that and deletes the "hunting" to fast forward to the shooting. So the deer isn't hunted game, but a target.

The difference between baiting and shooting a deer eating in a cornfield or acorn patch? Plenty. My rhetorical answer.

Thank you again for clarification.

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