Letters to the editor Nov. 11

(In response to Shut the heck up, a letter by John R. Rose, The Citizen, Nov. 4, page 16)
Heck no
Dear Editor,
I didn’t think I would ever get the chance to say this! Dear John…You’re Wrong. I don’t write into The Citizen for a cheap story at the country club. I can’t speak for Ms. Beltramo, or any of the others but to put my reply as succinctly as possible to your request to “Shut the Heck Up” heck no!!!!! You are so far off the mark that it’s mind-boggling. I don’t have to, but I will tell you why I (and only me) write in just so you can stop making ridiculous assumptions and statements. When I retired and moved out here 7-8 yrs ago I started getting The Citizen I found it to be pretty well done and for the most part on the mark. In particular, I found the “Viewpoints” section to be well-balanced. After several years of the “Beltramo/Runyon” opinion pieces I asked myself: “Why not reply” I must admit that I was part of the “silent majority” but I finally decided to take up 2 pieces of good advice I was given many years ago, that advice being; “All that is needed for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing” and “ If you don’t like what’s happening and you do/say nothing then you deserve what you get”. Well…I didn’t like was going on, didn’t deserve it, and I wasn’t going to sit on the sidelines and do nothing anymore! I don’t know how many people agree/disagree with me and I don’t know how many people agree/disagree with you, but I’m going to continue to write in when I think something deserves an opposite/like opinion. If I can change a few people’s minds over to my way of thinking then it’s all been worth it. Get that Parakeet..there’s more from me coming, and your request is for the birds!
Paul S. Lucas

(In response to, “Deer Baiting Ban Needed,” a letter by Don Kengerski, The Citizen, Nov. 4, page 7)
Bait not
Dear Editor,
Thumbs up to Don Kengerski about banning deer baiting, I agree with you 100 percent. Deer, like all other animals, have a natural instinct to search for food, grazing from bait pile to bait pile is not natural. When you se a dead deer on the side of the road, there is probably a bait pile nearby.
I have been a successful hunter for over 40 years and never used bait piles. I enjoy the hunt ‘naturally.’
Mike Ksiazek
(In response to, “Deer Baiting Ban Needed,” a letter by Don Kengerski, The Citizen, Nov. 4, page 7)
Deer baiting just fine
Dear Editor,
I, too, have been hunting for many years in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I know that things like baiting and mandatory antler restrictions can be controversial. To call baiting unethical, or not fair chase, is wrong. I have hunted deer both with and without bait. You suggest that harvesting deer by “appealing to its natural instincts” is bad. Well, one must admit that deer like to use the path of least resistance and often times use the same trails regularly. It is their “natural instinct”. Would you argue that it is wrong to hunt deer trails? Or even worse, more bucks every year are harvested when they succumb to the desire to mate during the rut. Their “natural instinct” to procreate puts them at increased risk of being killed. So, why do we hunt during the rut, or on regularly used trails, or by food plots? We do so in order to take advantage of the deer’s natural instincts. Much in the same way that we hunt “into” the wind or use camouflage to stay hidden. Hunting, by nature, means fooling a deer’s instincts and mechanisms of defense in order to be successful.
In addition to this, I have found that especially when bow hunting, it can be most ethical to use bait. Bait will often stop a deer and give the hunter the best shot angle. Without bait a hunter might shoot at a moving deer, or at a deer that is alerted, with a lesser percentage shot.

While I agree that the bait industry and “commercialization” of hunting often do not lend themselves to growing our sport, and that the DNR in many ways has hurt “true hunting”, I do not feel banning bait is the correct answer. It should be noted that back in 1954, and prior, baiting was used and was considered an acceptable and ethical form of hunting. While today it is more widely used, that does not make it wrong. There are some good reasons for this. In 1954, there were a lot of areas that people could conduct deer drives, or still hunt across several acres or miles. Now with urban sprawl and some crowded public lands, these practices are limited or even impossible. Baiting remains a way for multiple hunters to hunt some of these lands both safely and ethically.
Just like Wisconsin, Michigan has limited the time and amount of bait that can be used, and has also implemented bans in CWD (Chronic Waste Disease) areas. (even thought there is no scientific support that CWD has ever spread from the practice of baiting.) The decline in the number of hunters over the last two decades should be a concern for all hunters. But I believe it is the increase in restrictions that has driven this, like the mandatory antler restrictions that threaten to completely abandon both the heritage and the reason we hunt.
As hunters, we need to stick together. One baits, the other does not. This is OK. One only wants to shoot an eight point buck, the other is happy with a spike. This is OK, too. Hunting is steeped in tradition and I don’t want to ruin anyone’s tradition so long as it is safe, ethical, and ecologically sound.
Aalden Guilmette

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.