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Here's Where Michigan Stands on a Sandhill Crane Season

Here's Where Michigan Stands on a Sandhill Crane Season

Apr 18th 2019

Sandhill Crane Decoys & Calls

There's been a lot of buzz over the last few days regarding resolutions introduced to the Michigan State House and Senate last week, but in reality there isn't much progress in moving forward with a sandhill crane season in the state. There is a significant amount of misinformation swirling around and even many hunters are unaware of the benefits of hunting sandhills.

The Michigan Audubon Society predictably opposed the measure, issuing a statement on Facebook that generated hundreds of reactions, mostly negative.

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From Michigan Public Radio:

Two Michigan lawmakers are pushing for a hunting season for sandhill cranes.

Last week, House Resolution 61 and Senate Resolution 30 were introduced by Rep. Jim Lower (R-Cedar Lake), and Sen. Dale Zorn (R-Ida). Lower introduced a similar resolution (HR 154) in 2017.

The resolutions call on Michigan's Natural Resources Commission to add sandhill cranes to the game species list. And they urge the commission to seek the required approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a hunting season for the birds.

"The commission has sole authority to authorize and set regulations for hunting wildlife species in the state," said Ed Golder, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. "It also has the authority to name a game species if it so chose. And it has not done that with the sandhill crane. So there are no plans to hunt sandhill crane in Michigan."

"It's not something the department is considering. I can tell you that," said Golder. "And the commission has not asked us for any such consideration."

The resolutions say the ever-increasing population of sandhill cranes is damaging crops, and a hunting season would benefit farmers as well as hunters.

Golder said there are other tools for farmers to address crop damage.

Michigan farmers can seek nuisance permits that allow them to kill sandhill cranes that are damaging their crops.

The resolutions were referred to the House and Senate natural resources committees immediately following their introduction.