Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On May 11, the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a breakfast briefing that provided an opportunity for legislators, conservation organizations, Department of Natural Resources staff and members of the Natural Resource Commission to discuss conservation issues and activities across the state. This briefing focused on bear hunting with hounds, a long-held tradition for many Michiganders.
The event was well attended with about 80 people joining including the Co-Chairs Senators Jon Bumstead and Adam Hollier and Representatives Triston Cole and Leslie Love.
Sponsored by the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, Michigan Bear Hunters Association, and the Upper Peninsula Bear Houndsmen, the briefing’s presenters focused on the importance of maintaining scientific wildlife management practices, as well as responsible dog training.
These groups have worked together for several years to inform and educate legislators about bear hunting with hounds.
Despite negative rhetoric around hunting with hounds and bear hunting in general, most houndsmen have never harvested a bear. According to presenters at the briefing, bear hunting with hounds is about spending time with family, working well-trained dogs, and connecting with the outdoors.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?