[No, the articles’ title doesn’t mean they think enough hunters will shoot themselves or each other in accidents during their newly proposed crane hunt that it will impact the out of control human population in the slightest bit. Unfortunately they meant that hunting canes them might keep their numbers down where humans want them.]
House Resolution 154 encouraged the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to add Sandhill cranes to the game species list and sought approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a hunting season in Michigan.
“I’m hopeful that the Natural Resources Commission will move forward with the idea and create a Sandhill crane hunt,” Lower said. “The establishment of a hunting season will help control the population and limit damage to local farms, where corn and wheat plants serve as a food source for the birds.”
Michigan is home to an increasing population of Sandhill cranes, with an estimated 23,082 reported in Michigan’s 2015 population survey, officials said.
Over the past 10 years, the population has grown an average of 9.4 percent annually, officials said.
While Michigan farmers are allowed to obtain nuisance permits to kill Sandhill cranes causing crop damage on their farms, Lower said the permits do not provide a solution to the overpopulation problem.
Lower said birds killed with nuisance permits are a wasted resource, as their meat cannot be harvested.
Sixteen states currently allow Sandhill crane hunting during certain seasons.
“A number of states already hunt Sandhill cranes, and their population continues to climb, along with reports of crop damage caused by cranes,” Lower said. “Still, hunting is the best tool we have to manage the population as a whole, and it’s time to utilize it in Michigan.”