President's Report- 7-1-10

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Dale H
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Re: President's Report- 7-1-10

Postby Dale H » Tue Jul 06, 2010 9:01 am

lang49,
We do not to give in to the "court of public opinion" as a matter of fact we work hard to appose it. The proposed body griping trap restrictions two years ago are a prime example of us standing together to appose the "court of public opinion" and winning our case. You have to remember that we have many areas of trapping where we are looking to improve our situation and most are an uphill battle if not in principal then in the procedure of accomplishing the change. Nothing is simple when dealing with State government. Thank you for your continued support and input as we continue to work at improving trapping in Michigan.
Teach a youth and keep our sport alive
President
Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Assn.
Dale

tomship
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Re: President's Report- 7-1-10

Postby tomship » Tue Jul 06, 2010 11:30 am

John:

The paperwork I gave you were not "letters, nor an interpretation from some long-since retired retired DNR member"!!!!!!!!!!

They were in fact print outs from the STATE OF MICHIGAN LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION'S POLICY AND

PROCEDURES MANUAL (Chapter 3, Section 5, Subject 400 dated 2-9-81---& Chater 10, Section 4, Subject 1

dated 7/83. Policy and procedures manuals are a direct result of Law Interpretation!!!!

You were given cover letters for both procedure printouts. The cover letter dated April 19, 1989 was

sent from the Criminal Research, Legislation and Policy Unit as a direct request from Chief Burns due to

my inquiry concerning rat house/feed-hut/push-up confusion within the C.O. ranks.


Again! There is "no reason to re-invent the wheel" for the purpose of further restrictions on the trapper.
Life is too short not to be happy. Keep on stringing steel & enjoy THE GREAT OUTDOORS!

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Re: President's Report- 7-1-10

Postby Beaverhunter2 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:04 pm

tomship wrote:John:

The paperwork I gave you were not "letters, nor an interpretation from some long-since retired retired DNR member"!!!!!!!!!!

They were in fact print outs from the STATE OF MICHIGAN LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION'S POLICY AND

PROCEDURES MANUAL (Chapter 3, Section 5, Subject 400 dated 2-9-81---& Chater 10, Section 4, Subject 1

dated 7/83. Policy and procedures manuals are a direct result of Law Interpretation!!!!

You were given cover letters for both procedure printouts. The cover letter dated April 19, 1989 was

sent from the Criminal Research, Legislation and Policy Unit as a direct request from Chief Burns due to

my inquiry concerning rat house/feed-hut/push-up confusion within the C.O. ranks.


Again! There is "no reason to re-invent the wheel" for the purpose of further restrictions on the trapper.


Tom,

We're not trying to "reinvent the wheel" and especially not "for the purpose of further restrictions on the trapper". What we're trying to do is work with the DNRE to move closer (and maybe all the way) to the 1989 interpretation of what constitutes disturbing a muskrat house, home, or hole. The biggest difference between this and "the wheel" is that the wheel was in the public eye. This interpretation of the trapping laws was buried in someone's files for 21 years. If it had also been public knowledge, it is less likely that the current DNRE leadership would have interpreted the law to preclude setting traps inside structures made by muskrats. Evidence that this was not public knowledge is, if you remember, the fact that of the five trappers that were discussing this at Otisville, three believed that setting inside push-ups had always been illegal. And every one of the five had been actively trapping for years before this interpretation was sent to you. This is one blessing of the Internet. Once we have reached an agreement with the DNRE, the World will know.

Also, remember that the current leadership has no obligation to follow that 1989 interpretation. The only law is the Wildlife Conservation Order. Interpretation of it is in the hands of the current leadership- and "Policies and Procedures" change.

The current interpretation is that setting traps inside structures built by muskrats (i.e., push-ups, feeders, and houses) is "disturbing a house, home, or hole" and thus illegal. Also, removing material from such a structure to make a set is also illegal. However, placing a trap on the outside of a muskrat structure is not interpretated as disturbing it and thus is currently legal. The DNRE has agreed to work with us to establish a workable definition of the difference between muskrat houses and feeding shelters. This will allow trappers and COs to clearly differentiate between the two so that trappers can set inside feeding shelters (push-ups, feeders) without risk of a ticket. Removing material from a house while making a set is clearly "disturbing" it and is going to likely remain illegal.

If this approach is not acceptable to you, then I'm sorry. The alternative is to leave it the way it is. That alternative is not acceptable to me. While I have never set a muskrat trap inside any structure built by muskrats, if the original intent of the law was to allow setting inside push-ups; and a definition can be established that allows trappers and COs to clearly and easily differentiate between them and houses, that's what I'm going to work toward- for all trappers.

John
Editor
MTPCA

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Re: President's Report- 7-1-10

Postby tomship » Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:56 am

John: This is not a peeing contest. Who are the DNRE leadership your referring to?

As to re-inventing the wheel, my concern lies with the fact that we set this problem to rest 2 decades ago.

The fact that five trappers in Otisville were unaware of our efforts here in S.Eastern MI. to eliminate

tickets from an over zealous C.O. does'nt change the law enforcement policies in our area.

The policies & procedures were in line with the law then, why are'nt they in line now.


If we fail to learn from the mistakes of the past, we are doomed to repeat them.


During that same time period (2 decades ago), working with the Law Enforcement Chief the no hole

trapping regulations were eliminated.
Life is too short not to be happy. Keep on stringing steel & enjoy THE GREAT OUTDOORS!

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Re: President's Report- 7-1-10

Postby Beaverhunter2 » Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:08 pm

Tom,

We're working with Wildlife and Law Divisions on this issue. This issue may have been put to rest two decades ago, but unfortunately the people who made that interpretation are no longer there. Also, the current leadership of these Divisions (along with a lot of other people) were unaware that it had been addressed back then.

The DNRE interpreted the regs last winter and came to different conclusion. That is not to say that one interpretation is wrong and the other is right. They are interpretations and they can be different. That is not to say theDNRE isn't willing to discuss the current version further and maybe change that interpretation- they say they are. Had the information from 1989 been more widely known, we probably wouldn't be where we are today. Unfortunately it wasn't.

This is where we are today. And this is where we need to work from.

John
Editor
MTPCA

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Re: President's Report- 7-1-10

Postby tomship » Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:27 pm

Final post on this subject;

After working for,against, & with the DNR for the last 4 decades, the end result is not always what it seems to be.

LOL
Life is too short not to be happy. Keep on stringing steel & enjoy THE GREAT OUTDOORS!

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MEMBER- FTA, MTPCA,NWOFT,OSTA

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Re: President's Report- 7-1-10

Postby Beaverhunter2 » Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:16 pm

Mine, too.

What I have found is that you can not "force" the DNRE to do anything and they hold most of the cards. What I have also found is that they are, for the most part, reasonable people that have the best interests of the resources at heart. This is common ground we can work from.

When I hear people say we should "FIGHT!" for this or that, I have to ask, "Who would you fight and what do you fight with?" The NRC makes the rules. Period. Unless you are willing to take your chances in the Legislature, you either work with them and try to get their agreement, or you lose. The DNRE is the State's experts and representatives related to the hunting and trapping regulations. This is a strong position to be in. We were able to limit the impact of the bodygripper restrictions by appealing directly to the NRC, but I much prefer to work with the DNRE than to fight an uphill battle against them. We don't always get what we want, but that's probably not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes I think trappers can be their own worst enemies.

I'll close this post and be done with this topic by listing the things trappers have gained and lost in my memory:

Gained:
    The 6' rule on trapping near muskrat houses and holes was removed
    Colony Traps (6"x6"x24")
    Larger colony traps (8"x8"x36")
    Zone 3 Otter Trapping
    NLP Bobcat Trapping
    Two Bobcat Limit in the UP
    Marten Trapping
    Fisher Trapping
    Zone 2 and Western UP Badger Trapping
    The 50' rule on beaver trapping near lodges, holes, and dams was removed
    Unlimited Beaver Trapping (I remember a limit of 8)
    Removed sealing requirements on badger and beaver
    Under-ice Beaver Snares
    Open-water Beaver Snares
    Ability to shoot badgers in foothold traps
    Extended seasons for water trapping (muskrat, mink, and raccoon)
    Extended seasons for beaver and otter
    Fox and Coyote Snaring
    No longer need a permit to keep furs after the season closes
    Coyote and fox calling at night with a light (shotguns and rimfires only)
    Increased the legal incidental take of muskrats in spring beaver sets from 5 to 10

Lost:
    Bodygrippers larger than 220s on Private dry land
    Bodygrippers larger than 5 1/2" on Public dry land
    2 1/2" loop stop on fox and coyote snares
    Extended UP bobcat season
    Traps with teeth
    Ability to set inside muskrat push-ups (lost temporarily, I believe)
    Centerfire rifles for hunting at night without a light.


While we're at it, I'll go out on a limb and list a few things I'm fairly comfortable the DNRE will work with us to gain (or restore) in the near future:

    Increase the Zone 2 Otter limit to 2
    Extend the muskrat and mink season through February
    Add raccoons and opossums to animals that can be hunted at night with a call
    Define the difference between a push-up (or feeder) and a muskrat house, home, or hole.
    Allow a rimfire firearm to be used for dispatch purposes during the firearm deer season in the Shotgun Zone.
    And (hopefully) allow #4 Buck to be used at night for calling.

The Bobcat quota; mink and muskrat snaring; and the fisher and marten reg changes may take a little longer. The reasons I believe this are:

    The details and funding of a bobcat quota system may take a while to work out.
    Muskrat snaring was rejected by the DNRE a few years ago.
    There are concerns about the fisher and marten populations and the DNRE has historically been very conservative about thses two species.

I hate to see anything lost that is not a threat to our sports or our furbearer resources, but I'm encouraged when I see positive changes. Some of these changes were effected when I was a kid. Some I worked on personally. All in all I think we've done well over the years. That's my opinion. You'll have to decide for yourself.

The Board and I plan to continue to try to work cooperatively with the DNRE, the MUCC, and other sportsmen's groups to effect positive changes to trapping and calling. If any of you have a similar interest, we could sure use the help. On that note, there's a Board of Directors Meeting this Sunday (7/11) at 10:00am in the Lions Building at the Osceola County Fairgrounds in Evart. (That's the same place as the Convention.) Everyone's welcome. I hope some of you decide to come.


John
Editor
MTPCA


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