Michigan’s House of Representatives is urging the state Natural Resources Commission to establish a sandhill crane hunting season, and the vote passed without debate.

These large birds cause even larger headaches for farmers across the state of Michigan, and that has been a big reason for the recent discussions about starting a hunting season for the bird sometimes referred to as “ribeye of the sky.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, Republican State Rep. James Lower, who also sponsors the resolution, said in a statement, “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.”

Farmers do have an option to apply to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for special permits to harvest birds damaging their crops, but the number of permits being granted out continues to rise. In 2006, 13 farmer nuisance permits were granted by the service to kill sandhill cranes, and that number grew to 85 in 2013 and 2014, according to a DNR analysis of statewide sandhill crane populations. 

Image courtesy wikimedia

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