DNR: No Sandhill Crane hunting plan on the horizon

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Despite being referred to as “ribeye of the sky” and a Michigan State House resolution supporting a hunting season, it is unlikely the Sandhill Crane will be hunted in Michigan anytime soon.

That message came though loud and clear from Michigan Natural Resources chairman John Matonich last week.

He made it clear that the Sandhill Crane has not been added to the state’s game species list.

Last month State Rep. James Lower of Cedar Lake said the cranes should be hunted now that they are off the endangered species list and the population has increased 10 percent per year for the last 10 years.

He said he had been told the bird was the “ribeye of the sky” although he had never eaten one.

According to a Natural Resources statement, before any hunting season could occur in Michigan, the DNR would have to indicate their intention to hold a hunt to the Mississippi Flyway Council.

The Council then would discuss and make a quota recommendation to the Fish and Wildlife Service based on the harvest of cranes in other Mississippi Flyway Council states.

The Fish and Wildlife Service would then either accept that recommendation or modify it to assure harvest does not negatively impact crane populations.

Sixteen other states allow the hunting of Sandhill Cranes.

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