posted on September 22, 2012 07:27
Small game hunting has been a pastime for decades.
A generation or two ago it was common for young hunters to learn about hunting by grabbing the family .22 long rifle and heading out to the field with their dad or grandpa. Today, this picture doesn’t happen quite as often. More people are focusing on deer hunting and hunting in general seems to be on the decline.
The small game season just opened in Michigan
and once again the number of hunters appears down. The number of licenses sold in 2011 was down just under 2% from the previous year and the same trend appears to have occurred this year.
The decline has been steady since the 1950s in Michigan and in other states. Officials and experts have a few theories including the increase in the deer populations and the fact that not as many people depend on small game for meals today.
It is definitely a positive that people don’t rely on eating rabbits, squirrels and pheasants today, but it’s sad that a generation might be missing out on the excitement that comes with small game hunting.
In states like Michigan it’s important to keep the traditions alive and that includes hunting small game including pheasants, grouse and dove. For years Michigan has been one of the most popular destinations for grouse. People come to the state from all over to chase the bird.
Pheasants may have declined in numbers, but the grouse population is good this year. It should be an exciting time in the woods for grouse hunters. The weather conditions were good early in the spring and hunters from all over will once again be visiting Michigan to get those elusive grouse.
Even as hunting numbers decline for small game overall there are some positives regarding bird hunting in Michigan. Hopefully hunters are more successful this year than last and hopefully everyone enjoys a safe and successful hunt.