Criminal penalties for this?
Whitmer does it again…
Just last week Governor Whitmer was droning on and on in the first gubernatorial debate about how “bipartisan” she has been as Governor, and literally the next day she vetoed House Bill 6354 which passed the Michigan Legislature with strong bipartisan support.
House Bill 6354, sponsored by State Representative Michele Hoitenga, would have decriminalized the failure to report a deer harvest by reducing the penalty from a misdemeanor to just a civil infraction.
As a reminder, the Natural Resource Commission adopted new regulations back in August that requires hunters to complete an online report within 72 hours of getting a deer, either through a phone app or a government website.
If they don’t, and are caught, under current Michigan law they could find themselves facing heavy fines and even possible jail time.
This is ridiculous.
It’s pretty clear that this regulation was written by a government bureaucrat who has not spent very much time in the remotest corners of our state where, guess what, there isn’t cell phone coverage or internet service for miles.
Of course, this new policy is being touted as being “necessary” to “scientifically manage” the state’s deer population, which just sounds like a bureaucrat’s excuse for more government power.
Where have we heard “trust the science” before as a justification for growth in government authority?
Look, I’m not trying to get in the middle of a battle over hunting rights and deer management.
My frustration, and the frustration of many Michigan hunters, is that dictates flow out of Lansing with little consideration of how it’ll actually be implemented in real life.
Is Governor Whitmer and her administration really prepared to throw hunters (and therefore gun owners) in jail over failing to report a deer kill within 72 hours on a phone app or website?
What happens if the website or phone app goes down? Is there is going to be grace or are hunters just going to have to figure it out?
State officials continue to complain about how there are not enough hunters to help manage the deer population, yet they continue creating bureaucratic nonsense like this that makes it even more convoluted for hunters, and especially new hunters, to be in compliance.
The DNR and Whitmer Administration shouldn’t be surprised when hunters just opt to do their own processing out of protest or just flat out ignore the regulations all together.
And we’ll hear yet again from government officials that hunting continues to be on the decline and more government action is needed to save it…
With less than a month before Election Day (and opening day of deer rifle season), we shall see if the Michigan Legislature attempts to override the Governor’s veto.
If every Democrat voted the same as when House Bill 6354 first passed, the votes are there to at least to stop hunters (and therefore gun owners) from facing criminal penalties for failing to comply with the NRC’s 72-hour reporting requirement.
Sadly, legislative Democrats have time and again flip-flopped on their votes when it comes to overriding Whitmer’s vetoes.
The mental gymnastics Democrats have done to vote against bills they previously supported, all in the name of protecting Whitmer, would be hilarious if it werenâ€™t for the fact that these policies have real life implications.
We shall see what happens, but my hope is that Republican legislative leadership at least hold a veto override vote, even if it fails. Force Democrats to explain to their constituents days before the election why they flip-flopped and force Governor Whitmer to explain why she vetoed a bill that her administration signaled that she would support.
I’ll keep you posted on what happens.