Sen. Zorn sponsors sandhill crane hunting resolution

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday introduced a resolution requesting that the state scientifically manage sandhill cranes as it does other wildlife.

“The ever-increasing sandhill crane population in Michigan offers wonderful bird-watching opportunities, and it also could support a new and exciting hunting experience in our state,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “A Michigan hunt would enrich our outdoor heritage, help state and federal agencies manage sandhill cranes, and preserve the species for generations of wildlife and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy.”

Senate Resolution 30 encourages the Michigan Natural Resources Commission to add sandhill cranes to the game species list and seek U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval to establish a hunting season for the birds.

Federal approval is required for a hunt since the sandhill crane is a migratory species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“Minnesota, Tennessee and Kentucky already allow the cranes to be hunted when they migrate beyond our state’s borders, and the federal government has indicated they would approve a Michigan hunt if the state requested it,” Zorn said. “Hunting seasons for birds like the sandhill cranes are strictly regulated, and Michigan would be required to gather information from hunters and track the sandhill crane population.”

SR 30 has been referred to the Senate Natural Resources Committee for consideration.