LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Wednesday introduced legislation to clarify that duck hunters in Michigan can hunt from a motorboat as long as the motor isn’t running and the boat has stopped moving forward.
“Duck hunting is a popular sport in southeast Michigan and across the state,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Unfortunately, some of the policies and laws concerning duck hunting are confusing. Currently, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) allows duck hunting from a motorboat if the motor is off and the boat has stopped, yet Michigan law actually bans hunters from having a loaded weapon in a motorized boat.
“My bill would clear up this contradiction by changing the law to mirror current DNR policy.”
Senate Bill 1120 would revise the state law to reflect an existing Wildlife Conservation Order. Under the bill, the law would be changed to allow waterfowl hunters to hunt “from a motorized boat if the boat’s motor has been completely shut off” and its “forward progress has ceased.”
SB 1120 would also allow for easier transportation of hunting weapons on private property.
Zorn’s bill is part of a legislative package requested by Attorney General Bill Schuette to protect the rights of Michigan hunters and private property owners and make Michigan a more attractive hunting destination.
In addition to Zorn’s bill, the package would also:
• Preserve the right to hunt and fish in Michigan;
• Encourage the Natural Resources Commission to review the state’s turkey licensure process and lottery program; and
• Have Michigan join Indiana and Ohio in requiring written permission to hunt or fish on private land.
“Hunting plays a key role in the way of life for many Michigan families and contributes more than $2 billion to Michigan’s economy each year,” Zorn said. “This proactive legislation is about clarifying and improving our hunting laws, maintaining our wildlife conservation system and protecting our outdoor traditions for generations to come.”