Over Half of Meridian Twp. 'Deer Harvest' Hunters Can't Hunt - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Over Half of Meridian Twp. 'Deer Harvest' Hunters Can't Hunt

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More than half the hunters who signed up for the Meridian Township "Deer Harvest Program" won't get to shoot their bows and arrows yet, even though season opened today. The township, already overcrowded with deer, has postponed hunting on certain properties until further notice.

"I was set up to start today to do this," said Juan Marinez. "A lot of frustration, a lot of unanswered questions."

Juan Marinez is one of 31 hunters who received an e-mail last week saying he won't get to help Meridian Township reduce it's deer population for now.

"I'm disappointed by the ethics point of view. I'm disappointed from the environmental point of view. I'm disappointed by the financial expense that we had to do," said Marinez.

Marinez was assigned to hunt on land preservation property. Something Township Manager Jerry Richards says is not yet legal.

"When we reviewed our ordinances, it wasn't specifically allowed, so their recommendation was to take the issue to the township board and hopefully get the ordinance governing land preservation properties changed so we can continue our hunting program," said Richards. "We apologize. It was a large number of hunters who volunteered their time and with costs got themselves prepared to hunt."

Richards says the hunting suspension only applies to those assigned to land preservation properties, leaving only 18 out of 49 hunters allowed to hunt.

Bruce Little says one of the land preservation sites is literally in his backyard near Meridian Road and he doesn't want the ordinance changed.

"I'm certainly not against hunting and I don't want to destroy anybody's hunt, but we pay to live out here. We pay a premium to live out here in the country and I don't think anyone should be hunting on close proximity to houses," said Little.

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