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By Louie Stout

Kudos to Michigan legislators for passing a law that prohibits the Michigan DNR from issuing any more game sterilization permits to cities.

It’s hard to imagine such a bill is necessary, but the DNR gave Ann Arbor such a permit a few years back that allowed the city to sterilize whitetail deer.

The new legislation put a moratorium on the practice until April 1 2022, giving the state time to study the effectiveness of the Ann Arbor project and find “more suitable ways” to manage urban deer herds.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs Deputy Director Amy Trotter called the bill a “victory for sportsmen” in a recent press release.

“MUCC firmly believes the proper management of game species in Michigan belongs to its citizens who pay through licensing dollars and methods to manage these species,” she said.

In 2018, Ann Arbor spent $370,000 to dart, capture and surgically remove a few dozen does’ ovaries at a local golf course, a procedure performed by surgeons. Some of the money also went to data collection, public education, and fees to hire sharpshooters who used lethal methods to reduce the urban herd in areas where practical.

Sterilization of game species is a practice pushed by anti-hunting groups as a better way of controlling wild game.