February 9, 2000
Natural Resources Commission
P.O. Box 30028
Lansing, MI 48909
In the interest of sound deer management and herd improvement, the Mid-Michigan Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association makes the following proposal.
Proposed Buck Harvest Guidelines:
- Upper Peninsula- a three-point-on-one-side minimum (all points must be at least one inch in length) be implemented for the first buck taken.
- Northern Lower Peninsula- a three-point-on-one-side minimum (all points must be at least one inch in length) be implemented for the first buck taken as outlined in Dr. Bill Moritzís, "Eco-regions Antler Point Restrictions to Achieve Quality Deer Management" report, August 9, 1999.
- Southern Lower Peninsula- a four-point-on-one-side minimum (all points must be at least one inch in length) be implemented for the first and second buck taken. Note: the proposed area designations for the Lower Peninsula do not follow the traditional zone II and III boundaries commonly used for game rules. The intent of this proposal is to follow the boundary between the northern and southern portions as outlined in Dr. Moritzís report.
Based on our estimates, the resulting adult sex ratios would be 1:1.6 in the Upper Peninsula, 1:1.7 in the Northern Lower Peninsula, and 1:1.7 in the Southern Lower Peninsula. Protecting 50% of the yearling bucks in the DMU 107 demonstration area creates an approximate adult buck-to-doe ratio of 1:2. Protecting nearly 100% of the yearling bucks along with 20% of the 2 Ĺ-year-olds would result in an approximate 1:1 adult buck-to-doe ratio.
Proposed Doe Harvest Guidelines:
An adequate harvest of antlerless deer (particularly adult does) is often the most important component of a successful QDM program. Consequently, we make the following proposal:
- That the current antlerless deer harvest quotas and the permit/tag system be reviewed in accordance with the above antler point proposals. Experience from other QDM states/areas shows that the harvest of antlerless deer typically increases following the introduction of more restrictive buck harvest guidelines.
- That liberalized antlerless harvest opportunities be considered for areas with densely populated deer herds. This would reduce the negative impacts associated with overpopulated herds and encourage broader participation and support by the hunting and non-hunting public.
Based on the introduction of similar guidelines in other states (e.g., Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, etc.), the following benefits could be expected if this proposal was implemented.
- Improve the adult sex ratio and buck age structure
- Increase the number of quality bucks available for harvest
- Increase the antlerless harvest by shifting pressure from protected bucks to antlerless deer
- Increase hunter interest, involvement in management, and satisfaction
Our Branch believes this proposal is both scientifically and socially valid and would result in improved management and stewardship of the white-tailed deer resource in Michigan. Your consideration of this proposal is greatly appreciated.
Ed Spinazzola, President
Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA