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Perry Russo - President
5178 Bronco
Clarkston, MI 48346

Press Release - For Immediate Release

Three-County Thumb QDM Demonstration Area Proposed

Lansing - On April 11, 2001, the Thumb Area Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) proposed a 5-year Quality Deer Management (QDM) Demonstration Area to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, for Huron, Tuscola, and Sanilac counties, which include in entirety Deer Management Units (DMUs) 123, 124, and 225. If the proposal passes, the demonstration would go into effect during the 2002 hunting season.

A key component of the QDM proposal is the protection of the majority of yearling bucks, allowing more to reach maturity. Currently, approximately 70% of all bucks harvested in the Demonstration Area are yearlings. As such, the Thumb Area Branch, with the support of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), proposes changes to the buck harvest guidelines requiring the first and second bucks harvested to have at least four-points, one-inch or longer, on at least one antler. This would protect approximately 70% of the yearling bucks in the Demonstration Area.

Another key component of the proposal includes harvesting an adequate number of antlerless deer (especially adult does) to reduce the deer density and improve the buck-to-doe ratio. A deer density within the carrying capacity of the land, coupled with a more balanced buck-to-doe ratio will produce a shorter and more intense rut, healthier deer herds, less habitat damage, and fewer conflicts with agricultural producers, motorists, and homeowners.

The important part of the approval process involves a random survey that will be sent out by the MDNR in December, to hunters and landowners within the affected areas. The returned surveys must result in a minimum of 66% support for the QDM proposal.

The primary goal of the Thumb Area Branch is to educate sportsmen and landowners on how to improve the quality of their deer herds, habitats, and hunting experiences though proven management techniques. Armed with an increased knowledge of deer biology and management, hunters and landowners become more effective deer managers and better stewards of the resource.

A Town Hall meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 23, 2001 (2:00PM) at the Ubly FoxHunters Club. Other public meetings and QDM presentations are currently being scheduled. Any group within Huron, Tuscola, and Sanilac counties desiring to schedule a QDM informational presentation should contact the Thumb Area Branch. Additional contacts are Paul Plantinga at 810-777-3374 and Greg Andreski at 517-874-5600.