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June 22, 2001


Neighbor, Neighbor quite contrary how does your garden grow? Yes, indeed, how does it grow with all this moisture? I am glad I retired from farming. Has anybody got their hay off their field?

Food Plot Tips

As you probably have noticed I have been involved with food plots for wildlife for some time and the one question I am asked repeatedly is, "Whatís the best plant type I can use to bring in deer and I only want to plant it once?" You have got the wrong man. My name isnít Houdini. I usually eat 3 times a day, so too deer and year-round. I want to keep this short with no planting instructions. Log onto our web page for detailed planting instructions. There is no magic bean that produces young, palatable, highly digestible and nutritious forage year-round. Although there are some beans better than others. I believe your first goal should be a perennial legume meadow mix that should be at least a third of your food plot area. By mowing twice, (June 1st and August 1st) plus broadcasting fertilizer it will extend its use and choice by deer. You really should plant annuals twice a year. One of my top choices is a Brassica mix. I will plant it as early as March by frost seeding and later thru June by drilling it in. Again, around the 1st of August I will plant this same Brassica mix. Deer prefer young plants and this extended planting makes it happen. Corn works good and it can be easy to grow. Try a 50lb. Bag of Roundup ready corn (cost $115.00) and broadcast it on 2 Ĺ acres. Along with 400lbs. of 20-10-10 fertilizer per acre, work it in with a disk set at 4 inches deep. A month or so later spray it with Roundup. Ground preparation could be a previous fall spraying of Roundup. Standing corn will pull the deer nicely thru the winter. You can replant the same field in corn yearly. I use all my cornfields as an additional safety area and do not walk thru it, but will use it as a draw and ambush site.

One of my favorite draw food plots for the bow and September youth firearm seasons is as follows. Around the first of August drill in 50lbs. per acre of Roundup ready soybeans. Four weeks later, spray with Roundup, drill in a Brassica mix, and broadcast 200lbs. of 19-19-19 per acre. Besides, White Oak acorns, Spring Peas, and Corn, young soy plants are the deerís choice. This high preference for soyís may mean there may be nothing left for the September Youth Hunt or early October Bow Season. I will plant at least one acre per hunting site to combat this. OPTION: Broadcast the soyís, brassica mix, and fertilizer August 1st and disk it in with a depth setting of around 2 Ĺ inches. DO NOT SPRAY! I guarantee the above formula to work without bait.

Next Meeting July 7th.

Our next branch meeting will be at Jayís on July 7th at 12:00 noon. For those interested, we will have on hand a special formulated deer mineral mix. Cost for a 25lb. Bag is $10.00. Also, we will have our own Brassica mix for sale. Cost for a 6lb. Bag is $20.00, which will cover ĺ-acre if broadcast and 1-acre if drilled in. This Brassica mix consists of Turnips 10%, Biologic Spring, Fall and Premium Perennial blends each at 10%, Spring Canola 20%, Winter Canola 20%, and Dwarf Essex Rape at 20%. This mix extends the growing season from late summer, all fall, and even early winter for a choice of highly digestible, nutritious, and prized forage for deer and other wildlife. Brassicas will stay green under the snow and become more desirable by deer after a good frost. Deer may need to learn to like it, but when they do it becomes habit forming. The price is right and Brassicas can grow in most soil types preferring light to medium loam.

Mandatory QDM

Looks like thereís plenty of action to have mandatory QDM happen in our state. Leelanaw County is under the leadership of (would you believe it) DNR Conservation Officer, Mr. Mike Borkowich. The U.P. east of I-75 from St. Ignace to Sault Ste. Marie sponsored by Tri-County Wildlife Unlimited with Mr. Leon Hank at the helm and the large tri-county area of Huron, Tuscola, and Sanilac sponsored by the Thumb Area Branch QDMA with President Perry Russo and his able directors doing the pushing. All 3 areas have been accepted and will be noted in this yearís Game Rule Book. Surveys to be sent out this coming winter by the DNR. Good luck to all! The proposed minimum new standard for the first buck is 3 on one side for the U.P. and Leelanaw County. The thumb tri-county proposed new rule is 4-points on one side for both the 1st and 2nd buck. There appears to be a hiccup in the thumb tri-county area and only there. The field biologist insists on having written in the proposal fact sheet several negative impact statements, which in my opinion have no basis. In fact, it distorts the true picture and is designed to mislead potential survey recipients to be negative. Example: Sub-legal bucks shot and left wasting afield, hunters might not shoot enough antlerless animals because they wait too long for a buck, sub-legal bucks shot and hunters faced with citations, increased complexity for enforcement officers and many more, which have absolutely nothing to do with managing the deer, and isnít that the reason for this grass roots movement. The DNR has tried for decades to get the hunters to harvest antlerless deer and accept the role of being deer managers. What gives? The data from DMU 107 shows that the hunters understood their new role and went from harvesting one doe per 3 bucks prior to 1996 to one doe per one buck in the 2000 hunting season. There were no citations issued in 1999 or 2000 in DMU 107. The button buck harvest was cut in half, the support is skyrocketing with 94% at the last town meeting of February 3, 2001 and the DNR tells me they have not received a single negative call in over a year. This is the same experience that Dooly County, Georgia went through. I talked to their DNR last January and I was told that there is no opposition to mandatory QDM in Dooly County and during the 2000 hunting season, 4 citations were issued. Prior to 1993 the first year of mandatory QDM in Dooly County there was an average of 150-200 issued yearly with only one issued in 1993. They are now harvesting 1.1 doe per one buck and everyone is happy. I talked to Mr. Cooper the Dooly County Biologist and he gave me an interesting answer. He said, "Ed your dealing with basic human instincts". "Your in business right, how would you like it if your employees started telling you how to run your business?"

Mid-Michigan Banquet

Our 1st banquet will be held on September 22, 2001 at the Doherty Hotel, information enclosed. Letís make it a blast. Also enclosed are 3 raffle tickets for some really good prizes. There was a good response from you last year. Could you help us again? If you can sell more let me know. The QDMA has only one role to play and that is to be ethical, work with the DNR in managing our wildlife, their habitat, passing on the knowledge we learn to you and having fun doing all this. If we are doing our job buy 3 tickets.

Raise the Bar

I am concerned about the low QDM minimum buck rule in DMU 118D (old 107). The attitude generally appears positive for the 3-points on one side rule now, but I wonder how much of that is perception and it is possible with this high-grade rule too many top end 1 Ĺ-year-old bucks are harvested. This rule protects approximately 50% of them. Good QDM starts by protecting at least 90%. A 4-points on one side for both the 1st and 2nd buck in DMU 118D protects 85% of the yearlings. Mississippi has a statewide minimum fork rule since 1995 and there is concern that in certain areas degradation is happening. We certainly donít want that.

For our next town meeting in 2002 we intend to add a question on this in the survey to gauge support. We intend to publish this potential change in advance. With adequate support, we will petition the NRC to raise the bar. We will work with the DNR Wildlife division.

Jayís Kidís Day

The annual "Kidís Day" is August 12, 2001 at Jayís. We cannot thank the Poet family and their staff enough for all their support. Please call me to put your name down as a volunteer (1-810-784-8090). On that same day Iíll be at the Michigan Bow Hunters rendezvous in Gladwin, but my son (face painter Steve) will help out.

Deer Aging Class

We normally have an aging class in Lansing held at Rose Lake in August. Mr. Doug Reeves, District Supervisor Bay City District will host this year. This is all part of the knowledge we need to learn to become more effective deer managers. Show up on July 7th at our meeting at Jayís or call me.

Food Plots on Public Land

Private landowners have an advantage over public land hunters. This I know for a fact. I have been there. We have received permission to test true no-till food plots on public land in Gladwin County on about 3 acres. I know that it will work on my soil from many years of experimentation even in mature woods. I donít know about the public land soil type, but we will find out. I get excellent results by spraying 3 times from mid-May to mid-September. The decomposition of the dead material leaves an ideal seedbed for the following late winter (March 1st) frost seeding of legumes and other easily germinated seeds. On public land, the thicker duff, (dead organic material laying on the mineral soil) plus being lighter and more acid creates a different picture. We may need 2 years of decomposition. Hopefully, it works and if it does it will cut the cost measurably. There is no stump removal. Just use existing trails, clear-cut out to 50-feet, spray a non-toxic to animals Contact Herbicide, and broadcast lime, fertilizer, and seed with commercial sprayers and spreaders. Sounds easy doesnít it. It is!

New Branch Forming

Mr. Dan Timmons of Novi is organizing a new branch in the Jackson, Hillsdale, and Lenawee County area called the "Five Rivers" branch. Dan is self-employed, energetic, professional, helpful, intelligent, and believes in the concept of QDM with great passion. Dan owns property and hunts in the "Five Rivers" area. Dan is now looking for officers and anyone else interested in building this branch. Call (734) 432-9849 or evenings at (248) 347-2440 or email

With a few more branches expected to materialize we will form a state chapter with representatives from each branch. With this structure in place we can expect a full-time Michigan District Branch Director employed by the National QDMA. Until a state chapter is formed the Mid-Michigan Branch will serve as a state information center. Please contact Boyd Wiltse (810) 231-9560 or email to post any and all of your branch activities. Several of you have voiced an interest in starting a branch. The more the merrier.

Let not Christmas be the only time to spread good cheer.

Newsletter Format

The new format of our Branch newsletter was designed and created by Linda Thompson. We are extremely pleased with it, and invite other branches and organizations to utilize her talents. Linda can be contacted by phone (517) 685-3983, mail at 247 Oyster Rd., Rose City, MI 48654, or by email


Keep the Fun in Hunting! 


Ed Spinazzola, President

Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA

Board of Directorís QDMA