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April 12, 2000

Natural Resources Commission

P.O. Box 30028

Lansing, MI 48909

SUBJECT: 1999 DMU 107 QDM DEMONSTRATION REPORT

Dear Commissioners:

There is a bigger story in the DMU 107 demonstration experience than what this report and biological data shows.

The 90% support shown at the town meeting is not an aberration. There was 63% support at the town meeting introducing QDM in January 1997 with over 400 people attending. This mirrors the mandatory statewide QDM experience in other states, such as Arkansas. A statewide survey taken there in 1997 showed 52% support for mandatory QDM. A statewide survey taken in 1999 after the first statewide mandatory QDM season of 1998 showed 86% hunter support. Their statewide QDM standard is three points on one side minimum. Why the big increase of support in a program that hasnít had a chance to prove itself. It comes from expectations and anticipation. Unfortunately to say the vision in many minds of seeing uncountable big trophies in DMU 107 will not happen. This is a minimum QDM program, not trophy deer management. There will be an improvement and the following should happen:

The historical harvest number should not change. There could be a slight drop in the harvest of bucks around 10% with a corresponding increase in the anterless deer harvest. Three points on one side minimum standard protects 50% of the 1 Ĺ year old bucks in DMU 107. After a few short years this will protect approximately 30% of the total buck population. With an adequate harvest of does the hunters in DMU 107 will finally see what the DNR is claiming exist in our present deer population. They will see one buck for every two does viewed. I do not expect the 90% support in DMU 107 to improve or maintain that level. The standard is to low and the dreams will not materialize. The Dooly County support as shown by a survey taken in 1999 shows 95%. This is primarily due to the high standards applied and the result of it. Their standard of 15" minimum outside spread protects up to 100% of the yearlings and up to 30% of the

2 Ĺ year old bucks. This high grade QDM standard makes the dream a reality.

The lowered number of citations issued also is not an aberration. The Georgia Dooly county experiment is an example. A single citation was issued in 1993, the first year of mandatory countywide QDM. Also a single citation was issued in the first year (1996) of Macon Countys QDM experience. This stems from a vested interest in the bucks that the hunters passed up on. They are now vigilantly patrolling and policing themselves. The bragging rights have been taken away from the poachers. They no longer boast of the big buck that they shot last night. They just may be talking to an ex-poacher.

The same heightened awareness shows up in the lowered number of button bucks harvested. The thinking goes something like this, If I canít shoot spikes, three point and four point bucks why on earth should I take a button buck and lose what I have just invested in.

Another very important subject is hunter safety. Having a protected segment in the deer herd forces all to identify and select before pulling that trigger.

The percentage of the 1 Ĺ year old bucks harvested shows a 10% drop. I fully expect this to become no more than 33% of the total buck harvest by the fifth year of this QDM demonstration, with a corresponding increase in the harvest of older bucks. Again this QDM DMU 107 demonstration is not a high grade one. Donít expect too many 4 Ĺ year olds to walk in front of your blind. If the 4 Ĺ+ year old bucks attain 15% of the total buck harvest it would be primarily due to the hunters raising their own harvest standards. That is exactly what the goal of this QDM demonstration is all about. Hopefully with success we can turn around our deer management thinking into creating a natural deer herd similar to that which inhabited our country before whatís his name stepped on Plymouth Rock. This means an adult buck to doe ratio of around 1:1.3, the deer population in line with the habitat capability and the habitat managed for year round nutritious forage. This can happen if we all become truly deer managers.

Commissioners, Thank you for your vision and trust.

Respectfully Submitted,

Ed Spinazzola, Executive Board Director

Quality Deer Management Association

 

REPORT ON THE FIRST YEAR 1999 FOR THE DMU 107 QDM DEMONSTRATION

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

DATA COLLECTION PROGRAM

HUNTER AND LANDOWNER FEEDBACK PROGRAM

There was a survey taken at this event and counted by DNR Supervisor Doug Reeves, Bay City District. Mr. Mark Yenkel organized a very positive town meeting. Mr. John Wolfe, Clare School District Representative, served as facilitator. He asked that the pros sit on his left and the cons on his right, and after the shuffle it appeared about 15 people sat on the right which made up around 30% of the total people present. Everyone had an opportunity to speak and some had spoken three times, like Retired DNR Biologist Mr. Ray Scoffield. No one was against the concept of QDM. The question on the survey concerning the DMU 107 QDM five-year demonstration shows 90% support with only 6 votes in opposition. In our opinion some of the people sitting in the opposition section had to vote in support of DMU 107. It is also our opinion that many of those who voted no opinion, which was counted as a no vote in the 1997 DMU 107 DNR survey, have a positive opinion now.

DNR LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM

RESULTS OF COLLECTING DMU 107 BIOLOGICAL DATA

 

DMU 107 QDM (5) YEAR DEMONSTRATION - BIOLOGICAL Harvest Data - MINIMUM BUCK STANDARD 3 POINTS ON ONE SIDE
  ANTLERLESS DEER
  FAWNS ADULT DOES TOTAL ANTLER -LESS
YEAR MALE FAWNS % OF TOTAL DOE FAWNS TOTAL FAWNS AGE 1 1/2 AGE 2 1/2 AGE 3 1/2 AGE 4 1/2+ AVERAGE AGE TOTAL DOES
1996 17 22 13 30 16 16 8 8 3.5 48 78
1997 25 18 21 46 27 26 10 27 2.85 90 136
1998 18 19 7 25 17 13 20 22 3.26 72 97
BASE DATA 3 YR. AVG. 20 19 14 34 20 18 13 19 3.12 70 104
1999 22 10 31 53 43 42 34 41 3.18 160 213
2000                      
2001                      
2002                      
2003                      
                                                             
  ADULT BUCKS  
YEAR AGE 1 1/2 PTS 2-3 PTS 4-5 PTS 6-7 PTS 8+ PTS AVG. % OF TOTAL   AGE 2 1/2 PTS 2-6 PTS 7-8 PTS 9+ PTS AVG. % OF TOTAL  
1996 77 31 23 15 4 4.28 79   18 5 11 2 7.41 18  
1997 124 43 32 22 16 4.65 78   24 8 12 4 7.08 15  
1998 106 30 26 35 10 4.98 78   21 6 10 4 7.4 15  
BASE DATA 3 YR. AVG. 102 35 27 24 10 4.67 78   21 7 11 3 7.28 16  
1999 138 5 49 52 29 5.85 68   47 12 24 9 7.45 23  
2000                              
2001                              
2002                              
2003                              
                                                             
  ADULT BUCKS  
YEAR AGE 3 1/2 PTS 2-8 PTS 9-10 PTS 11+ PTS AVG. % OF TOTAL   AGE 4 1/2+ PTS 2-8 PTS 9-10 PTS 11+ PTS AVG. % OF TOTAL TOTAL BUCKS  
1996 3 3 - - 7.33 3   - - - - - - 98  
1997 10 5 4 - 7.78 6   2 1 - - 8 1 160  
1998 9 6 3 - 7.50 7   1 - 1 - 9 1 137  
BASE DATA 3 YR. AVG. 7 5 4 - 7.60 5   1 1 - - 8.33 1 131  
1999 15 10 4 1 (17 PT) 8.87 7.5   3 1 1 1 9.33 1.5 203  
2000                              
2001                              
2002                              
2003                              
                                                             
NOTE: AVERAGE NUMBER OF POINTS FOR THE 1 1/2 YEAR OLD BUCKS IN A QDM PROGRAM SHOWS A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE. THIS IS PRIMARILY DUE TO THE PROTECTION OF BUCKS FOUR POINTS AND UNDER. THE DMU 107 MINIMUM BUCK STANDARD OF 3 POINTS ON ONE SIDE PROTECTS APPROX. 50% OF THE 1 1/2 YEAR OLD BUCKS. THIS IS CONSIDERED A MINIMUM QDM PROGRAM AND THE RESULTS WILL SHOW IT. [THIS STANDARD SHOULD CREATE AN ADULT BUCK TO DOE RATIO OF 1:2 IF COMBINED WITH AN ADULT DOE TO BUCK HARVEST RATIO OF 1:1.4. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE FAWNS.]  
   
  IT IS THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE MID MICHIGAN BRANCH, QUALITY DEER MANAGEMENT ASSOC. THAT THE MINIMUM BUCK STANDARD FOR DMU 107 BE VOLUNTARILY UPGRADED TO 4 POINTS ON ONE SIDE MINIMUM FOR THE FIRST AND SECOND BUCK TAKEN. THIS WILL PROTECT 85% OF THE YEARLING BUCKS, AND PRODUCE BETTER RESULTS SOONER. THIS STANDARD SHOULD CREATE AN ADULT BUCK TO DOE RATIO OF 1:1.5 IF COMBINED WITH AN ADULT DOE TO BUCK HARVEST RATIO OF 1:1.1.  
  A GOOD QDM PROGRAM MUST BE ASSOCIATED WITH HABITAT MAINTAINED FOR HIGH QUALITY FORAGE YEAR ROUND, AND WITH THE DEER POPULATION BEING NO MORE THAN 70% OF THE MAXIMUM CARRYING CAPACITY. USING POINTS AS A HARVEST STANDARD IN GOOD AREAS SUCH AS DMU 107 DOES NOT PROTECT THE BEST OF THE 1 1/2 YEAR OLDS. A BETTER METHOD WOULD BE TO USE ANTLER SPREAD OF 15", OR MAIN BEAM LENGTH OF 15".  

Last Updated on 4/5/00
By Boyd Wiltse


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