June 9, 1999
Natural Resource Commission
Subject: Quality Deer Management - DMU 107 Proposal - Branch Activities - Other
Good evening. My name is Boyd Wiltse and I am representing the Mid-Michigan Branch Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). Thank you for giving me this opportunity to address the Commission. I would like to take this time to briefly discuss the Quality Deer Management proposal for DMU 107 and some other thoughts on QDM including Branch activities.
A. Mid-Michigan Branch Supports Marc Yenkel’s Quality Deer Management Proposal
- Hunters permitted to take an antlered deer with three (3) or more antler points, one or more inches in length on one side (same antler proposal presented three years running).
- Biologically sound in protecting 50% (DNR estimate) of the 1 ˝ year old bucks.
- Will enhance hunter experiences.
B. Clarification of Mid-Michigan Branch Options Presented to the NRC on May 12th
- DNR drafted a Wildlife Conservation Order (for discussion) which stated that in deer management units 101 and 107, a person shall not take an antlered deer unless the deer has at least 1 antler with 2 or more antler points, 1 or more inches in length.
- We incorrectly assumed that the DNR supported the above Order, as an introductory program for QDM in DMU 107 (didn't become clear to us until the May 13th NRC meeting that the DNR didn't support this portion of their drafted Order).
- Subsequent to May 13th, Brian Murphy, Executive Director QDMA, cautioned us on the risk involved with supporting a lowered antler standard, which is not biologically sound.
- Due to lack of DNR support for the lower antler standard and the potential hunter dissatisfaction with this option, we're concentrating our entire effort on supporting Marc's proposal.
C. Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA / DNR Positions on Marc's DMU 107 Proposal
- Proposal is biologically sound.
- Proposal would be beneficial to the deer herd in DMU 107.
- Will benefit the production of biologically and socially balanced deer herds.
- Improved antlerless harvest in high deer density areas of DMU 107.
- Reduced negative impacts of deer to agriculture products.
- Increased hunter knowledge and appreciation of deer management.
- Improved deer habitat, as hunters become more involved as managers.
- Increased cooperation with biologists and law enforcement.
- Improved stewardship and appreciation of all wildlife.
- Improved hunter ethics.
- Improved hunter safety.
- Enhanced hunter experiences.
- Hunter support for proposal. Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA believes support level is adequate (Ed will discuss specifics). DNR feels support level is inadequate.
- Projected hunter support level after Marc's proposal is implemented. Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA believes support will increase measurably based on results experienced in other states after implementation of QDM programs. Not sure of DNR position.
D. Regulatory versus Voluntary QDM
- QDM experiments have shown that the potential benefits of QDM most often go unrealized when practiced in smaller areas (5,000 acres is considered marginal for success).
- Most hunters in Michigan would not be able to experience and achieve the full benefits of QDM if practiced only on a voluntary basis.
- Hunters on adjoining properties are concerned if neighbors will practice QDM.
- While State owned contiguous lands may be several thousand acres in size, it would not be practical to implement QDM on a voluntary basis.
- Where does QDM work on a voluntary basis?
- It could work in Texas where ranches are typically several thousand acres.
- Many Texas ranches prefer to practice trophy deer management.
E. Mid-Michigan Branch QDM Education Schedule for 1999
http://members.tripod.com/~mmbqdm/index.html and http://www.qdma.com/. QDM color brochures and catalogs provided plus much more information on these web sites.
- January 16th - Townhall QDM Workshop in Minden City.
- January 30th - Townhall QDM Workshop in Scottville.
- February 12th through 14th Deer Spectacular Exhibit, Lansing Center
- May 22nd - Townhall QDM Workshop in Sandusky
- July/August - Townhall QDM Workshop scheduled in Caro.
- August/September - Townhall QDM Workshop scheduled in Ubly.
- September 18th - Annual Educational Seminar to be held at Jay's Sporting Goods, Clare, MI - Dr. Karl V. Miller will be the keynote speaker.
- Quarterly meetings - Jan 9th, April 10th, July 10th, Oct 9th at Jay's Sporting Goods, Clare
- Other meeting activity generating QDM interest includes the Charlevoix and Hale areas.
- Establishing QDM area representatives (contacts) by geographic region.
- Mid-Michigan Branch and National QDMA maintain web sites promoting QDM
- Target and establish QDM demonstration areas throughout key areas of the State.
- Joint promotion of QDM by the DNR and Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA.
- Jump-start QDM by approving Marc Yenkel's proposal for DMU 107 (actual experience will sell QDM as results have shown for QDM programs implemented in other states).
Boyd Wiltse, Secretary Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA
10365 Winding Valley Rd
Brighton, MI 48116-8840
810-231-9560; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS - Let's become pro-active and imaginative.
Proposal: A statewide buck permit lottery system coupled with an antler restriction of 4 points or more on one side for those not drawing a permit.