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Press RELEASE: December 26-28, 2001

MSU EXTENSION DEER MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS UPDATE

MSU Extension in Northern Lower Michigan is sponsoring 3 Deer Management Workshops. The purpose of these workshops is to provide private landowners and hunters with information about how to manage white-tailed deer on property used for hunting. Management topics will include Quality Deer Management (QDM), Wildlife Management Concepts, Habitat Management, Forestry Management, Deer Nutrition, and Designing Food Plots.

The main focus of the workshops will be to encourage private land managers to use a scientific approach to deer management and to discourage baiting and feeding. "Providing management, herd observation, data recording, and harvest techniques will likely give confidence to hunters and land owners alike and assist them in developing a higher stake in deer management", says Robyn Oliver, North Region Wildlife Agent with MSU Extension. Participation in the workshops also is expected to facilitate increased communication and cooperation between hunters, farmers, and other land managers, especially in Northeast Michigan where Bovine TB is prevalent.

"As a result of regulations and restrictions on feeding and baiting in Northern Lower Michigan due to Bovine Tuberculosis, persons who want to attract white-tailed deer to their property must now use other methods", says Robyn Oliver, North Region Wildlife Agent with MSU Extension. "These workshops will provide information on how to manage different cover types on private land, including forests and natural openings."

For landowners interested in planting wildlife food plots, these workshops also offer advice on how to successfully grow grasses, legumes, and other annual crops. According to Oliver, "Many areas of land, particularly in Northeast Lower Michigan, are droughty by nature and the native soil may not be ideal to support agricultural crops such as alfalfa or corn. Landowners should consider having their soil tested to see what combination of grasses and legumes will grow best on their land".

Russell Kidd, North Region Forestry Agent for MSU Extension, will be providing information for larger landowners that want to manage their forests for deer by harvesting timber. Says Kidd, "For example, timber harvests can be beneficial to wildlife, including deer, by making the sale boundary irregular and uneven as opposed to traditional square boundaries. Deer are edge species and favor areas where 2 habitat types come together, such as a newly harvested aspen stand that adjoins an older aspen stand".

The first workshop will be held at the Forwards Conference Center in West Branch on February 9th, where Brian Murphy, QDMA Executive Director, will be a guest speaker. The second workshop will be held at the Sylvain Resort in Gaylord on February 23rd, where Harley Sampson, Jr., QDMA Regional Director will be a guest speaker. The third workshop will be held at the Holiday Inn in Alpena on March 23rd. Cost is $25 per person and includes admission, materials, and lunch. The workshop proceeds will be used to establish test food plots in participating counties.

We are currently renting vendor space for each of the 3 conferences. Sporting goods or hunting stores, local elevators or others selling seed mixtures, wildlife or forestry consultants, and other interested parties are encourage to apply early because space is limited. Sponsorships are also available at various levels. To register, reserve vendor space, or become a sponsor for any of the 3 workshops, contact the Ogemaw County MSU Extension office at (989) 345-0692.