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May 13, 1998 1st Spring by Wildlife Artist Crista Forest © 1996 QDMA Logo

Natural Resource Commission

Subject: DMU 107 Quality Deer Management Proposal -

Three Point on One Side Antler Requirement

 

Dear Commissioners:

Good evening. My name is Boyd Wiltse and I am representing 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 QDMA mission and objectives and their application to the DMU 107 Quality Deer Management proposal. In addition, I would like to discuss benefits of the proposal and share some of my experiences while at the same time address concerns of those opposing the proposal.

The QDMA mission is to promote ethical hunting, sound deer management and positive relationships among hunters, non-hunters, landowners and biologists through education. Quality Deer Management (QDM) is a management philosophy/practice that unites landowners, hunters and biologists in producing biologically and socially balanced deer herds. QDM typically involves restricting the harvest of young bucks, increasing the harvest of female deer, improving deer herd nutrition and enhancing hunting experiences. The most important element of QDM is the welfare of the deer herd!!! I am not going to go into further detail as Mark and Ed are addressing more specifics on QDM practices and benefits of our DMU 107 proposal.

We believe the three point on one side antler requirement would give us an extremely good tool to meet the above objectives. Additionally, it should be emphasized that this proposal is an experimental program and hunter satisfaction data will be gathered on an ongoing basis. The downside risk appears to be minimal in relation to the potential benefits. We believe the program will sell itself to hunters after experiencing the benefits. And no matter how much we talk about it, there's nothing like actual experience.

While our subject survey results indicate that a clear majority of DMU 107 hunters and landowners are in favor of the proposal, it is recognized there are others who have concerns and are hesitant to have current hunting regulations changed. Concerns most often heard include:

The above concerns quickly disappear once Quality Deer Management programs are implemented. Actual studied results have proven this time and time again. Hunter recreation and satisfaction increases significantly. There's a marked improvement in the number of buck sightings, age and sex structure, quality of deer harvested, etc. And most important, the quality and welfare of the deer herd dramatically improves.

I would like to also share with you some personal thoughts. If shooting trophy bucks was my primary goal, I probably would not hunt another day in DMU 107. My wife and I also own about 100 acres attached to our home property in Green Oak Township, Livingston County (the property is located in DMUs 142 and 147). Several bucks qualifying for the Pope and Young record books have been taken in the area including three off our property (show and tell attached). However, the whitetail deer is my passion and hobby and while I like the challenge and opportunity to harvest a nice antlered buck, there's a whole lot more to it than that for me. I plan on continuing to hunt in DMU 107 but more importantly plan on expending effort in those areas that I believe will benefit the deer herd.

We believe the DMU 107 Quality Deer Management proposal would benefit the deer herd and at the same time provide hunter satisfaction. And let's just say 50% of the hunters are in favor of the proposal (actual random survey results indicate a clear majority of hunters favor the proposal). Wouldn't it still make sense to do what is best for the deer herd?

I would like to thank the Commission and all of the other attendees for giving me this opportunity to speak. I know some of us have different views but we're all on the same team; and we're all committed to promoting the welfare of our great deer herd resource!

In closing, we the members of the Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA are committed to pledging our cooperation along with expending the necessary effort and more to make the DMU 107 experiment a successful program that will prove to be beneficial to the rest of the State.

 

Sincerely,

 

Boyd Wiltse, Secretary

Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA

10365 Winding Valley Rd

Brighton, MI 48116

810-231-9560

e-mail bwiltse@123.net


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