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qdmalogo April 21, 1998

K.L. Cool Executive Director

Executive Division

Mason Bldg. 7th Floor

P.O. Box 30028

Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Mr. Cool,

Please allow me to address your question of April 8th at the NRC meeting in more depth. Our reluctance to accept a no spike rule in DMU 107 is based on QDM experiences. As you mentioned DMU 101 is using that rule why not DMU 107 for conformity. According to DNR deer checking records spike bucks in DMU 101 consists of 46% of the 1 1/2 year old bucks harvested. In DMU 107 it is 20%. Where QDM fails it is usually due to standards set to low. This same subject was discussed last January in a meeting in Clare with Mid Michigan Branch members and (6) representatives from the wildlife division of the DNR and it was suggested by the DNR that we not even put that question in the survey for obvious reasons. Protecting 20% of the young bucks in DMU 107 would not show significant improvement in the age structure of the bucks nor improve the sex ratio even after 5 years. This QDM experiment would be deemed a failure and scrapped and give the concept of QDM a black eye. Our request to start with 3 on a side minimum buck rule would protect 49% of the 1 1/2 year old bucks in DMU 107. This is very similar to the 46% of DMU 101 with a no spike rule standard. Mr. Cool even protecting 50% is marginal but should produce some visible improvement. Going to a 4 point minimum rule after 3 years would accelerate the progress. This 4 point rule would protect 86% of the young bucks in DMU 107. Let me go back to the basics. QDM is about scientific wise deer management and address's the big picture. It just so happens protecting all or most of the young bucks is a vital tool for its success.

Also Mr. Cool please allow me to address other area's of concern when a deer management program of this type is considered. The acceptance and enforcement by the conservation officers and administering justice by the magistrates is important especially to the individuals involved. There was no provision in the Dooly County proposal for excuses for anyone when administrating the new rule. However ------ the public was informed and the conservation officers instructed to do the following in a mistake. You the hunter phone in your error and the CO will instruct you to bring the deer in to the field office or they will come out to you if convenient. The hunter will be issued a legal kill tag, a reaming out and instructions on proper identification.

Hunters may receive two breaks depending on circumstances. Young hunters and first time buck kills are given more consideration. A 12 year old boy voluntarily turned himself in and became a special friend of Dooly Co. conservation officer Mr. Al Willis. This same youngster received the sportsman of the year award.

Concern of increased lease prices is legitimate but as the program expands it is felt that it will find an acceptable level (the old law of supply and demand). At present there are four counties in Georgia with a higher standard of minimum buck rules. Two with a 15" min. spread and two with a minimum of 4 points to a side. There are a dozen or more counties in some stage of progress for a higher buck standard.

In Dooly County where it all started in 1992 there is overwhelming support and this is from the CO's, justice of the peace, hunters and after a learning curve the landowners. There was 66% approval in 1992, 89% approval in 1995 and an informal field survey by the CO's during the 1997 hunting season could not find one dissenting opinion. A large part of this satisfaction comes from the focus of the DNR to work with and educate the hunters of Dooly County that they are the ultimate managers. Mr. Al Willis: Dooly County CO and Mr. John Harkins: Macon County CO invite you to call them and hear their story, phone number 912 430-4252 along with Dooly County DNR supervisor biologist manager Terry Kile phone number 912 430-4354. Mr. John Harkins home phone number is 912 967-2824.

Why did this start in Dooly County and why is it working so well? It is my personal observation from my contact with Georgia DNR personnel that a few middle level biologists and field conservation officers saw the benefits of QDM and took a leadership role. Their 2 year odyssey succeeded because they worked with the people of Dooly County through several educational town meetings, got politicians, other law enforcement agencies, business leaders, landowners and hunters involved in their proposal. Through the efforts of these few enlightened Georgia DNR employees the people of Dooly County picked up on the proposal and made it their quest and they pushed it through when upper level Georgia DNR officials set up road blocks. The cooperation between the people of Dooly County and their county DNR personnel is real.

In closing Mr. Cool the Mid Michigan Branch believes DMU 107 can be the Dooly County of the north. The main beneficiaries of the program are the deer of DMU 107. This program should allow the Michigan DNR and NRC to retake the lead in deer management in the Midwest. We the members of the Mid Michigan Branch pledge our cooperation and physical support to make this deer management experiment a successful benchmark.

Keep the fun in hunting,

Ed Spinazzola

President: Mid Michigan Branch QDMA

CC: Mr. George Burgoyne

Mrs. Rebbecca Humphries

Mr. Pete Squibb

Mr. Dale Rabe

Mr. Bill Moritz

Mr. Paul Eislel

Mr. Kieth Charters


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