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qdmalogo April 8, 1998

Natural Resource Commission

Dear Commissioners,

When the phrase Quality Deer Management is used most people think it means passing on young bucks. While this is a vital part in the practice of QDM and desired results are not obtained without it; it is not the most important practice. The main emphasis of QDM is the general welfare of the whole deer population. This means managing the deer population number to be right for the area, addressing the sex ratio and age structure to be more natural and improving and maintaining good habitat. One of the most effective ways to get the management concept in the minds of landowners and hunters is to give them more responsibility in deer management. It is important to let them know and realize that harvesting any deer impacts the whole and that they are the ultimate managers. By emphasizing the importance of their responsibility in selectively harvesting deer they become stewards of our resources and true sportsmen. There are several controversial subjects in the sport of deer hunting. Baiting if done right can be more positive than negative. A limited amount during the hunting season can aid in identifying and selectively harvesting the right deer. Heavy feeding of deer in concentrated areas throughout the winter can lead to problems. A doe should not be a sacred cow and too many of them just keeps the deer population out of balance.

The T.B. crisis did not have to happen. A good QDM program in that area may have allowed the latent T.B. found in the seventies to die a natural death. Let us learn from this and go on and do the right thing.

Mr. Mark Yenkel appeared before this board last year and requested a three point to a side minimum buck rule for his neighbors and friends. This was for an area within DMU 107. His proposal was denied with the instructions; you came very close to approval but the proposal fragments DMU 107 and there should be a survey taken. Also you can try again next year. Mr. Mark Yenkel with the help of the Mid Michigan Branch has done that and then some. This proposal is for all of DMU 107 and DNR approved surveys were sent out. DMU 107 is small in size, 99.7% private and ideal for Michigan's first real test for Quality Deer Management. These surveys were sent to 200 DMU 107 landowners, 500 Clare County hunters and 135 to marks and my original group which we have worked with for the last four years. The DNR informed us that we needed to receive a 70% response and a 70% approval of this response in order to receive their support. 300 surveys were returned from the DMU 107 landowners and Clare County hunters and 57 surveys were returned from our combined groups. We did not receive the required 70% response but . . . . The surveys that were returned meets the 70% approval standard. Of the surveys returned 72% of DMU 107 landowners approve, 68% of DMU 107 hunters approve and 83% of our combined groups approved. We believe in the democratic process and the people who filled out the surveys and mailed them back should be heard and not denied their right just because some did not take the time to fill out and return the surveys. We do not ask or expect the DNR to lower their standards, but to look at the real world and at least give this proposal partial support. Commissioners: The landowners and hunters of DMU 107 have spoken. Please listen!

Keep The Fun In Hunting,

Ed Spinazzola

President; Mid Michigan Branch QDMA

P.S. It is my pleasure to invite the Natural Resources Commissioners to our annual QDM educational seminar on September 12, at 12:00 p.m. at the Gladwin High School. Our featured speaker is Dr. Harry Jacobson: deer genetics specialist along with Mr. John H. Williams: noted outdoor author, photographer and deer hunting enthusiast and substantial representation from the DNR wildlife division.

P.S. #2 We have been informed that the DNR is thinking of adopting the Georgia system or something similar for higher buck standards in specific DMU's. We have been working with Georgia DNR biologists for guidance for our DMU 107 proposal. They send out 400-500 surveys. We mailed out 835. Their question is simply stated. Are you in favor yes or no? We didn't. Our survey with multiple answers confused some. They require a 66% approval from the returned surveys from both the landowners and hunters. All of our survey results exceed this. They have accepted a response rate as low as 40% in their surveys. Our total is 43% 357/835. They have educational town meetings. We are in our fifth annual QDM educational seminar. The main contact we have had with the Georgia WDNR is Mr. Terry Kile; Supervisor Biologist Dooly County Phone #912 430-4254 and Mr. Mike VanBrackle; Biologist Dooly County.


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