Lets use/credit modeling as near accurate enough. When it's close to what we see ,(see meaning do homework to get estimates of our locales,vs what we see on a random sit) we can more easily choose what needs to be reduced first. While not hindering general reduction in the process where needed. We do have a young herd. Age wise per individuals. More so with bucks in general. Problematic areas are those with many more doe than buck. Unless trying to increase numbers , doe in many locals can be targeted the most to keep numbers in check. Buck age goal for oldest bucks in "appreciable" numbers? There's a dicey one if disease involves higher possibilities of infection by age. Outside of disease areas ,(and I'm not saying bucks =disease because C.W.D. is spread only by bucks , so kill all bucks) we could have any age as a goal. Age though with what we measure legality for /with is not going to be high with an A.P.R. of four on a side in rich soil low winter severity areas. Four on a side is a compromise that I'm not convinced suits more than the Southern half of the lower. Nothing new there. IF yearlings are being advanced in appreciable numbers , then two year olds can be measured by antler characteristics by region. Diet,soil,winter severity,but two year olds. Once confirmed (it already is ,right?) two year olds can be managed for. Beyond that , outside of restricting amount of tags ,it's out of my wheelhouse... I'm not afraid of overkilling doe. I have had a small role in decimating a herd though.Part of the history of the D.N.R. and hunter cooperation when Fremont's (and other areas in those years) herd was brought to a screeching halt. With deer a rare sighting following the reduction , a clean slate existed for further management. What that management needed going forward was D.N.R. and hunter cooperation to continue in a participated in goal that suited both parties. Some hunters recoiled. Understandably. Far as I know decades later the herd remains a fraction of it's previous high. I drive through peeking on occasion. No longer hunting the area though. IF hunters cooperate with reduction , the smaller herd will increase competition for prime targets. At least less targets will be obvious. Prime meaning whatever is considered the best kills by hunter choice vs D.N.R. desires. Will two year old bucks be acceptable hunter targets? Most are now. More will be if fewer are seen. We can say we would pass more because they are fewer. But targeting the oldest around gets kinda tempted by a hunter's nature after a couple seasons of not tagging a buck. Percentage of kills wise by model/harvest data anyways.( A kind of link to prior yearling harvest rates. Always willing volunteers to pop them.) Too great a real or perceived reduction of a herd will yield similar results. Benefit for deer in deer competitive habitat mostly , and reduced sightings and former kill options for hunters. I like pick a number still. In my locale. (Yours or anyone else's for that matter). Get the herd to a number that suits the habitat first. Then work on the herd for age and sex ratios agreed upon by hunters and the state. Herds already young. Cooperation killing bucks is doable as evidenced. That leaves doe numbers. Now pick another number... Hunter education will happen with or without the state behind it if a herd is reduced too much. Faith in the state is vital to greater hunter cooperation. Are you convinced the state has deer management secure , with both biologists and hunter interests and reasoned desires in mind? We have the tags to reduce the herd. We have the choice of kills. (though varied by region , there's a way to reduce deer if desired by hunters, and to pass what anyone wants to personally pass.) Whats being passed by whom where it/they should not be passed at a high enough rate to inspire regulation change? It's doe in some/any areas. Doe that where too high in number we already have enough control over...Tag wise. Buck regulations here. Doe there. Not both on one license. Saving me from buying a doe tag is not why I kill doe. Heck , five are/were free here on private. Having an accepted understandable and goal orientated (by hunter) reason to kill a doe or doe matters more. Without that , are we really going to kill more doe in appreciable numbers if one of our buck tags can be used? By state data , yes. I killed a doe and tagged it with one of the combo tags. Yet, it was not because of the combo. It was because a doe was the target/goal of removing her portion of the herd. If it's a buck next season , did the combo option cause it? We're blowing hot and cold with the same breath. Not my kind of understanding management. Doe (regulation and number goal) here. Buck (regulation and number) here. Then number and age of doe/number and age of buck finesse attempts. Together; but separate. You know a good balance when you see it ,IF you see it by all points of what is tolerable for all parties. Including deer health and better habitat volume than deer browse pressure of preferred foods and thermal cover in mid-late winter of a decade worst winter. (A more difficult combination than it is a common one if all of Michigan is considered). What amount of Michigan's whole then, is balanced? Does harvest data provide the answer? Can the percentage of oldest bucks success rates per hunter numbers reflect balance? It would not have to be viewed as success = more hunters kill more older bucks. View it as X amount of hunters killing X amount of the herds older(est ) buck makes sense because we managed according to habitat ,state, and hunter goals, to have a percentage of older bucks. But only if doe numbers were at goal in the same areas. I'd be willing to take bucks off the table if hunters pass ten times the doe to kill a buck where doe need reduced and then still not kill doe. And justify it by stating one word. Balance.