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Wow! very good posts and even though there is some varying views the points made by all is valid.

I have heard statements personally made by Alsheimer and his view that we can take 50% of all the does yearly is strange, coming from one so versed in deer management. Perhaps along the Indiana border this might work, but having this harvest concept would devastate some deer herds in more harsher areas.

Neil Dougherty is a recent appointee to the Board of Directors National QDMA and of course I have had the pleasure of meeting and knowing him better. He is an Educator (University- now retired) by profession and my take is that he is quite intelligent. A general statement to shoot any and all does seen is not my sense of sound deer management. I have not heard this statement from him and not sure if that is his true view. We have a board meeting on March 6 2004 in Atlanta and I will talk to Neil about this.

I have written articles pertaining to this subject and hopefully part ! of a two part series will be published in the coming March issue of Woods-N-Water. The article is "What's the ideal buck to doe ratio"? This two part series has been critique by Executive Director, Brian Murphy QDMA with very few changes, so I feel confident that my views run parallel to the views of our official QDMA positions.

Along michigan's southern borders The buck to doe ratio can be one buck to one and 1/2 does and easily sustain a high deer harvest, forever by harvesting about one doe per buck. This harvest ratio should maintain that 1:1.5 buck to doe ratio indefinately. The harvesting of does should be directed toward the older does due to them being the most productive. Remember doe fawns there have a 50% pregnancy rate.

As we move north the picture changes, where in the northern lower we would be changing the preferred buck to doe ratio to close to one buck per one and 3/4 does and harvest one doe per 1.4 bucks to maintain the 1:1.75 buck to doe ratio. Now we need to change the type of doe harvested to any doe seen and not be so concerbed about taking more mature does.

Much deer research tells us that just by harvesting a certain number of does versus bucks will produce a certain buck to doe ratio and within six years. Conditions in certain areas dictate what that buck to doe ratio should be in order to maintain a healthy deer herd and high deer harvest and still have a deer population within 60% of the maximum carrying capacity.

As we move still further north to the northern UP we have conditions that are seen nowhere else and these harsher conditions change our deer management strategies. It might be best to have a buck to doe ratio of one buck per two and 1/2 does to maintain a healthy and produvtive herd. Here we target young does (yearlings and fawns), the most susceptable to winter's killing ways and leave the most productive does (2-1/2 and older) for fawn productivity. In the harhest areas of the UP no fawns get pregnant and somtimes not even yealing does. We may even, following a severe winter or two not even target the young does. As Jeff notes in the UP the recovery of the deer herd following these tough winters is nowheres the same as in the southern lower. In the enclosed 1100 acre George reserve just south of Lansing six deer (2 bucks and 4 does) planted in1928 grew to 220 deer in just five years. This wouldn't happen in the lake superior region.

QDM is sound and scientific deer management and the deer management program needs to be in tune with the environment. Wild guess's are not part of the program.

Keep up the intelligent and informative post guys and where are you gals, we need your input also.

Keep the fun in hunting!

Ed Spin
 
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