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I was just rationalizing QDM to myself, and arrived at a road block. If Michigan deer numbers are up, hunter success is at an all time high, and the MAJORITY just want to put any venison in their freezer....Why should we force them to give this up and help produce larger racks for those of us who are inclined to hunt these beasts? <----<<<
 

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Joe, whether we choose QDM or so called conventional deer management, the MI deer numbers need to come down in certain areas (and that is the DNRs goal). The objectives of QDM include a healthier and more natural deer herd, which includes deer numbers in balance with available habitat, balanced sex ratios and a more even age distribution.

While we need to reduce deer numbers in high deer density areas, the beauty of QDM is that we can have an overall deer herd reduction in MI without a buck reduction (should have a marginal increase in the buck numbers). What worked well 20 or 40 years ago, doesn't necessarily work well today, as borne out in parts of the state.

The QDMA or QDM falls somewhere between MI conventional deer management and trophy deer management (TDM). If trophy bucks is your primary goal of QDM, you'll probably be disappointed.

There are also many people who think we wouldn't be in the mess we're in NE MI or at least the TB problem would be much smaller, had we been practicing QDM. This area is a classic example of what happens to habitat, etc, when we create an artificially high deer herd.

As Joe suggested, times are pretty good for the MI deer hunter, but like most things, there's also plenty of room for improvement.



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Boyd
 

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I am guilty of just going out to fill the freezer and have some fun in the process. If I never read these posts and opinions, I may never have come to appreciate the ideals of deer hunting. I am going (at least try) to take antlered deer in general and only shoot large antlerless deer. I am, like everyone else, a creature of habit and when I've been on my butt in the cold for a while and a deer walks up and stands in my scope, well, I may falter and take it home. But at least the goal is changing and I think that's what we all hope to accomplish. Change the goal, polish up the attitude. Become a mature hunter.

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Sarge
 

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Sarge, I think for QDM they really do not want you to change that much. You don't have to just go after large racks. I think QDM is all about taking one ASAP for the freezer. This one however may best benefit the population if it is a mature doe. To me it is all about venison, if I didnt love the meat, I couldnt arrow an animal. <----<<<
 

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You're right on the money Boyd! Growing trophy bucks is NOT what QDM is all about.
 

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My thoughts about QDM seem to run pretty much along the same lines as Joe's.

If we can somehow maintain a respectable number of deer and also improve the buck to doe ratio, then I would believe we would definitely be improving on a fairly good thing.

If the number of bucks in our Michigan herd can be increased, I am told that the rut would get a lot more exciting and pronounced. This would be something I would enjoy seeing more of, even if it means passing up some small bucks.

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Trapper Dave
 

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YOU ARE RIGHT ON DAVE, THE FEW TIMES A SEASON WHEN I GET TO SEE SOME SERIOUS RUT ACTIVITY GOING ON I LOVE IT. BUT AS FAR AS SHOOTING ONLY MATURE BUCKS? THATS A HARD ONE FOR ME TO SWALLOW, I LOVE TO EAT VENISON TWICE A WEEK IF I CAN HELP IT! I REALIZE DEER ARE DIFFERENT FROM SQUIRRELS OR RABBITS, BUT WE DONT PICK AND CHOOSE THESE ANIMALS WHEN WE TAKE THEM. JUST MY 2 CENTS. DONT GET ME WRONG, IM NOT A FAWN KILLER.

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On QDM,,,I've shot enough deer in the past to get past the "I got to have one" syndrome. I even shot a beautiful 8 point a couple years ago for my wall. I hunt a remote part of the upper peninsula where a spike may not be unhealthy at all, just a late blossom. Anyway,,,last year I watched through my scope as a young spike came down the ridge, saw me, "snuck" under a pine tree, and then poked his head out 4 or 5 times to watch me. Had a ball watching him. Maybe this year or better yet, 2 years from now we'll meet again. In the mean time, I'll shoot all the legal does I can to help bring the herd into a better balance. Let the bucks go for a couple years and we will all be surprised at how good we'll have it.
 

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Got to agree with RemFire, I also hunt the UP in a no antlerless area, and being a non-resident and paying $120, I would like some meat, but our camp rule is 5 points or more, so there are years (quite a few in fact) that are deerless, but that doesn't mean the hunting is not great. Let the little bucks go, and if you can take a big doe.
Hey RemFire, where do you hunt?
Bushwhacker
 

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I think I was the same as everyone else, out to hunt and it didn't matter to me if I shot a spike or a ten point. Over the years, I have had a change of heart. I still Love to be in the woods as much as I can. I too, like many of us here, have my wall of shame, as I like to call it. However the last few years, I have opted to primarily hunt with my bow. I no longer have the need, not that I ever really did, to kill a buck every year. I do not consider myself a trophy hunter, and never plan to be one. I do, however, like to shoot as many does as I am legal to. In the area I hunt, it is not uncommon to see 45-50 does for every buck. During the summer months, I like to drive the back roads and farm fields with my spotting scope and a pen and paper. I mark down every deer I see and if it was a buck how many points. Many has been the time that I come home and tally up the count to find I seen 250 deer and only 10 or 20 bucks. Out of the bucks I see, 85% are 1.5 year olds.

The thing that gets me the most, is, I try to talk to every hunter I can, in he field or in the gas stations, or where ever we may meet, and I find more times than not, guys will tell me they put in for as many doe tags as possible, just so they know the tags they get are gonna save a does life because the refuse to kill a doe.

I grew up in the heart of one of the U.P.'s deer yards. I have seen many times, an old doe kick the tar out of her own fawns and mature bucks after they drop their antlers, just to keep them off a food source. I just wish more hunters had the time to spend in the deer woods after the season and into the winter. Maybe then they would realize the doe they are saving this year is taking food away from the buck they are wishing to get next year.

Also, maybe they would have the oppertunity to see with their own eyes what happens to a buck, when he tries to breed so many does and runs his fat reserves off. Starvation is a crule way to die.
 
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