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Hunters took significantly more antlerless deer than bucks last fall

http://www.mlive.com/outdoors/statewide/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/118107600729760.xml&coll=1

06/09/07 Bob Gwizdz

Michigan hunters killed 451,000 deer in 2006, a nine percent increase from the 414,000 taken in 2005, according to the Department of Natural Resources' final survey estimate.

Hunters killed 266,000 bucks and 185,000 antlerless deer, a significant change from recent high-harvest seasons when the antlerless deer kill accounted for about half the bag.

The increased buck harvest surprised wildlife officials, though the overall harvest level was expected.

"We anticipated that (the overall harvest) for two basic reasons," said DNR deer specialist Rod Clute. "We did have a very poor 2005 season. Much of that was weather-related. We felt a few more deer survived the season than normally would have because hunters left the woods early.

"Secondly, the 2005-2006 winter was relatively mild and deer got through the winter in good shape. We had a mild spring and a good fawn crop in 2006 and that just made for a very good season."

The buck harvest was up 16 percent in the Upper Peninsula and in southern Michigan, and increased 34 percent in the northern Lower Peninsula. The significant increase in the buck harvest indicated that there were a lot of deer -- enough that hunters waited for bucks, Clute said.

In the U.P., hunters took 50,000 deer -- 35,000 bucks and 15,000 antlerless deer. In the northern Lower Peninsula, the harvest was 133,000 -- 89,000 bucks and 44,000 antlerless animals. And in southern Michigan, hunters killed 268,000 deer -- 142,000 bucks and 126,000 antlerless deer.

Wildlife officials say it's not likely the 2007 season will be as bountiful.

"It will probably be very difficult to repeat that this year," Clute said. "But once again, we had a mild winter, except for a couple of weeks, and the deer survived it. And there should be a good year-class out there."

Still, the DNR is a bit concerned about overpopulation in some areas.

"The U.P. (population) is about where we want it," Clute said. "Southern Michigan is still high and in the northern Lower, the west side looks like it's coming back from being under goal, but the eastern side is problematic as the incidence of tuberculosis (in the herd) went up."

Clute said if hunters will help suppress the herd in high population areas, the future is rosy.

"If we can maintain 1.3 million deer in the state, we can harvest 450,000 every year. But, we probably won't get back to 500,000 deer (taken in a year) in the future because it just requires too many deer in the wrong locations.

"But we have had three relatively mild winters in a row. In the U.P., a bad winter will wipe it all out. Our goal is to have a deer herd that will survive a bad winter."
 

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Well I do recall people from the North stating southern MI hunters do not take enough does

Southern LP B 52% D 48%
Northern LP B 66% D 33%
UP B 70 D 30%

Now that is if you believe the DNR's numbers.

I sure would like to see souther MI numbers reversed:)
 

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swoosh said:
Well I do recall people from the North stating southern MI hunters do not take enough does

Southern LP B 52% D 48%
Northern LP B 66% D 33%
UP B 70 D 30%

Now that is if you believe the DNR's numbers.

I sure would like to see souther MI numbers reversed:)
Don't confuse antlered bucks with total bucks harvested. 18-20% of the antlerless harvest in much of the state is buck fawns. In other words, the actual buck harvest is a much higher percentage when you factor in buck fawns.

Last year I assembled a detailed chart that includes SLP harvest statistics from 1999-2005. Over those seven seasons the SLP male harvest averaged around 58% when buck fawns were factored in.
 

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DISCLAIMER: I suck at math, correct me if any mistakes below

NS,

That's exactly the first thing I thought of when I read this, other than the title being a misnomer.

Assuming a 20% average of those anterless deer being bucks, the #'s would look something like.

UP- bucks 76%, does 24%
NLP- bucks 74%, does 26%
SLP- bucks 63%, does 37%

So actually, not that it's even remotely close to a good stat, the SLP is still taking the highest percentage of female deer per region, as they should. Pretty pathetic report card though overall.
 

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GB

That looks pretty good to me, well the math;)

I should have thought of that:rolleyes: Man we stink:)
 

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Hamilton Reef said:
Hunters took significantly more antlerless deer than bucks last fall


Hunters killed 266,000 bucks and 185,000 antlerless deer, a significant change from recent high-harvest seasons when the antlerless deer kill accounted for about half the bag.
Um, either my reading comprehension skills are sadly lacking or whoever wrote this headline needs to take some remedial math classes.
 

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Munsterlndr said:
Um, either my reading comprehension skills are sadly lacking or whoever wrote this headline needs to take some remedial math classes.
I don't think it's our reading skill. I believe someone reversed the words "antlerless" and "bucks" in the title. Stuff happens.

L & O
 

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Liver and Onions said:
I don't think it's our reading skill. I believe someone reversed the words "antlerless" and "bucks" in the title. Stuff happens.

L & O
But why write the story of it's just about Michigan hunters taking more bucks than does, that's hardly news. Michigan hunters always shoot more bucks than does, nothing newsworthy about that.

Now if by some miracle Michigan decided to emulate some of our neighbors and actually showed some restraint in our slaughter of yearling bucks and we did manage to harvest more does than bucks, that would truly be worthy of a banner headline with an above the fold, front page story. Unlikely to happen with the policies enacted by our current NRC/DNR, though.
 

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Munsterlndr said:
But why write the story of it's just about Michigan hunters taking more bucks than does, that's hardly news. Michigan hunters always shoot more bucks than does, nothing newsworthy about that.
Exactly! A better headline would have been "Hunters take 9% more deer in 2006 then in 2005."
 

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Hamilton Reef said:
Clute said ..."But we have had three relatively mild winters in a row. In the U.P., a bad winter will wipe it all out. Our goal is to have a deer herd that will survive a bad winter."
Say what? So what size herd does he want? :lol:
 

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I'm coming to this thread late, and see several of you did the double-take t I did. How could the headline writer (editor's desk?) give us such a head-fake?

I agree with the poster who stated a more 'newsworth' headline would have been "kill increases by 9%".

My perspective ...where I hunt...is the SLP, specifically in the South Central District. And the statistic of 48% Does / 52%Bucks....is very similar to prior years. No news there.

It's a pity we can't alter that to 55/45. But I'm learning -after 60yrs - that getting hunters to change from their entrenched 'buckism' is a l-o-n-g s-l-o-w process. Our neighborhood co-op has put out incentives to kill does, penalties on killing young bucks, restricted access to buck hunters, opened access to doe shooters.......but still, it is tough to get 'em to pass on shooting the young bucks.

It seems that many hunters want only one deer for their freezer. And if they are going to shoot only one deer.......it still has gotta be one with horns.

("Getchr' buck? Yup, a dink-ass 4-point.") (?!!) (honestinjun, I heard that very exchange)

Is it better than before? You betcha. But patience is necessary. It is like turning the Queen Mary. It can't be done quickly.
 

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I hope you guys never compare MI's doe harvest numbers with the surrounding states. We will NEVER have the same ratio of harvest as the surrounding states because huge portions of our state either need "NO" or light antlerless harvest on a consistent basis. Our fawn production is in some DMUs 1/8th that of the states around us.

What do the overall number mean? Not much. It's got to be by DMU in MI. Some DMUs in the U.P. have never, and should never have antlerless permits. In fact, in some of those DMUs taking a doe with a bow can come back to bite you.

At the same time, if an area is managed well and herd numbers are in line, hunters should be taking about 1 doe for every buck. You can look at some states that take a larger number of does relative to bucks and it's because their deer herds are so much larger and need to be aggressively thinned...really skews the comparison.
 

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My gut says why believe the DNR numbers anymore? My "guess" is this press release from the DNR is orchestrated to help sell their next move... whatever that may be.

Can anyone explain the "science" behind the numbers? I appreciate NS bringing up the button buck influence in skewing these numbers... he is dead on... I just wish I could trust the NRC/DNR more in these matters... It just gets tougher every year though :(
 

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bentduck said:
My gut says why believe the DNR numbers anymore? My "guess" is this press release from the DNR is orchestrated to help sell their next move... whatever that may be.

Can anyone explain the "science" behind the numbers? I appreciate NS bringing up the button buck influence in skewing these numbers... he is dead on... I just wish I could trust the NRC/DNR more in these matters... It just gets tougher every year though :(

http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/showthread.php?t=187782&page=3

See whit letter
 

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Lets look a little deeper at this. States all around us use mandatory check in in spite of the fact it is much less efficient and less effective??

Is it possible the guy who answered Whits letter simply would like to set the deer data collecting on cruise control because it is less work for him? Bureaucrats our famous for making less work for themselves whenever possible and I think this guy is burned out. :D

His comments simply don't make any sense otherwise they would change their data collecting methods :confused:
 

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bentduck said:
States all around us use mandatory check in in spite of the fact it is much less efficient and less effective??

Is it possible the guy who answered Whits letter simply would like to set the deer data collecting on cruise control because it is less work for him?
Doubtful. Other biologists in other states have likewise gone on the record about the weaknesses of their mandatory check-in systems, and opined that the Michigan methodology is superior.

I'd go so far as to say that our harvest reporting methodology is the single most effective thing going in the management of our deer herd. Of course, the bar ain't set very high.
 

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When it is all said and done, I favor which ever method is most effective. Mandatory checking has got to be more expensive from a budgetary standpoint so it's hard to imagine these other agencies intentionaly spending more of their budget to gather inferior information . Then again it's government so who knows :D
 

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The DNR manages the deer herd as a total resource, not as a 'Trophy' resource. Like it or not, it is what it is.
 

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farmlegend said:
I'd go so far as to say that our harvest reporting methodology is the single most effective thing going in the management of our deer herd. Of course, the bar ain't set very high.
We have a bar? .............................. :rolleyes:

In the late 1980s, the Department of Natural Resources reaffirmed its goal of 1.3 million deer in the fall herd (which was biologically the same as the 1971 goal of 1 million deer in the spring herd). However, a new dimension was added by specifying that 35 percent of this fall herd should ideally be antlered bucks.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10363_10856_10905-28543--,00.html

You would think after 20 years they would have got their s**t together.
 
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