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What are your thoughts on mandatory versus voluntary QDM standards to achieve more balanced buck/doe ratios and even age distribution throughout our deer herd?

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Boyd
 

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I think voluntary limits would work to some degree. Although people may get very discouraged when they pass up that small spike buck, only to see it on top of somebody's truck later in the day.
 

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I would Like to see mandatory state wide QDM guidelines implemented. However, It would take educating the general public, and I think we would also have to institute a mandatory check in of all deer taken. Which would take a great deal of time and money.
There would be a firestorm of opposition to this but I think overall it would benifit the herd and Hunters by increasing the buck/doe ratio as well as increasing the average age of the deer shot. Just my thoughts. DAVE
 

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My hunting partners and I could easily live with mandatory QDM regulations statewide. We are easy to work with and will promote QDM.

Half of my neighbors, the farm next door, and the local coffee/sportshop "experts" that I know personally would be against QDM statewide, since they already know more than the DNR, QDM, and you and I combined. That is their opinion of course. I usually get an earfull and cut off before I can explain the long term benefits of QDM. The public expects instant gratification and results without the patience to wait three years for the deer herd to adjust to QDM. They are already upset about the 1999 deer season and the previous seasons of high doe harvest. They will always complain and we must expect that.

A mandatory QDM statewide in Michigan would have to take the flack and complaints just as any DNR plan for year 2000 will get without even knowing what those plans are at this time. QDM would have to then win public support by example over a period of 3 or 4 years as the deer population and age structure is brought into natural balance. I believe this is what took place in the QDM test counties in Georgia. Once those counties in Georgia started reaping the benefits of QDM, then the public support swtiched to QDM and the reverse to the old ways was discouraged.

The marginal hunters with limited skills will never be happy unless they can still see their 50 deer a day any way possible with little effort, and still shoot something brown. That select group of questionable sportsmen will never be happy under the present direction the DNR is headed or mandatory QDM. They will have to be written off as not open to discussion.

Don't give up on the idea of mandatory QDM. There will still be some public base of support that is willing to listen to the education of QDM and will adjust accordingly. That is the public support you will need to carry QDM through the 3 to 4 years of deer population adjustments. After that QDM will sell itself on its own merits.
 

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I am a big supporter of QDM management ideas. I implement them on my hunting land and have seen good results. But, I am very opposed to Mandatory QDM guidelines. I think there is much more to consider. For instance think about the 12 or 14 year old hunter who may only see a young buck his first season or perhaps the person who is introduced to hunting for the first time. It is important that these people experience some degree of success. If they don't they may never want to go hunting again. If they do, maybe they will become as passionate about deer hunting as many of the people on this list. I keep thinking of a particualr story. Its of a young boy who happened to kill a trophy buck when he was 11 years old,WITH A LONG BOW. This one incedent started a fire so intense that it can never be quenched. That boy was Mitch Rompola. What if he had never killed that deer? Would he still have the same intensity for deer hunting? I know many can relate. I want to stress that I don't think the hunt is only about the kill, because it is not. If they never experience any success, they may not pursue it again.
 

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Grouse, I couldn't agree with you more. It has to be on an individual basis. Some people are more fortunate and have excellent places to hunt. What about people that have land that is just not cut out to support trophy deer, or for that matter many deer at all. Do they have to pass up the only 4 point they have seen in 5 years...I don't think so!! Don't get me wrong, I'm all for harvesting big or trophy deer, but individual circumstances vary too much to have it mandatory.
 

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How about a trophy deer zone like some states have out west? The DNR could designate a large track of state land to be for hunting mature animals only. It would have to be public property because it wouldn't be right to force private landowners to comply. If a hunter wanted the chance at a good buck, he could hunt there. If he wanted to fill his tag with a 1-1/2 year old buck he could hunt anywhere in the state but there. It would have to be by permit only and a percentage of does would need to be taken each year, too. The down side of this idea is that it would need to be heavily patrolled because the cheaters and poachers would be drawn to the area like flies. All it takes is enough interest and feedback from hunters to start something like this.

Steve B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Keep the responses coming. The concern about mandatory regs is understandable. But also let's remember that QDM is not about losing opportunities to harvest a buck. If done right, opportunities to harvest a buck don't decrease, only the quality of the animal changes.

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Boyd
 

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I guess my concern is passing a law that would be impossible to enforce. There is so much poaching already, and too many people tha tjust shoot. The DNR would have to either increase fees so high that we could not afford to hunt so that they could hire enough people to enforce the law, or do what they do now (which is not much with hunting).

This is just a can of worms for everybody. The only way it will really work is if a bunch of neighbors do it. Sure there will always be someone that does not do it, but I would not count on the State or the DNR to do a very good job.
 

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QDM would have to be Mandatory if we want it to work statewide. I think the first thing the DNR should do is put a limit on the buck harvest. The limit should be set at one per hunter, if you would like more meat then shoot a doe. I would put a limit on the doe harvest as well but it would have to vary depending on which county you hunt in. I’m sure a lot of people would be up in arms over the one buck limit but I think it would still please the most people. Junior can still kill his buck so he doesn’t lose his interest in hunting, Grandpa can still kill the only buck he will see all season and the guys holding out for the big guy still get their chance. Of course we would have to raise the price of a tag but you get what you pay for. Right now we are getting what we pay for, a $13.00 hunt.

Tim
 

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I'm not convinced that a one buck limit is the answer. Beside's I know lot's of people that don't get two buck's or even one for that matter. I think the trophy-zone only sounds good. Michigan is blessed with TONS of state and federal land, why not put it to use for trophy only? Sounds good to me. I think a bow only area would be nice too!!
 

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I think the idea of a trophy zone would be great. If it ends up that too many people wanted to hunt there, it could be expanded. This way both the guy who just wants to get a deer (nothing wrong with that) and the trophy hunter both can hunt as these please. Right now as it stands the idea of taking a trophy off of state or federal land is almost laughable.
 

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I have to agree with Tim. The one buck per person might be the way to go. People might be more selective on the one they take. They can harvest one or two does if they need more meat. I would be more then happy to not harvest a deer one year so that a new or young hunter could harvest one. Just my thoughts.

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What about a person that shoots a buck with his bow, then during gun season see's a real nice buck? Why shouldn't that person be allowed to shoot it? People say "just shoot a doe" like you can just walk out there and kill one with no effort at all. Well you can't always assume you can get a doe. wait until the last day of deer season and see how easy it is to get a doe! If you need the meat of two deer, you might need to take what you can get.
 

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Hypox, if you shoot a buck during bow season then you are done buck hunting. A lot of other states with QDM have a one buck limit and I think that is a big reason why more big bucks are shot in those states than in MI. The one buck limit isn't the answer but it sure is a start and we need to start some place. I think we should also shorten the buck gun season and move it to December but we need to take small steps first.

Tim
 

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I too cast my vote for trophy zones. Illinois has several areas where you must shoot a doe, check it in, and then you are issued a buck tag (limit 1). Interesting point: button bucks do not count. You must check it in, but are issued another doe tag that you must fill before getting you buck tag. Guys that I have talked to that have hunted there say that you learn how to judge buttons even at the high end of shotgun range. Everyone that hunts it seems to love the system.
 

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I practice QDM on my property now. From what I've seen, my land does not hold a lot of deer, but it does have good potential. I passed up 4 nice immature bucks this year and ended up only taking a single doe in 1999. I am not complaining. It was my choice. Will my efforts be rewarded next year with bigger bucks? Probably not. Because the neighbor doesn't practice QDM. I am in favor of manditory QDM. However, the arguments here persuade me to think it is not the way to go right now. (KEY words, right now!) The first step is to get hunters to look for a bigger first buck. Perhaps button bucks are off limits this year. Next year the forkhorns are off limits. Then eventually all 4 points are off limits. This gradual change will be bettter accepted by Joe Hunter and his "if it's brown, it's down" mentality. I like the idea of a trophy only zone as well as a county wide QDM plan. I would show my support for any plan the DNR can come up with to help the deer herd, as long as it is well organized and thought out. Just my 2 pennies.

Ben

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Salmon,

I have an experience that might give you some hope. I have some land in Northern Michigan. My neighbors are strictly meat hunters. Their philosophy is "if its brown its down". They shoot fawns and spikes basically anything. They also have a reputation for poaching (thats another story). They kill 6+ deer a year on 80 acres. Last season I passed up a small racked buck with a broken tine and I thought for sure they would get it. This season on opening day of the firearm season. I harvested a medium racked 8pt. He had a scare on his left rack from the damage that was done to the petiole. I am confident that this buck is the same one. I also passed up 2 nice fork horns year, during bow season. I talked with my neighbors and they did not kill any forks. I can't wait to see what they will become next year. Good luck and I am sure your patience will be rewarded.
 

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You'd probably have to have a few and they would probably have to be on public land which will eliminate much of the southern portion of the state (for all practical purposes).
 
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