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This from the Nov 30th Alepna News:

Mixed results this rifle season

By JASON WITZ
News Staff Writer
Rifle season didn’t begin with its usual bang.


Harsh weather Nov. 15-16 kept deer check stations virtually void of successful hunters.


Despite the slow start, the season ends today with mixed results, officials say.


Department of Natural Resources Area Wildlife Biologist Dave Smith said numbers are down about 10 percent from 2004. He said the figure was expected, as area deer populations continue to decline.


“This was a tough year right out of the gate,” he said. “Those first two days really messed us up.”


Bruce Baker, DNR wildlife technician in Atlanta, said the cold weather actually allowed hunters to wait longer before bringing their kill to check stations.


Following opening day, he said the stations remained busy. The DNR has four area check stations.


“We started out really slow, but now we’re pretty much in-line with last year’s harvest,” Baker said. “(The deer) just came in a little different.”


Glen Matthews said the bucks checked were in good physical condition, because of ideal habitat and food conditions.


Matthews, DNR wildlife supervisor in Gaylord, said the mild fall kept food crops plentiful longer. DNR officers also noticed a measurable variance in beam diameters of antlers.


“It’s been a good food year for deer,” he said. “A lot of hunters are commenting that they are seeing some nice bucks.”


But some hunters used illegal methods to catch their prize.


Lt. Jeff Gaither, DNR law enforcement supervisor in Gaylord, said conservation officers have written quite a few tickets for baiting. He said officers use DNR aircraft to spot baiting before and during the season, but most cases arise from private complaints.


Baiting is banned in Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties.


Although penalties vary by county, violators could face a $50-500 fine, jail time and a loss of their hunting license.


“We’ve noticed a lot of people are still using bait in violation of the law,” Gaither said.


Despite the active season, Smith said hunter numbers in northeast Michigan — like deer — are declining.


Baker said the numbers are comparable to last year, but less deer are being spotted.


“The population generally in the region is a little lower,” Matthews said. “In recent years, we have been seeing small reductions in (hunting) licenses sold.”


But Matthews is confident the area will remain a destination for game enthusiasts.


“The trend is there still is an army of hunters that come out,” he said.


ferg....
 

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The baiting laws are a joke IMO A co told me 90% of the county still baits. I like the part about declining license sales along with hunters are declining.

Then Mr Matthews says there's still an army of orange and will remain a destination for game enthusiasts Maybe instead of making decisions on the seat of his pants he should go out to the local businesses and asked then about the army they seen this year :yikes: .

You know the old saying" If it smells like crap and looks like crap there's a good chance it's crap. Keep it up DNR I heard Kmart is hiring for the christsmas season :lol: .............m
 

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marty said:
The baiting laws are a joke IMO A co told me 90% of the county still baits.
:yeahthat:
I go to college at Alpena Community and just the other day I over heard this kid saying he got caught baiting. There seems to be no way to stop the baiting.He just laughed it off. A co-workers uncle has been caught 2 years in a row and he still baits.:dizzy:
I get a kick out of all the gas stations up here selling beets and carrots as "animal feed" .
 

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Hunter participation was the lowest that I have ever seen in our part of Alcona County. A friend of mine who owns a party store said his business was down 40% from the preceding November. Many of the other business owners I know said that it was mainly just the locals they saw over the firearms season.

I don't know what reason the DNR would have to put a "spin" of any kind on the NE hunting season, but hunter numbers and harvest figures (as unscientfic as they may be) don't indicate any positive trend.

I could care less as fewer hunters in the woods means less competition for the declining deer population. I have a nice spot staked out right at Marty's property line and would hate to have to compete for it on opening day!:lol:

Thanks for sharing the article Ferg!
 

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Ya think hunters should start sparing doe in the NE lower peninsula at all costs? I have done this for awhile and talked to neighbors of mine who have done the same. Guess what.... we got to see a rise in the population this year!
If it sounds like rocket science... ya'll are thinking too hard. <----<<<
 

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I know what you mean Joe...but who to believe?

1) The DNR "guesstimate"s on the size of the deer herd
2) Our own equally unscientific (I must admit) observations

If the herd grows as you suggest, what will that bring? I submit that the days of unlimited doe permits will return.

I don't think there is a soulution that can work. Especially when the hunters in the TB Zone seem to disagree with the DNR strategy in such overwhelming fashion.
 

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We as hunters have to make sound management decisions and harvest accordingly. The DNR doesn't pull the trigger or send an arrow; we do. My philosophy is not well received in the management forum, but I do put venison in the freezer in most years, and in most years I do get to al least see a breeding age buck or two.
If the herd grows as I suggest then you will go from "0 for October" to seeing a deer or two for a good and hard 5 day hunt. I think the DNR can live with that?
<----<<<
 

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i say leave the does and shoot the co's. just kidding. my buddies wife didn't laugh. could be the fact that he is a co in the area.

we also have tried to stop shooting does. we are holding to a no more then one does harvested for every 40 acres. i would like to go to 80 acres but that would leave some people with no chance at putting meat in the freezer. some land owners in my area are not shooting any does, but if you must it is nice to have a limit.
 

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NEMichsportsman said:
I don't know what reason the DNR would have to put a "spin" of any kind on the NE hunting season, but hunter numbers and harvest figures (as unscientfic as they may be) don't indicate any positive trend.

I could care less as fewer hunters in the woods means less competition for the declining deer population. I have a nice spot staked out right at Marty's property line and would hate to have to compete for it on opening day!:lol:

Thanks for sharing the article Ferg!
Hey Joel I told everyone about your buck so all of us plan to camp out on your property line :lol: Heck hope I can get a spot before the big rush :lol: ..Hey a good attention getter would be nobody buy any doe tags next year. Better yet sit out one year hunting. Never happen but it would be a shocker for sure...........m ;)
 

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bullydog324 said:
marty said:
The baiting laws are a joke IMO A co told me 90% of the county still baits.
:yeahthat:
I go to college at Alpena Community and just the other day I over heard this kid saying he got caught baiting. There seems to be no way to stop the baiting.He just laughed it off. A co-workers uncle has been caught 2 years in a row and he still baits.:dizzy:
I get a kick out of all the gas stations up here selling beets and carrots as "animal feed" .
Exactly my point I wonder how much the DNR spends a year on baiting calls?? That's ok though they got lots of money...........m :lol:
 
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