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666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Todd, how about sharing Larry Smith's comments from a DNR perspective and process standpoint. i.e.


666 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Larry Smith, DNR Field Biologist response:

I don't think a one buck law will save more yearling bucks. Our over-all buck harvest has not changed much in my units since the two buck law was implemented. As I mentioned in one of the earlier e-messages, those guys that wanted to kill more than one buck just had to fill someone else's licenses. The one buck law only hurt the honest guy.

In the one buck law days, we did not see a higher percentage of older bucks in the herd, suggesting guys didn't wait. In those days, 40% of the bucks harvested were spike horns just like today. If by some type of miracle everyone abided by the law and only took one buck, and they waited for a "nice" one, wouldn't they most likely be harvesting the best genetic stock, the 1 1/2 year old 6 and 8 points and leaving the spikes as a last resort? That may mean the spikes would be our main breeders!!

Just some food for thought. Have a Great Holidays!!!

>>> "Boyd Wiltse" <[email protected]> 12/20 6:49 PM >>>
Hi Larry, I'm not involved with Todd's proposal (he knows that I'm quite
involved with QDMA and will courtesy copy me on different things from time
to time). I do want to thank you for spending your time on a thoughtful and
informative answer. I must say that I'm surprised at the amount of support
building for a one buck limit, that I'm hearing from fellow hunters,
especially on the Michigan-Sportsman hunting forums at http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/cgi-bin/ubbcgi/Ultimate.cgi
for which I'm the moderator on the Quality Deer Management Topic Forum.

I agree that there are not that many hunters harvesting a second buck. The
one thing that is being said in this regard is that a fair number (????) of
hunters would not shoot the first buck that came along if there was a one
buck limit, and therefore the actual harvest reduction of yearling bucks
would be much greater than the actual number of hunters currently harvesting
a second buck. While I continue to favor the two buck limit, their
comments certainly are food for thought.

Thanks again for your response and mutual concern for the white-tail deer
and hunting.

Boyd Wiltse, Mid-Michigan Branch QDMA
10365 Winding Valley Rd.
Brighton, MI 48116
(810) 231-9560; [email protected]

PS - The unusual amount of snow that fell in Southern MI for the
muzzleloading season will perhaps save some extra bucks, but hopefully,
there will not be an adverse effect (reduction) in the doe harvest for

----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Smith" <[email protected]>
To: <[email protected]>
Cc: <[email protected]>; <[email protected]>;
<[email protected]>; <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 20, 2000 2:11 PM
Subject: Re: Combination Deer licenses

: Okay, I'mmm back.
: Your don't say what DMU you want your 40 to be in. Is there something
better happening in a DMU adjacent to you? It sounds like you really are
proposing a special QDM area. Procedures are in place for doing this. One
major step is that you must get 66% of the landowners in a designated to
agree to it. Right now it sounds like you are having trouble getting your
neighbors to agree to it. If you can't get your neighbors to buy into it,
what are the chances the guy down the road will? This has been the problem
in other units that have tried. This is why, for the most part, convincing
the neighbors and building the trust that everyone will abide by the rules
has been the best course of action.
: DMU changes are being discussed this year by Lansing in order to get
better statistics. Lansing sounds like they would like us to have county
side units. A few of the requirements for establishing a DMU's is that
they must have easily indentifiable boundaries that all hunters can
recognize and be large enough to gather statistical information.
: One buck rules have been discussed almost every regulations meeting. Not
everyone in the State feels that it is necessary to go this route in their
particular area. Lansing does not want special regulations in small areas.
Uniform regs. are needed across the State. For example, a one buck rule in
one unit with a two buck rule in an adjacent unit becomes unenforceable from
a Law perspective. A guy could always say, I shot this second buck across
the road in the two buck area and it ran over here. We have guys now
killing bobcats in closed counties but come in and register them from an
open county. We have a one otter limit but the guy that catches two or more
just buys licenses for his wife, kids, etc. and gets them sealed.
: The reason the Dept. went to a two buck rule was that the one buck rule
was being abused and was not fair to the average hunter. Some hunters that
wanted to keep hunting bucks filled licenses for wifes , sons, daughters,
grandmother's etc. If they wanted to keep hunting they would find a way.
According to Lansings stats, few hunters fill two buck tags. Biologically,
there is no problem in letting all hunters have a fair and legal chance at
two bucks. Most don't take two now but some do despite any rule to the
: Our statistics are not accurate enough to say how many hunters take two
bucks in DMU 88. The number of hunters surveyed provides data only accurate
to a statewide level for this statistic.
: My data for number of spikes was that 40% of the deer harvested are
spikes, not of the total population.
: Most of your other ideas in this e-message are issues that would need to
be discussed by participants willing to establish a QDM area. A procedure
is in place for a group to do this. Getting everyone in the unit to agree
on the various aspects of the harvest is one of the challenging issues.
This is why the Dept. has stepped away from forcing this on the hunters and
allowed the hunters to promote and institute the system in their immediate
: >>> "Todd VandenHeuvel" <[email protected]> 12/13 7:56 AM
: Good morning Larry!
: How much snow do you have on the ground up there today? We have about 2
: feet with higher drifts.
: I am writing today regarding a 1 buck limit for DMU 088. We have spoken
: previously regarding rules changes for a specific DMU. I know that a 2/3
: approval must be gained from hunters and landowners in the DMU as part of
: the approval process.
: Since our land is BARELY in DMU 088, what would it take to get the DMU
: boundaries changed?
: Here is what I would like to propose, along with some questions for you
: (that I hope you can address):
: 1. A one (1) buck limit for DMU 088 (or the re-drawn DMU that includes
: our land).
: 2. Continue the availability of the combination license for this DMU.
: Make one of the tags good for an antlerless deer only, good for any season
: just like a doe permit is today.
: Here are the questions I can think of right off the top of my head:
: 1. Is it possible for Lansing to alter the combination license by DMU?
: 2. Since all licenses are the same color today, can the fonts on
: individual licenses be changed so that it would be OBVIOUS to everyone
: which tag was for a buck, and which one was for an antlerless animal?
: 3. If this scenario were to take place, what would happen to the
: available number of doe permits for this DMU?
: 4. Since our DMU has a reputation of less than 50% usage on doe permits
: issued; in your opinion, would making this change to the combination
: license improve the doe harvest overall?
: 5. Would this change need to be done under the umbrella of a "QDM
: demonstration", or could it just be a rules change for this specific DMU?
: 6. How many bucks would be protected by a rule change such as this? For
: the sake of easy math, let's say that 2,400 bucks are harvested annually
: from DMU 088. Would this single buck restriction drop that number under
: 2,000; thereby 'protecting' 400 bucks? What is the statistic of number of
: hunters in DMU 088 that actually harvest 2 bucks annually?
: 7. Without an antler restriction attached, am I 'forcing' hunters in
: wrong direction and actually creating a situation now where 90% of the
: bucks taken are yearlings?
: 8. You recently stated that 40% of the bucks in our area are spikes
: year. Is this 40% of the total population, or 40% of the bucks harvested?
: 9. What effect would a 'no spikes' restriction have then, if attached
: the single buck tag?
: What I would really like to see with this rules change:
: 1. Hunters becoming more choosy on bucks, since they can only take one.
: I would like to see them pass on the yearlings, in hopes of a chance at an
: older deer later on. The odds should improve each year IF they stick to
: tenant of NOT shooting yearling bucks.
: 2. By making the change to the combination license, I would hope
: would perceive this to mean an emphasis of taking at least one doe for
: every buck harvested is a must. Of course, those of us who would purchase
: additional doe permits would be making a statement as well. We would be
: saying that this still isn't good enough, and that we really should be
: trying to take at least 2 doe per buck, or more, until the herd is
: and the sex ratio becomes more balanced. This is in response to the
: 'departments' current statement of 3 doe for every 2 bucks. I feel that a
: statement of 4 doe for every buck, especially in light of the TB issue, is
: more in line - not forever, just until the herd is better structured.
: 3. After the third consecutive season, I would like to see the
: percentage of yearlings harvested drop by 10% to 66%. After the 4th
: I would like to see it drop to 63%. After the 5th season, I would like to
: see the statistic be down to 59% or less. I know this is aggressive,
: especially in light of the fact that I have not (yet) proposed an antler
: restriction.
: Our club values your expertise, opinions, positions on the issues, and
: insights into the future, based on scenarios such as these.
: Sincerely,
: Todd A. Vanden Heuvel

[This message has been edited by bwiltse (edited 12-23-2000).]
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