well said.The anterless harvest in the northern lower is already adequate to more than adequate in all areas with the possible exception of agricultural areas. Therefore the idea of utilizing APRs as a method to encourage the doe harvest has no credence in that part of the state.
The factors that most affect antler growth or an increase of number of bucks in a particular age strata are available nutrition, winter severity, and positive habitat for the whitetail herd. Commercial poaching can also make a marked difference in any given area. Coyotes in large numbers as we have now can take a large proportion of fawns and thereby reduce the possible number of bucks for that age segment. There are too many other factors besides APRs that contribute to the supposed trophy buck population for APRs to make a marked difference in northern lower Michigan.
APRs will however lower the probability of hunter success and thus reduce the number of hunters willing to continue in the support of whitetail hunting. This issue will further divide the traditional hunters that pursue the activity for its enjoyment, table fare, recreation,etc from those that solely hunt whitetails for the goal of taking, what they consider to be, trophies.
Noone will have to worry about what the antihunting population will do to the activity of whitetail hunting because segments of the activity itself, that suggest regulations heaped upon regulations will mean positive whitetail management, are dividing and eroding the support for whitetail hunting all by themselves. It is time to encourage a solid base of support for whitetail hunting. That will not happen by focusing on a narrowly defined goal such as valuing the whitetail hunting experience by antler size alone.