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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. I realize that these questions may rile a few, but are all of the QDM antler restriction programs in place just to drive up the size of the rack? If so, why is that? What if some hunters don't care about the size of the rack? Is there a good biological reason? It seems more like the opposite of natural selection. I have not researched it, and approach deer hunting simply as deer harvesting. I understand and appreciate the sportsman's interest in big racks. Is that the driver?

Passionate....,but respectful....replies welcome.
 

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It's just a way to get some young bucks to the next age class...it's not gunna put a booner behind every tree like some people around here like to say...
 

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The OP is correct. It is about nothing more than putting antlers on the wall. The hunting expectations or ideas of the average hunter are not a part of the LPDMI thought process. Their goal is simply to increase their prospects of taking a larger antlered deer for their walls and bragging rights. There is absolutely nothing wrong in that if one has no concern for other hunters.

There are a great many negatives to go along with any possible benefit of having larger bucks drawn to the prime private properties but one will have never heard about them from the LPDMI folks and their support. Check back in the threads and view the mountain of material that describes how this proposal will make Michigan "a great destination state".:lol: Be careful or you will be eating a lot of Leelanau or DMU 122 pie. It looks great on the surface but what is under the crust is not very tasty.
 

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Case in point...:rolleyes:

What exactly are these "negative" things?

Just about the only thing that I've seen proven through APRs is a shift in the age class of harvested bucks...if you have some data on negative effects of APRs here in Michigan, let's see it...the DNR says there aren't any so biased opinions are about as valuable as fool's gold in this discussion
 

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Case in point...:rolleyes:

What exactly are these "negative" things?

Just about the only thing that I've seen proven through APRs is a shift in the age class of harvested bucks...if you have some data on negative effects of APRs here in Michigan, let's see it...the DNR says there aren't any so biased opinions are about as valuable as fool's gold in this discussion
The DNR, up to this point, has not stated that there are either positivies or negatives to the proposal, publicly. Your post refers to a single statement made concerning the health of the herd. That does not make your statement inclusive of the entire issue. Go back through my posts or through this issue in this site and many negatives will be displayed. I can also suggest another site that offers for consideration those negatives.:evil::yikes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok gents. You lost me already. I could jump on google or scour the forum, but i don't recognize the acronyms.

What are the pros and cons of antler restrictions? If there is a particular thread or website, point me at it. I'm just curious what is driving it. It seems a but unnatural from a biological perspective.
 

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Tornado Jim
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Ok gents. You lost me already. I could jump on google or scour the forum, but i don't recognize the acronyms.

What are the pros and cons of antler restrictions? If there is a particular thread or website, point me at it. I'm just curious what is driving it. It seems a but unnatural from a biological perspective.
WhatGoose...

I cannot speak for anyone else, but I will speak for the Lower Peninsula Deer management Initiative, which is the sponsoring group for the APRs that are currently proposed for the Lower Peninsula. We believe that a lot of hunters are frustrated, and that they would like to have a better quality hunting experience.

In 2006, the DNR did a survey of hunters and found that eighty-two percent of the hunters were dissatisfied with the number of bucks, and 75% were dissatisfied with the number of mature bucks. But when asked to indicate what was “very important” about their deer hunting experience, getting meat and getting a trophy were not high on the list.

• 68% said “time outdoors”
• 61% said “time with friends and family”
• 56% said “excitement of seeing deer”
• 29% said “getting meat”
• 20% said “taking trophy”

We believe the key to success of APRs in Michigan is the high importance of the "excitement of seeing deer." We do not believe that getting bigger bucks is the most important aspect of it for most hunters. It is for many hunters, but not for most. We believe that hunters find the experience to be much better in an APR environment. They spend more time watching deer, and learn that they can still harvest a buck but the experience is more exciting because they see more bucks during the process and get the chance to harvest bigger and older bucks, which every hunter enjoys.

In every location where APRs have been tried in Michigan, the majority of hunters have been in favor of continuing them.

Watch this video to see what we really think is the reason APRs are so well liked by hunters.

[youtube]yUBZIOA9nCY[/youtube]

The LPWe are simply in favor of regulations that will help more yearling bucks survive so that hunters can experience a more interesting and dynamic deer herd. If hunters are not overwhelmingly in favor of this, it will not happen, because 66% approval is required in a survey of hunters before it will even be considered by the Natural Resources Commission.

There is more information in this video, which is the official public presentation of the LPDMI:

[youtube]ir3stD1jwX8[/youtube]

More information is available on our web site: www.mideerhunt.org

And on our Facebook page. LPDMI LINK

You can also sign our petition here: PETITION LINK
 

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Tornado Jim
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Ok gents. You lost me already. I could jump on google or scour the forum, but i don't recognize the acronyms.

What are the pros and cons of antler restrictions? If there is a particular thread or website, point me at it. I'm just curious what is driving it. It seems a but unnatural from a biological perspective.
The LPDMI has taken no official stance on this issue yet. But here are some comments from me.

From a biological perspective, what is unnatural is the current makeup of the buck harvest. A male whitetail deer does not reach full adult stature until he is 4.5 to 5.5 years of age. According to DNR check station data about 20% of does in the southern Lower Peninsula reach that age, but only about 2% of bucks do. That is a highly abnormal herd structure, and it has negative consequences, as discussed below.

Because of our current regulations, many Michigan hunters (and non-hunting Michigan citizens and visiting tourists) may go their entire lives without ever seeing a fully adult whitetail in our state.

That is biologically unnatural.

Virtually all whitetail research scientists agree that a well-balanced herd has a substantial number of adult males. Their presence creates a hierarchy that changes the social interactions of the herd in very positive ways. For more about this, read the book "White Intrigue" by famed Michigan Whitetail biologist John Ozoga LINK. He makes it abundantly clear that traditionally managed herds lack social hierarchy and structure that disrupts the breeding process.

John Ozoga: For obvious reasons, few hunted deer populations today exhibit the detailed male social organization as I outline here. Instead, in most areas the annual harvest of bucks is so excessive that yearling bucks must prematurely assume herd sire roles and do most of the breeding. In the absence of mature, dominant bucks – – the social governors – – the rut becomes a chaotic scramble among young bucks to breed any doe, thus eliminating any selectivity for adaptive traits.
John Ozoga is a highly regarded biologist who studied deer in the Cusino Wildlife Research Station in the UP of Michigan for decades as a Michigan DNR biologist. He has numerous scientific publications and books on whitetails. He personally observed deer biology and herd social structure for over 30 years.

There is not a shadow of a doubt that a herd is healthier and more enjoyable for the hunter when there are mature bucks in the mix.

Here is a letter John Ozoga wrote to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, in support of antler point restrictions in DMU 118, Clare County Michigan, back in 2004: A clear majority of hunters in DMU 118 were in favor of continuing antler point restrictions after 4 years, but the 66% support threshold was not met. Note: Ozoga uses the terminology QDM because that was what the program in DMU 118 was called. They have since dropped the QDM designation because Antler Point Restrictions per se are not QDM, they are simply a means to advance age structure of bucks.

Dear Mr. Wheatlake:

It’s my understanding that recent survey results did not meet the required 66 percent approval rate for continuation of QDM in DMU 118. Unfortunately, this survey was conducted after only four years under QDM instead of five years.

Given the available data, and other considerations, I encourage the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (MNRC) to extend QDM in DMU 118 for the 2004 deer season, change the antler restrictions to four points on a side and revamp the hunter and land owner survey. Please consider the following:

Traditional Deer Management

Traditionally, We have managed Michigan whitetails to maximize recreational opportunities and economic benefits. We’ve permitted, and even encouraged excessive buck harvesting, but minimal doe harvesting in order to maintain high density herds. Needless to say, this strategy has resulted in numerous consequences.

In short, hunter demands and economics have dictated deer management policy—resulting in a farming-type operation.

On the surface, traditional deer management sounds like an OK system. Unfortunately, every one involved tends to want more and more from the white-tailed resource, without putting much back into it. Such a strategy ultimately becomes a political football, with little regard the whitetail’s long term welfare.

The antis say we are more concerned with creating living targets than we are with maintaining healthy deer populations.

Quality Deer Management

In the most liberal sense of the definition, Quality Deer Management is the use of restraint in harvesting (young) bucks, combined with an adequate harvest of antlerless deer to maintain the healthy (natural) population that is in balance with the existing habitat conditions.

The goal of QDM is to produce and maintain healthy and productive deer herds with natural sex and age structure. And I emphasize natural. This is the way the white-tailed evolved and existed prior to modern man’s intervention.

Keep in mind, the goal of QDM is not to produce big bucks with trophy-sized antlers, they’re merely byproducts of a healthy, naturally structured deer population. Also, with QDM, deer hunters become true deer managers.

The Future

I’ve been involved, as a professional, with deer and deer hunting for over 40 years. I’ve seen some changes during that time. But I can assure you, the change will be immense in the next couple of decades, as deer management shifts from an emphasis on quantity to one of quality.

In the future, managers will be required to place greater emphasis on creating and maintaining smaller deer herds that are not only nutritionally balanced, but also socially balanced.

Most hunters probably are unaware, but there is a strong “naturalism” movement in progress. In the future, greater emphasis will be placed on such things as biodiversity, old growth forest stands, an ecological approach to resource management, and general trend toward producing plant and animal communities more like those that existed prior to the white man’s arrival on this continent. These changes will greatly impact whitetailed deer populations, especially on public land.

Depending upon where you get your figures, roughly 10 percent of the American populus are hunters, 10 percent are antihunters, and 80 percent are nonhunters. Most nonhunters are not against hunting, but they are concerned about the welfare of wild species. We’ll never convert antihunters to hunters, but if we as hunters offend nonhunters, many could become antihunters.

Public concern for animal welfare, and the debate over hunting impacts, more than likely will intensify in the future. (More states are having to amend their constitutions to protect hunting rights. That should tell you something.) This trend, often with a greater emphasis on a “hands-off or nonlethal” approach to deer management, will take center stage. As a result, the nonhunting public will be more prominent in deciding deer management policies. These nonhunters will ultimately decide whether we hunt deer.

I also think hunters should emulate natural predators whenever possible, by becoming more selective harvesters and inflicting mortality that more closely mimics natural predation. This means holding peer populations in numerical balance with existing food and cover. It also means maintaining deer populations that are in social harmony with proper sex and age structure. This is what QDM is all about.

QDM in DMU 118

There are no cook book rules for QDM that apply nationwide. Each are requires different measures, depending upon a host of factors. This is especially true here in Michigan with the highly variable environmental conditions that prevail.

Unfortunately, the QDM philosophy is based primarily upon experience in southern states. In fact, given our immense hunting army and northern environment, there are those who doubt QDM can be accomplished in Michigan. Therefore, it’s essential we continue to monitor QDM efforts throughout the state to determine how to implement the strategy under contrasting environmental conditions.

Contrary to the expectations of some, QDM is working in DMU 118, largely because hunters are willing to play a more responsible role in deer management.

Deer hunters in DMU 118 have demonstrated that they can be selective harvesters in order to benefit the species they hunt. Under QDM, harvesting of young bucks (including buck fawns) has decreased sharply and harvesting of female deer has increased. The net results include a smaller deer population that has more natural sex and age structure, including more older bucks in the population. Even antler quality among older bucks has improved, indicating that deer numbers are in better balance with available food and cover resources. All this has taken place without compromising recreational benefits.

Antler Restrictions

None of us like to see mandated antler restrictions. Currently, however, there seems no other way to save young bucks from harvest so that more of them reach maturity. In time, as the buck population becomes more structured, and hunters become more experienced, voluntary compliance is more likely.

DMU 118 provides rich deer habitat. As a result, even a large proportion of yearling bucks tend to grow respectable antlers with six or more points. Therefore, protecting young bucks with fewer that three points on one side will only protect a modest proportion of the yearling bucks, in this case about 50 percent. Also, as the beneficial effects of QDM become more evident, yearling buck antler size will improve, and the three point rule will protect fewer of them.

For these reasons, I would recommend that the antler restriction rule in DMU 118 be changed to a minimum of four points on one side.




The Survey

Any resource manager will tell you, you’re doing well whenever you can satisfy more that one-half of those involved in any deer management issue. Hoping to satisfy 66 percent of them, as required to implement QDM in Michigan, is nothing short of ridiculous.

The survey currently being used here is modeled after that used in Georgia. (I might add, the Georgia DNR was not initially sympathetic with QDM philosophy, and in my view attempted to roadblock such change.) Face facts, this is not Georgia, and we are not dealing with Georgia Deer Hunters. As you well know, Michigan deer hunters are notoriously traditional and disagreeable—if you can satisfy more than 50 percent, that’s great.

I’m disappointed that the Michigan DNR could not be more original in designing a survey that was better suited to their clientele. They do have the expertise, don’t they?

Also, each person surveyed should be provided with pertinent data (scientific facts) concerning sex and age of deer harvested prior to and during QDM. Without such information, the respondent has no sound basis for making an intelligent decision.

Conclusions

Nearly 60 percent of the hunters and land owners involved recognize that QDM is working in DMU 118. Th MNRC and MDNR should do likewise, and acknowledge that the QDM experience in DMU 118 is too valuable to abandon.

Let’s not lose sight of the fact that hunting is a wildlife management tool—not an end in itself. Deer shouldn’t be managed soled for recreational and economic benefits. Instead, we should be managing deer as they evolved—socially and nutritionally balanced. This means we as hunters should be more concerned about our role as deer predators, and how our actions benefit the species we hunt, not the other way around.

QDM will not resolve all issues concerning the hunting debate or deer-human conflicts, but it’s the best we’ve got. It certainly will complement a natural approach to deer management much better than traditional practices that emphasize human interests, recreational benefits, and economics. And, in the long-run, QDM should prove much more palatable to a critical nonhunting public who are deeply concerned about the welfare of wild creatures.

Generally speaking, we have a choice. We hunters (and decision makers) can either lead the way with progressive QDM, in an effort to create more natural deer populations, and show our true concern for the long-term welfare of the white-tailed, or we can wait until we’ve literally forced into action—just to save our sport

Sincerely,



John J. Ozoga
Wildlife Research Biol., MDNR (ret.)
Research Editor, Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine
 

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After experiencing rutting behaviours in iowa, Kansas, and illinois I would really like to have simular experiences here in MI. Thats why I support APR's. They only way to balance the age structure in MI is to make it law. Mother nature made it so the stronger, bigger bucks do most of the breeding. We have messed that up big time here in MI. If every hunter could experience a true rut hunt with many mature deer in an area then I dont think we would be doing all this arguing. Unfortunatly most MI hunters never will...
 

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What I find humorous is how many people state:

"I'm all for APR's, but not for kids, so I let my kid shoot a smaller buck because its his/her first".

All for but not really all for....
 

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What I find humorous is how many people state:

"I'm all for APR's, but not for kids, so I let my kid shoot a smaller buck because its his/her first".

All for but not really all for....
What's wrong with allowing youths, apprentice or mentored hunters, and disabled hunters to be exempt? They represent a very small percentage of hunters in this state
 

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What's wrong with allowing youths, apprentice or mentored hunters, and disabled hunters to be exempt? They represent a very small percentage of hunters in this state
Nothing wrong at all, I've just not read anything about any exemptions. But why should they be exempt? From some of the arguements I've read there will be an abundance of big antlers so it won't be an issue, if they don't want the big bucks, there's plenty of does.

I'm against restrictions, but then again I've never shot a deer (not for lack of trying) and could care less about having animals on my wall. At my point if it is made of deer meat I'll shoot it (or have my kid shoot it) ;).
 

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Ok gents. You lost me already. I could jump on google or scour the forum, but i don't recognize the acronyms.

What are the pros and cons of antler restrictions? If there is a particular thread or website, point me at it. I'm just curious what is driving it. It seems a but unnatural from a biological perspective.
Thank you for your polite request. I replied privately. Should anyone else want the address or the rest of the story, please send me a message and I will get the information to you asap. It seems that only the LPDMI is allowed to publicly provide links.
 

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Thank you for your polite request. I replied privately. Should anyone else want the address or the rest of the story, please send me a message and I will get the information to you asap. It seems that only the LPDMI is allowed to publicly provide links.
Still waiting to see those negatives you're talking about...I'm glad I didn't hold my breath...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got the basic perspectives. So, if driving for more mature bucks is what keeps the herd and the experience more exciting and balanced...then why don't we restrict the shooting in the other direction? ie. "no bucks 6 point or more?"
 

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Got the basic perspectives. So, if driving for more mature bucks is what keeps the herd and the experience more exciting and balanced...then why don't we restrict the shooting in the other direction? ie. "no bucks 6 point or more?"
There wouldn't be a need for it in this state because the number of 8 points and larger that are harvested every year is in the smallest percentile whereas the smaller ones are in a much higher percentile...restricting the harvest of anything smaller than 3pts on one side in the north and 4pts in the south will balance out those numbers...if you restrict the harvest of deer larger than 6 points, it will just raise the yearling harvest exponentially
 

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Tornado Jim
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Got the basic perspectives. So, if driving for more mature bucks is what keeps the herd and the experience more exciting and balanced...then why don't we restrict the shooting in the other direction? ie. "no bucks 6 point or more?"
That is kinda sorta what we have now :lol:.

If bucks had big antlers their first year and they got smaller with successive years, this might be the right approach.

Killing bucks when they have small antlers is not a good approach for getting them to have big antlers.

It is the same reason our bass limit is 14 and over and not 14 and under. Most won't ever get to 14 inches if they are killed when they are smaller.
 

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It has been my experience in bringing up two wonderful children,that I let shoot what the wanted for their first deer, within the rules of our hunting properties that everyone esle was following seemed to work well. My son has shot 2 bucks in his life 22, and my daugter also 18 and they both choose to wait for larger bucks or shoot does.. Bring em up that way and they catch on... imo...:SHOCKED:
 
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