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In 1997 I purchased property in Lake Co. The hunting was great.. Of course it's not known for super bucks, but it was enjoyable none the less.
The area was closed to antlerless permits for 10 years, it was common to see 15-25 deer each sit with 5-7 small bucks mixed in and the occasional 100" 8 or 10 point.
We passed every small buck for years but it never seemed to payoff, I guess we were the only ones passing on them. After antlerless permits were passed out like candy, the sightings were cut in half after the first season then gradually went to 1 or 2 deer sightings every other sit in a few short years.
Our property was once littered with rubs and scrapes and now you would be lucky to see a track let alone a rub.
I've since purchased property in Branch Co. where the deer are plentiful but still hesitate at shooting does in fear of desimating the herd as it has been in northern MI.
Why can't we have a large herd and large bucks in southern MI. (as we do now)? I fear southern MI. will end up in the same situation as the rest of the state if we continue harvesting does.
 

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I read lots about guys passing small bucks only to feel let down on buck sightings in future years. I think its important to note that the buck you let go, assuming he made it till next year, is one hell of alot smarter and there for not going to be seen near as much. In the odd event he makes it to 3.5 or 4.5, god forbid, he now has a PHD is avoiding hunters. Just cuz you dont see em does not mean there not there.

1.5 year old bucks are not the smartest deer in the woods and because of that are seen alot and make up the majority of the buck kill, and there are just WAY more of em.

Habitat brother, that and we need to lay off the killin IMO. I hear toooo many people bitch about deer numbers only to follow that statement with there eating 4 deer a year.
 

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You shouldnt hesitate to take does, the doe population is a lot higher than the buck population and it does need to be dropped. I have heard 1 - 1 1/2 buck to doe ratio is about ideal and is what many places strive for. This debate has brought up many times and been beat up like many others. I know there will always be people who for whatever reason think that it is not ok to take does, but i urge those folks to do some researching and some learning to change that old way of thinking that they are holding on to. Talk to or read about those who HAVE had successful properties and maintained a good herd and then you will have a better understanding of what should be done.
 

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I think it is changing, and has a lot in just the past few years. With all of the coops that have been organized there are now large tracts of land being well managed. There are some great mature bucks being taken from these coops every year. If you are a single land owner in the middle of an area full of "if it has horns its down" hunters, then yes you have an uphill battle and you'll need to decide if you want to fight it.
 

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Why can't we have a large herd and large bucks in southern MI. (as we do now)? I fear southern MI. will end up in the same situation as the rest of the state if we continue harvesting does.
I'm:dizzy:..Are you asking why we cant have something we already have.?..

All I know is in our area in SLP we had some of the best hunting ever.. I didnt tag a big buck but I definitely saw plenty of them and does too. @ does in the freezer and I hope the bucks made through for 2010..

I believe MI hunting is slowly changing most of all I hope the education & mentality change..
 

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Keep things in perspective. The population in Lake Co. was intentionally lowered due to a positive TB deer in an adjacent DMU. The DNR recognized that lowering the population was an effective means of preventing the spread so they issued a ton of antlerless permits and hunters responded by shooting a ton of does. This was not mismanagement by the DNR, it was a well thought out and responsible plan. After it became apparent that the TB deer was an isolated one, they went back to having no antlerless permits to allow the herd to rebuild to target goals. Now that the herd has grown again, they are issuing limited numbers of antlerless permits again. Lake Co. is not an agricultural area that can support vast numbers of deer. 10 -15 DPSM is probably a reasonable number for that kind of habitat. At that density you are not going to see 25 deer per sit, unless you are sitting over bait. If you want to see large numbers of deer, the southern tier in the SLP is where you need to go.

Also keep in mind that Lake Co. is one of the most economically depressed areas of the state. Rifle season in Lake Co. starts on July 1st. :sad: We own property there and it's pretty common to hear rifle shots around dusk pretty much year round. Not unusual for us to find 5 - 10 poached carcasses dumped on a corner of our property every year. I would bet that more deer get taken illegally in Lake Co. annually then are harvested legally.
 

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It has changed IMO, it's gotton worst in UP and NLP and better in the SLP. Once we screw the SLP up, will all be back in the NLP and UP:lol:

No I don't think it will in a grand scale. There will be small pockets of change, but not on the scale some want IMO.
 

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when you saw all these deer was it while feeding was still going on? Could it be that the deer were overpopulated in your area and once the feeding ended there was no real reason for deer to be on your property because the habitat stinks? Just curious, not trying to be a jerk.
 

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Also keep in mind that Lake Co. is one of the most economically depressed areas of the state. Rifle season in Lake Co. starts on July 1st. :sad: We own property there and it's pretty common to hear rifle shots around dusk pretty much year round. Not unusual for us to find 5 - 10 poached carcasses dumped on a corner of our property every year. I would bet that more deer get taken illegally in Lake Co. annually then are harvested legally.
I thought the season ran from Jan 2-Sept 30;)
 

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It has changed IMO, it's gotton worst in UP and NLP and better in the SLP. Once we screw the SLP up, will all be back in the NLP and UP:lol:

No I don't think it will in a grand scale. There will be small pockets of change, but not on the scale some want IMO.
My thoughts exactly. Yes we will screw up the SLP seems to have already started.:lol:
 

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You guys are being dooped. I am in another state for a few days inquiring about a job. I have been hunting PUBLIC LAND with my bow AFTER the gun season down here. Last nite I watched 14 different bucks.:lol: I have seen bucks every nite in the stand. I have shot double didgit numbers of book bucks with my bow in OTHER states over the years every single year all unguided do-it-yourself hunts. MI deer hunting is a sad state. It could be awesome but it never will be. Quit buying licenses in MI and go accrossed the state line. You will thank me later.That is the only thing the DNR will understand......loss of revenue.
 

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From a non native Michigander's perspective I will say, Kind of.. From what I see on the west side is that "most rivate land owners" are making efforts to make deer hunting better, to make the deer heard healthier, and to generally just be "good" sportsman. As a whole, They are on the right track! However, public land is another story.. If it's brown it's down is and in my opinion will forever be the "deer camp motto" I am so blown away with people tha hunt around here on public ground. I am unable to hunt the 100 acre property I lease during rifle season. So I tried to hunt a secluded piece of public ground opening day, I had people walking by at 0900, heard some shooting on the way out. A friend that I was hunting with and I decided to take off, walked by the guy we had just heard shoot. He shot a doe, He said he thought it was a buck... Yes I turned the guy in. idiot. Michigan as whole IMO, doesn't really care about the deer. Just about the money. The only way the hunting will get better is if there are laws to make it that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You guys are being dooped. I am in another state for a few days inquiring about a job. I have been hunting PUBLIC LAND with my bow AFTER the gun season down here. Last nite I watched 14 different bucks.:lol: I have seen bucks every nite in the stand. I have shot double didgit numbers of book bucks with my bow in OTHER states over the years every single year all unguided do-it-yourself hunts. MI deer hunting is a sad state. It could be awesome but it never will be. Quit buying licenses in MI and go accrossed the state line. You will thank me later.That is the only thing the DNR will understand......loss of revenue.
For the past 2 years I've been hunting Ohio and it's kinda like N. Michigans good ole days except larger bucks. It's not uncommon to see 20+ deer each sit and 5 or so bucks.
I don't care what anybody says, I enjoy seeing deer all day while on stand, instead of the last 2 min. on stand in the evening...
I just wish I did'nt have to hunt another state to achieve this..
 

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You guys are being dooped. I am in another state for a few days inquiring about a job. I have been hunting PUBLIC LAND with my bow AFTER the gun season down here. Last nite I watched 14 different bucks.:lol: I have seen bucks every nite in the stand. I have shot double didgit numbers of book bucks with my bow in OTHER states over the years every single year all unguided do-it-yourself hunts. MI deer hunting is a sad state. It could be awesome but it never will be. Quit buying licenses in MI and go accrossed the state line. You will thank me later.That is the only thing the DNR will understand......loss of revenue.
I agree with you!
 

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until the DNR figures out that you can't manage the UP, NLP and SLP all the same things won't change much. I know they have slight differences now but come on the managment of our deer herd needs major overhaul on an individual area basis. However I think our state is smart enough to know if we have certain laws and rules in one area your going to get way may hunting pressure and over kill in those area's. So its a catch 22 in some instances.
 

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There is a lot of good stuff in this thread. Deer hunting has never been static in my lifetime in this state. The rules have changed ad nauseum through the years, some good some bad. When anterless permits were handed out like candy a few years ago, it appeared that WW2 was being fought all over again to the north of us. Herd went down considerably. When baiting and feeding was banned last year the deer again took a big hit because it came along the same time as one of our most severe winters.

I do not know what will happen next in management but I hope that we do not continue down the road to the herd numbers we had when I started hunting. Then it was amazing if one saw a deer during the entire season and even more so if one hunter out of the entire camp took a deer.
 

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In 1997 I purchased property in Lake Co. The hunting was great.. Of course it's not known for super bucks, but it was enjoyable none the less.
The area was closed to antlerless permits for 10 years, it was common to see 15-25 deer each sit with 5-7 small bucks mixed in and the occasional 100" 8 or 10 point.
We passed every small buck for years but it never seemed to payoff, I guess we were the only ones passing on them. After antlerless permits were passed out like candy, the sightings were cut in half after the first season then gradually went to 1 or 2 deer sightings every other sit in a few short years.
Our property was once littered with rubs and scrapes and now you would be lucky to see a track let alone a rub.
I've since purchased property in Branch Co. where the deer are plentiful but still hesitate at shooting does in fear of desimating the herd as it has been in northern MI.
Why can't we have a large herd and large bucks in southern MI. (as we do now)? I fear southern MI. will end up in the same situation as the rest of the state if we continue harvesting does.
Welcome to the site Hulk.

The only thing that would ever bring the SLP herd down to really low numbers would be disease. While the numbers hopefully will someday be lower in the SLP than they are now, the likelihood of the SLP herd being reduced to the same extent as occurred in some of the NLP is zero.
 
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