Qualty deer management?

Submitted by Randy Desormeau on 11/4/04 at 9:11 AM. ( )

We are going to vote on this in my area in december. I went to a meeting last week on this. I was even asked to give my oppinion on this subject. We did this also 3 years ago and it did not pass. Our deer in my area the eastern UP chippewa county. Also it will be voted for the whole UP next year. We have some major problems in this area. Our deer migrate up to 4o miles around here the majorty. The DNR gives way to many doe permits. Also baiting of deer is legal. Also the natives or Indian tribes recieve all the tags they want. I owen 80 acres and could buy i doe tag per day till sold out. They had in 200i 7500 doe permits for sale sold 6067 of them. In 2002 7500 for sale sold 5232 last year 3000 for sale sold 3000. This year 3000 for sale sold 3000. The problem now is there are not even 3000 deer left in this DMU area. A lot of people dont even see deer on their land anymore. The problem at these meetings that QDM has is a lot of people know that when we shoot the does. We loose it all like back in the 60s and 70s when we had no deer in this area. It is getting that bad again. I know because I dont get anything to mount like in the 80s and early 90s. I try to explain That QDM is all we have to vote for that at least some of the does will survive and the small bucks wont be shot. The greed of people shooting deer to many per person has got to stop. If nothing changes we will loose our deer in this area. If it is not to late already. You can not manage a deer heard the way the DNR is now. Any advice would be appreciated? Randy D. The doom and gloom guy as I have been acused of before for speaking the truth.

Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu

Randy, You Amaze Me!

This response submitted by Jim on 11/4/04 at 10:32 AM. ( )

If there are no deer and no fish in your area, then why are you trying to run a taxidermy business there? Its like running an air conditioning repair service at the North Pole. Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that your DNR is allowing your deer population to dwindle that low.

No Does.......No Fawns

This response submitted by Jack on 11/4/04 at 10:50 AM. ( slugger332002@yahoo.com )

I don't know what state you are in, but down here in Georgia, some of us are experiencing the same problems. The state does not allow baiting, however, the allow supplemental feeding of corn and other grains not grown in the area. Hunters are supposed to be 300 yds away from feeding stations, and situated so the can't see them. Unfortunately their are too many hunters that are willing to take the risk of a fine to make a EASY kill over bait.
A couple of years back our state caved in to the pressure it was getting from the insurance industries.The state limit on does is 10 per hunter with a two buck limit. You can kill any size buck on the first tag (as long as you can see visible bone) but the second der has to have a least four points on one side. I used to be able to go get two or three deer easily every year without much problem, but now it,s getting like you said, back in the 60's down here. Not as many deer around anymore.
There are (hunters?) down here who shoot every deer they see. Not all hunters, we have our share of very fine ethical go by the law hunters of which I try to be one. There is however far too many people in our state killing far too many deer illegally. Our state gives extra (free) deer to hunters participating in special hunts to help collect data for the biologists. Due to the state budget cuts here the dnr has had to cut jobs, supplemental feeding food plots, many wma managers are now forced to work different areas miles apart. Wma roads are washed out bad from the hurricanes we went through this year, no money or people to fix them.
I think the only way deer will rebound here is to leave them alone for a couple of years and get off the doe killing until they are over-populated, and then their needs to be very tight restrictions on harvesting them. Just my thought for what they are worth. Cheers, Jack.

Me too, Jim

This response submitted by George on 11/4/04 at 10:54 AM. ( georoof@aol.com )

I've also questioned that statement about "deer migrating". I've studied whitetails for nearly 40 years now and I've NEVER heard of such behavior in them. QDM has plusses and minuses in my book, but NOT for the biology of the deer populations. If your state DNR is giving out that many doe tags, their biologist have determined that there's too heavy a density of deer in your area. Most DNR's err on the side of caution with wildlife management, and I find it pretty inconceivable that your observations are anywhere close to their findings. ONE DOE DEER will in 6 seasons be the matriarch of over 50 whitetails (She has two fawns a year, but her doe fawns also begin having 2 and their does fawns and their doe fawns, et al). Shooting immature bucks serve absolutely no purpose in managing deer. Shooting MATURE bucks does NOT hurt the breeding cycle since the genes are already present in the DOES being bred and it allows the younger guys to reach mating maturity. QDM is just a name for good common sense and conservation of resources.

Correct me if I'm wrong but...

This response submitted by Cecil on 11/4/04 at 11:18 AM. ( )

Doesn't QDM promote doe harvest?

What They're Trying To Do......

This response submitted by Coyote on 11/4/04 at 11:37 AM. ( coyote@wideopenwest.com )

Is an approach that restricts the buck harvest and sustain anterless harvest to produce a more balanced sex ratio in the herd. And a population in balance with the habitat.

The proposed regulation is. Bucks: At least 3 antler points on one antler.
Anterless Harvest: Shifting harvest pressure to does where needed.

This is what they're trying to get in the upper Peninsula of Michigan.


it makes sense

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 11/4/04 at 11:58 AM. ( )

If the numbers arent there to support the harvest, cut back the harvest potential through issuing less permits...bucks AND does, at first. Then the age limit on bucks, and, after the numbers come up, limited doe harvest until the numbers exceed the capacity, then finally liberal doe harvest.

George, while I respect your deer knowledge and background...in those northern areas there is seasonal movement. You wont see anything like that near you, as I see only a small "shift" to traditional wintering areas here, but not like the near migration the true northwoods sees.

I dont think it works, in all areas!!

This response submitted by John C on 11/4/04 at 12:09 PM. ( )

When I lived in Kansas, there were of course many big bucks, many small medium bucks and lots and lots of doe.

If you shot a buck in the 120-130's the locals would ask why did you shoot a small deer.

Here in Arkansas we are dealing with a three point system for bucks, must have 3 point on one side. Well we are seeing some better deer racks. We are seeing more deer too a lot more deer.

I as a hunter am glad to at lest see deer.

Now comes the game and fish bio. "There are to many doe" and opens doe season.

Some of the greedy hunters kill the doe, but most hunters are not, leaving the doe for seed.

Many people have started planting food plots. deer are doing very well, we are seeing alot of twin fawns.

Here comes the Gam and Fish, "We need to harvest more doe! We need a one to one buck doe ratio!"

Well the hunters are still pretty much refusing to kill does.

Many of the big deer feeders are also cattlemen, as

"CATTLEMEN knows one bull can service more than one cow!

The acreage of the forest will support a lot of deer, because many of our woods are EDGE, you can stand on the hill tops and see more fields than ever before, the edge where deer survive has increase one hundred fold!

Our ever so wise Game and fish seldom plant food plots in their commision owned lands and when they do its poor foods Rye, etc.

So now the game and fish are having a cow, because "HUNTERS ARE NOT SHOOTING DOE."

Since Arkansas doe have three estrus cycles an average buck can service 10 doe per cycle, a buck can handle 30 deer per year.

this will give us more deer to at lest see and with attrition.

As farmers work ther mostly hay fields, the fertilzer works it into the edge creating more food for the deer.

I think QDM works for some areas.

I would like to see the Ozarks with a 4 point on one side limit. I really feel it would work here, but it may not work in other areas.

QDM, has to be varied to fit the availible food, the availible terrain.


It's no wonder!

This response submitted by Jeff F. on 11/4/04 at 2:23 PM. ( NaturesTrophies,aol )

I used to live in Mi. and couldn't believe some of the practices they used to take care of the herds. For example, I'll mention the antlerless doe permits that guys could buy at $3. I believe they could only get one at a time but some guys would buy them by the HANDFULL. And now they wonder why they have problems. I'm no NASA graduate but something seems rather obvious here. Please let me know if this practice has ceased. Jeff F.


This response submitted by Denton Shearin on 11/4/04 at 4:19 PM. ( denton@customtaxidermy.com )


I help to start and served a term as President for the West Tennessee Chapter of the QDMA. I would reccommend that you visit the QDMA website at www.QDMA.com to learn more about what QDM really is all about. I'll share some of what I have learned about QDM here, but it is really hard to cover such a complex subject in this format.

Quality deer management (QDM) is a management philosphy/practice with the goal of producing healthy deer herds with balanced adult sex ratios and age structures. Typically, this involves protecting young bucks while harvesting an appropriate number of female deer to maintain herds within existing environmental and social constraints.
A successful QDM program requires an increased knowledge of deer biology and active participation in management. This level of involvelment extends the role of the hunter from mere consumer to manager. The benefits of QDM on the deer herd are many and you really need to study QDM to learn all of them.

QDM is not for everybody, but it is a valid option for many of us. QDM works well in my part of Tennessee, it may or may not work where you live. You need to study QDM and the deer herd in your area to decide that.

One thing I will say is that antler point restrictions are NOT QDM nor is it endoresed by the QDMA. The number of antler points is a poor predictor of age, espcially in high quality habitat. In my part of Tennessee, many 1-1/2 year old bucks will have 6, 7 and even 8 point antlers and would be "legal" under an antler point restriction. This has a double-edged bad effect in that you are killing the best of your 1-1/2 year old bucks and protecting the worst ones. There are other, more realiable, age predictors that most hunters can learn and master.

From a Taxidermist standpoint, I love QDM because I know it will mean more mature bucks being killed that will find their way to my shop!

Visit the QDMA website or give me a call if you want to talk indepth about QDM.

Denton George Jeff and others

This response submitted by Randy D. on 11/4/04 at 5:35 PM. ( )

First I belong to QDM and I know about it. The problem here is I can Buy 1 doe tag per day till they run out. Where I live towards the end of the migration. I dont see even a tenth of 10 years ago. Michigan treats the hole state the same. Just 3 hrs south of here the deer dont migrate. So I can see why the doe permits would work in that area. My Question is still how could you manage this area? QDM will help but the doe permits dont work here they take to many in certain areas. Some spots are now with no deer. It takes years to get deer to move into these areas again. The only way is overflow of deer and that will not happen with the doe permits. Ill explain what happens. Say a doe summers 10 miles north of my area. She has two fawns that summer in her summer range. Now deer season opens. She has to migrate to her winter home threw hundreds of hunters some hunters pass her up. Say then she gets to my area heading for the yard that is still 20 miles ahead. I shoot her. Now the fawns die also because they have never been to the yard yet. I have seen this alot. I have in years past feed some of the fawns until spring. But the problem with that is. It can get expensive and some years it could grow. Some years we can get over 4 feet of snow. I live in a hard area to manage deer. Randy D.

Keep talking...

This response submitted by Denton Shearin on 11/4/04 at 7:38 PM. ( denton@customtaxidermy.com )

to the folks at your DNR. I know you have stated that the DNR was not doing a very good job of managing your deer, but don't get discouraged. Keep talking to them and letting them know your concerns. Having a QDMA chapter up there would be a great way to go about that. From your post I can't tell if your meeting is about starting a chapter or is it a group that simple wants to use QDM to manage their deer? Whichever it is, having a QDM chapter would be a good route to take to get the DNR to listen to your concerns. If your DNR is like ours, they will probably be slow to change and accept new ideas. I know that is frustrating at times but it seems that is just a fact of life when dealing with any Government agency.
They have been slow to change here in Tennessee, but we are finally seeing results form our hard, persistent work.

The deer up there have so many conditions to deal with that our deer do not, so I really don't know what to tell you except to keep communications open with your DNR. If you are having trouble with a particular person at the DNR, look around for another one there until you find one with an open mind that will listen to your concerns. BE a Bulldog, latch on and don't let go till somebody there hears you!


This response submitted by Randy D. on 11/4/04 at 9:34 PM. ( )

Yes we do have a chapter it has been here for over 3 years now. Thats when I joined. But we are having a hard time convincing the people around here that QDM would be good. 3 or moe points on one side to be legal. The majority of hunters want no does taken here. My self included. The people think that if QDM or three or more points is law that more doe permits will be given out. Go back to what I said in my beginning forum. They were offering more doe permits in the past than what they could sell. Now that our deer heard is down what ever they offer are being sold. More permits than deer. I have put some artical in the local paper. But it is just my oppionion. Our bioligst in this area I have argued and argued about this matter. He came from out of this area. He thinks like George. This is not like lower Michigan. Yes in lower michigan there are areas that have a lot of car deer crashes and Farmers have crop damage. You can not manage a deer heard in michigan state wide. Example George saying no migrating deer. That would be like sending George to manage our deer. This is what happened here with the bioligst they sent here to manage our area. Every area is different. Thanks for your imput. But still no easy answer. Randy D.

My two cents

This response submitted by TonyH on 11/4/04 at 11:16 PM. ( )

I'm a Michigan resident who resides in southern Michigan but I affectionately refer to myself as half-yooper. I own a camp and land in the Upper Peninsula and spent a good deal of my childhood living there with my grandparents during holiday and summer breaks. They were U.P. residents for about 15 years.

I think the confusion about this issue to those who have not visited Michigan stems from the diversity of habitat: Here in southern Michigan, it's farmland with a moderate climate. Very, very little winterkill.

The Upper Peninsula is, in essence, Canada. There is very little difference between the U.P. and places like Alberta, Ontario and such. Less agriculture in the U.P. perhaps which only makes things worse. THe white-tailed deer are at the extreme of their northern range yet they once thrived in the U.P. Not so now. Why? Two culprits spring to mind: Changing timbering practices and wolves.

Now, the jury is still out on wolves. But I am becoming more and more convinced they are having a big impact. And I was one of those who heralded the return of the wolf to Michigan. I was wrong.

Second, there is very little browse left for deer thanks to modern timber practices. We've taken most of the hardwoods and replaced them with the venerable jack pine. Good for pulp, useless for deer for the most part. The cedar stands are aging and not regenerating. White birch is abundant and about as much use to deer as a .30-.30 slug.

So where does that leave us? QDM.
QDM is about managing a herd with science not romance. Based on the given habitat in much of the U.P. the doe tags are warranted. Either we shoot them and use them or they starve and freeze. A cruel yet simple fact. And just because I understand it, don't take that to mean that I like it.

We shoot WAY too many yearling bucks in Michigan and I think we're setting ourselves up for disaster. Eliminating 90 percent of the yearling bucks from a population each year (which is EXACTLY what we do) is not nature's way. And Nature always has her ways of righting wrongs.

QDM works everywhere that it's implemented. Just ask Pennsylvania.

When my ballot comes in the mail, I will be voting in favor of QDM. If you value the hunting heritage of the great U.P. you should do the same. The DNR will not, nor does it have any interest in, solving this problem. We must point the finger of blame at ourselves and take things into our own hands.


This response submitted by Randy D. on 11/5/04 at 5:49 PM. ( )

You are right. Thankyou Randy The only thing is I feel the Dnr gives to many doe tags right now for the amount of deer.


This response submitted by QDM on 11/6/04 at 11:58 PM. ( )

If you are really concerned you will have to talk to someone in the dnr and get a contact of someone that is involved with management for your area.

They may allow a large number of antlerless permits due to the fact that deer from a large area all have to share one wintering ground. If there are too many deer the habitat is put in jeopardy. You have to imagine that the deer 5 miles away use the wintering habitiat, the deer 10 miles away, 20, 30, and in your case 40 miles away are all using the same wintering habitat. If you want any deer to survive obviously they have to keep the numbers in check so the wintering grounds are productive and you don't have a huge winter kill. The reason for the antlerless is that it allows more bucks to grow to maturity. meaning a better chance of work for the taxidermist. More deer just means more work for the butcher. Do you want quality deer or just a lot of deer. if you want a ton of deer QDM is not what you want. Let all the does live and shoot everything before it has a chance to get into your shop. Currently most states are in favor of a large one sided female population as there is an increase in hunter success with a huge percentage of yearlings being shot.
You have to remember just because there are a ton of deer shot doesn't mean that you are going to get any work as a taxidermist. Especially if you live in the upper UP where it may take a few years for the deer to grow racks big enough to warrant them being taken to a shop. If you really want a ton of deer lobby for a larger doe population so there is a larger harvest and open a butcher shop.

One thing you have to remember in the UP and anywhere that has alot of snow. Almost any habitat in the summer can sustain deer. Even the most northern parts of canada and Alaska could in the summer. The problem is when winter comes they couldn't survive. The problem is in the wintering grounds. Before you can complain about the deer in your area find out what problems are arising 40 miles away in these wintering grounds.

If the DNR doesn't manage these properly you will have really no deer to worry about and neither will other communities that have deer that share these wintering areas.

Please remember the most important thing. A higher deer population doen't mean more work for the taxidermist, it means more work for the Butcher. If you are lobbying for more does and a higher wildlife harvest you have to access the site; thegamebutcher.net and enter there forum. They will support your ideas.

Oh yeah just kidding about that site, save your time and don't look it up.

Last but not least see what type of research is going on. What type of tracking and research are they doing?
It isn't as simple as more does more deer. In actuallity the obvious might be the case if the wintering grounds are damaged.

Best of luck in your endeavors...

Q.D.M. why not?/

This response submitted by V.Hansen on 12/1/04 at 12:09 AM. ( vbobagins @aol .com )

I have hunted the U.P. for nearly 30 years.During this time I have noticed one thing more than anything els.The overal size of the deer I now see are much smaller.The age structer of the entire herd is down.We have a camp where there are very few deer seen at all.We also have a camp 50 miles south of there, where we see 40 does to every buck.Which most of the bucks we do see are imature spikes and forks.In one area doe tags should be used,and no buck tags should be issued at all.In the other area no doe tags should be issued and only Quality bucks should be harvested......You all as hunters like to eat venison,as I do as welll.I enjoy the outdoors and the overall hunting espierence.I dont need to fill my buck tag to enjoy the hunt..In fact in the last six years,I have killed one buck.A very nice 10 point,it wieghed, 155 lbs 2 1/2 years old.Far from a mature buck,but let some of those genes get around in you area you can see it wont take long for that spike or fork to be an eight or a ten point.,,,{I guess the bottom line is this,every person has his are her own idea of what it takes for that indivdual to have an enjoyable espierence while hunting whitetail...But tell me this,has any one of you hunters out there ever sat on a deer stand,baited or unbaited,on a trail or over a clear cut,on the ground or in a tree.With gun ,bow or muzzzle loader,and not dreamed about the big ole buck walking out into your sights.See we all have one thing in common! Give Q.D.M. a chance the U.P. needs a change.If it dont work you can say I told you so.If it does we will all be glad we were open minded enough to give it a go.

Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu