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September 16, 2008

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I live here in Kent County Michigan and the deer herd is so dense its crazy. The county has more than 1000 car deer accidents a year just in Kent county. Grand Rapids is the largest city. The DNR has also called for a special Doe hunt Sept 18-22 this year on private property. You can buy a tag a day for this hunt. Also last year there were 14,000 Doe permits available for Kent county and they only sold 6000. This is a shotgun only region and of course archery. Statewide 34% archers get a deer. It would be much higher if the bowhunters would shoot some does. Bowman can take 2 bucks but one has to have 4 points on one side. I have lived here since 2001 and every year fill both archery tags. Way too many deer for the habitat. With all the private farmland I don't see an over harvest even a remote possibility. The highest densities are the lower half of Michigan. we have had three soft winters in a row, we are up to our elbows in venison!!!

sounds like a brand new eradication zone just saying that alone makes me hate the DNR how the F#@?! are you going to eradicate every dear first off second off why destory what the dont even fully understand the reason that most of the soutern half of the great state of wiscosnin is under CWD is because of as Hanback said the damn penned deer getting it however thier is one posotive to the cwd zones it is unlimited earn a buck evey doe you shoot u get another buck tag nice :)
hopefullt the Michigan dnr handels it better than the good ole boys here in Badger land

Wow. Interesting news for Michigan hunters. IMO, CWD has been naturally occurring for a long time. Having said that, I think the deer farms have contributed greatly to the spread of CWD. As much as most of us hard-core hunters hate the game farms and high fence operations, they're going to be around. Wisconsin DNR was damned no matter how they handled this disease. I think the mass hysteria that ensued when CWD first made the news certainly played into how the WDNR mis-handled CWD initially. I also think they probably saw an opportunity to push their goal of a smaller deer herd in Wisconsin achieved under the guise of protecting the public from CWD. We're still dealing with the consequnces of CWD here in Wisconsin. Incredibly complicated hunting regulations being the most prevalent. On the other hand, I think in general hunters are much more educated on what it takes to have a healthy deer population as a result of CWD.

I hope Michigan has learned from Wisconsin's mistakes. I also hope the hunters embrace modern deer management techniques more quickly than hunters in Wisconsin did.

i think Illinois' Governor has CWD
they say it affects the brain first

state depts. have over-hyped this threat for years, since found back in CO elk long ago--has it killed off every deer on the planet. no, to the contrary, more deer than ever!! doug is right, it just complicates the hell out of hunting regs, mike is right, all because of pen deer, get rid of em

I got a couple things to add, First off yes there are alot of corupt deer farmers, there are bad apples in every bunch. I worked on a deer farm for a while here in WI (not a hunting preserve) and its interesting for sure. The owner loved and knew them deer like we know our pets. There is alot of good things that come from these enclosures. I would venture to bet that over half the factual info we have on deer are thanks to enclosures. Once again they all are not perfect and follow the regs.
2nd our dnr in WI did do more damage than good. The landowners are up in arms and rightfully so. Liberal deer seasons,sharpshooting at night( over bait mind you) and kill every deer mentallity failed miserably. The deer numbers are reaching the same levels they were at when this all started, landowners are refusing to shoot deer and hunter numbers dropped dramaticaly the first few years.
3rd These prions stay in soil up to and longer than 15 years so its almost impossible to get rid of.
I read an article that covered a meeeting with the public in Mich and the dnr seemed to be doing the right things so far and they even got an applause at the end of the meeting. cant blame them from banning baiting thats an easy preventative measure. Like the mich dnr said it will cost you a little fine but it will cost the deer herd more. As stated earlier hopefully they handle it differently than WI but remember they do have a job to do as well. Their job is to keep everybody happy not just us diehard whitetail blogging freaks!
Just my opinions and 2 cents.

Unfortunately, Michigan's deer herd is so overpopulated that if the disease does get out, the possibility of it spreading is real. But, like Hanback says, this isn't doom and gloom time folks. The sky isn't falling, and deer won't vanish from the Michigan country side.
Every year EHD kills thousands and thousands and thousands of deer...but the media doesn't jump all over this like it would CWD. It's a media darling for sure. Doug Hagen is right on the money.

It's time for the MDNR to take a good hard look at practices like the One Buck Rule, Earn-A-Buck, etc., and implementing multiple over-the-county antlerless tags at fair prices to help reverse the trend.

Education is also key. Many traditional deer hunters in Michigan still won't shoot does...which is unfortunate.

Just got my new North American Whitetail issue yesterday in the mail. There was an excellent article written by my friend, Les Davenport, about where your best chances to bag a 200" deer are. No coincidence, but the midwest dominated the list...hands down.

Les touched on this very subject (CWD, etc.) in this issue. Also, Dr. Kroll wrote a Part 1 article that also touched on these issues (CWD especially in overpopulated herds, etc.). Both articles offer some very solid, professional, and biological insight on this matter. Get your hands on it if you can!

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