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July 23 08:40 PM
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More antlerless licenses? Get the facts straight!


Dear Woods-N-Water News:

This letter is in response to the 2008 antlerless deer licenses and misconceptions about the deer population in southern Michigan.

It is about time someone gets the facts straight about the deer population here in southern Michigan Where I hunt, which is in the so called "heart" of southern Michigan's big buck counties, you have to put in long hours on stand to even see a 2 1/2 year old buck. I know, I log every deer I see every time I hunt and although some of the deer are the same deer counted on other trips the numbers I have show a drastic decline in the deer population in my area of Southern Jackson/Northern Hillsdale County.

Last season I hunted 70 days between October first and January first and counted eight bucks, only one mature buck and the only buck I shot. I only saw 29 does THE ENTIRE SEASON. In 1999 I logged 234 does and 49 bucks! That year I saw numerous mature bucks on the same property I have permission to hunt today.

I think we have more than achieved the goal by issuing more than one doe permit per hunter. It is almost like the state is not willing to give up the sales revenue from all the hunters who are willing to shoot every deer that walks in front of them.

No doubt some guy is going to walk out on November 15th smelling like cigarettes and coffee and shoot a monster buck and tell all his buddies and the newspapers how many deer there are. It's called luck and more times than not, it's having a large un-pressured parcel of land to hunt.

Sure there are hundreds of deer in Ella Sharp Park in Jackson. It's a park and people cannot hunt there. The deer are not dumb, and just because the "sharp shooters" weeded out 80 deer last winter does not mean there are 80 less deer in the park. All that did is made room for 80 more deer to come in from neighboring properties so they can also become a so called nuisance. They will have to take 80 more this year and every year for years to come until the neighboring properties are completely devoid of any deer activity as the park is a desirable location for wildlife.

I'm sorry that people put their homes right in the middle of the deer's living room and that the deer are eating their flowers, but they are not a nuisance, they are surviving. It is just like the car deer accidents. Urban sprawl has caused many problems for deer and people. There are not more deer. We have put more roads right through their kitchen. Case in point; Grass Lake where most of the new housing communities were built in the middle of farm fields. Woodlots have been cleared and the deer have less area to live. They are forced to cross busy roads more often and ultimately end up on the hood of a vehicle from time to time. I believe that people should take into account their own actions and realize that the deer were here first and that in most cases we have invaded their space.

I am not an anti-hunter, or an animal rights activist, I am nothing more than a realist who understands that we have created our own problems. As far as I am concerned if you moved near Jackson in order to live in a country-like setting then take it for what it is, don't expect our roads to be like I-696. Having to drive a little slower and pay more attention is one price of living outside the city limits and I think people should learn to deal with it.

Thank you,

Gary Gillett II

Hanover MI

Gary Gillett II
June 25, 2008

REO-Ted S
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