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December 11 • 09:44 PM
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Just buying land isn’t “habitat improvement”


Dear Woods-N-Water News:

How long does it take the DNR to realize something is wrong?

If I'm not correct then somebody show me where the deer are. I'm primarily speaking of the Upper Peninsula.

Blaming or comparing the weather every season isn't a solution. Weather conditions over the year are one part of the problem. We've got to quit kidding ourselves. We just don't have any deer yards, with food in them for deer during winter months. Habitat for deer has been depleted for decades.

From the millions of dollars derived from license sales imposed in the 70s strictly for "whitetail habitat improvement," is this the best we can do? Spending millions to buy properties, which has happened the past 6-8 years, might sound good to some people but should not be classed as an improvement. It's a paper transaction. Funds derived from license sales should be used for winter projects deer drastically need.

If the DNR is out of money, that would've bothered me at one time but not today and here's why:

(1) Deer whitetail improvement money is basically used for the purchase of properties.

(2) Our license money funds the wolf protection program. The federal government makes all the rules and regulations, for our DNR to follow, so why doesn't the federal government fund it? In 2009 the wolf numbers add up to eliminating approximately 15,000 of the deer herd.

(3) The Michigan NRC? Our fine state got along great without them before. Can anyone explain what the NRC does that the DNR can't do for themselves, like in the past? The DNR shouldn't have to "pony up" to the NRC for advice, rules and regulations. A true waste of money.

If any of you think I'm a crank and upset, you would be 100 percent correct. For too many years we have had it pushed down our throats on ineffective programs. For every happy hunter someone can show me, I'll gladly show you 15 unhappy ones. If the DNR believes funds are low now, wait for a year or two. Your funds should go like the deer herd; fading.

Michigan was classed as an excellent state to hunt, once. What's happening? We're hungry for sound answers, not excuses. Inform us as to why deer numbered between 850-900,000 in the U.P. and today 200-250,000.

Hunters and sportspeople; we're getting flushed down the toilet.

Leo Barens

Dimondale, MI


March 30, 2010

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