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Author Topic: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update  (Read 1267 times)

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Dire Wolf

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UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« on: April 26, 2017, 05:18:01 AM »

Bill O'Neil, Chief of the Forestry Division for the MDNR, presented information on current status of State land holdings under the "Tom Casperson Land Cap", additional forest management grant funding avenues at the national level, and a renewed commitment via the Natural Resources Trust Fund's use to purchase focal deer wintering habitat blocks in now-mapped DWCs. He gave a brief update on the status of a three-way land swap between the MDNR, Weyerhaueser Forests, Inc., and a private entity (Graymont) for the limestone mine near Rexton.

A private individual who sold some timber blocks within the Gogomain Swamp DWC on the south side of Munuscong Bay was so impressed with the UP DHG's initiative that he is working to convey 5,000acres in the same area to the State, as well as setting-up a 501c(3) to fund taxes.

Bill O'Neil reported that the State has been working with the American Forest Foundation to initiate a campaign focused on highlighting the value of renewable forest resources in the upper Midwest as both a public outreach mechanism and a grant funding source. He will be highlighting the UP DHWG's effort in his presentation to them.

Updates:

Terry Minzey, Region 1 Wildlife Supervisor, gave an update on the deer winter survey. Synopsis: Deer came through the winter quite well. Two more DMUs will be open for antlerless permit issuance this fall. However, no antlerless deer may be taken with a bow or crossbow again this year. This closure will likely be lifted in 2018.

All management plans for identified DWCs within the entire U.P. are now finalized and three outreach meetings have been held to discuss additional plan development options and initiatives for private land owners within five miles of all of these complex sites. Bill Scullon, MDNR Wildlife Division, offered an excellent suggestion to develop a flow chart handout to be sent in future mailings to private landowners near these DWCs that would enable them to more readily visualize/comprehend the steps involved and who to contact should they opt-in down the road.

Incorporation of UP DHWG management initiatives is now complete within the Forestry management units for both Hiawatha and Ottawa National Forest lands in the U.P.

There was a "spirited discussion" that ensued regarding empiric techniques and options to estimate deer density to ensure that the population does not overshoot winter carrying capacity significantly on any/all DWCs, assuming the herd expansion will again enter a base density range where exponential growth can occur. The Wildlife Division is assessing the functionality of working with MSU's QFC group via a currently running Bear Population density and sex ratio model they are developing. Other options under discussion are a series of population indices arrayed in a matrix format, much like the Red Flags Matrix used by the Fisheries Division in salmonine management prior the Predator-Prey Model.  Online registration of deer, camera trap surveys similar to those used by Mississippi State U. research biologists in the currently running Predator Prey Study are also being assessed.

Related to mapping deer distribution and use of DWCs across the UP, a nine year study, broken into three-year consecutive sampling time intervals conducted sequentially from east to west, is about to start.  One hundred fifty GPS collars have been purchased. These will be affixed to deer to determine the "watersheds" for each of the DWCs. As this study progresses, Wildlife Division personnel hope that the data derived will inform them better regarding potential purchase opportunities for parcels that are offered for sale in and adjacent the UP DWCs.

Jim Hammill presented on a management plan he developed with Rich Moran.  This effort has already been applied to the field at the various "GEMS" complexes recently developed. Previous applications in the field have documented a consistent 50% increase in ruffed grouse numbers within these habitat complexes.  Management to improve ruffed grouse habitat directly correlates on a near one:one basis with improved whitetailed deer numbers as well. Black bear, and woodcock numbers also benefit. Jim is currently working to modify this model to a morph that is more focused on woodcock enhancement as well, since they are now a species of concern.

Mr. Hammill is also in the software development stage to craft a smart-phone app. to enable property owners to download these to their phones.

Weyerhauser's chief forester outlined a brief overview on several of their recent timber cuttings on forty year old aspen dominated stands on their holdings in the western and central UP that are being sold to the Sagola LP facility for conversion to Oriented Strand Board (OSB). They have been surprised by how much wood these sites have yielded consistently. They are now negotiating with the Sagola facility's parent company for a second, expanded contract, that will run for multiple years. This should enhance aspen regeneration over time on their holdings throughout the U.P.








 

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Redrover

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 09:17:37 AM »

Wow. The woodcock comment is amazing. I never saw as many woodcock last season as I have in many years. No matter where I went I saw at least one.

When duck hunting by jumping ponds last season two sets were ruined when multiple woodcock flushed and mallard and goose brows raised in my general direction...
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 12:49:28 PM »

Nationally, they are in bad shape, and trending down faster than here; one of several reasons why Jim feels this might generate larger interest.
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 03:49:53 PM »

I have heard this referenced twice prior yesterday. Essentially, this is why Michigan's approach to CWD will not be a mirror of Wisconsin's containment approach:

http://www.wyofile.com/study-chronic-wasting-disease-kills-19-deer-annually/
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2017, 04:49:56 AM »

I forgot one important point: As the GPS collar study progresses,far better outlining the specific summer range spatial area the various DWCs throughout the U.P. "draw" from, DMU boundaries are likely to be redrawn to better align these semi-discrete deer population sub-segments with management applications, improving goal attainment.
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Al the Infidel

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 02:14:35 PM »

I have heard this referenced twice prior yesterday. Essentially, this is why Michigan's approach to CWD will not be a mirror of Wisconsin's containment approach:

http://www.wyofile.com/study-chronic-wasting-disease-kills-19-deer-annually/

Biologists must've run out of hair scratching their heads over CWD for so long. You bald yet Wolf?  roll() Whats your theory to fix. It appears extermination wasn't the cure. Like the mussels it appear it won't be If but rather When it gets here....here being everywhere. JMO
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Al Johnson~ SEMPER FI

Dire Wolf

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2017, 04:02:51 AM »

This isn't official yet, Al, but I heard that the MDNR is looking to hire qualified people from the pool of current and retired marines who where participating in the clandestine website that shared nude and compromising photos of female service members. I was told that these were just the personality types that the State felt would do a good job in communicating information to the hunting community. They are trying to double the preference points awards for ex-military service members involved in these websites, apparently the State Civil Service people are pushing back for some reason. Semper Fi!

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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2017, 03:33:22 PM »

Gee, here I thought you had a sense of humor that went both ways, Al....apparently it is only a funny thing when it emanates from your fingertips!

The issue in Mecosta Co. has been impacted by the game farm operator buying heads from a non-licensed deer processor who was operating nearby. The high-fence operator was "behind" in the number of heads he was required to submit for testing and monitoring, so he bought several from the Amish farmer and turned them in as part of the batch submitted for testing...neither of them bothered to mark each head by its source. When the CWD test came back positive and the investigation was initiated, the farmer came forward to divulge what happened, but, since he was not keeping any records on where the hunters were bringing deer to him killed them, he can't provide any information that would allow MDNR personnel to establish a quarantine zone.
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Al the Infidel

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2017, 02:44:36 PM »

Gee, here I thought you had a sense of humor that went both ways, Al....apparently it is only a funny thing when it emanates from your fingertips!


sigh...... I was gone from here for several days after my post. Apologies for my tardiness.  roll()
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Al Johnson~ SEMPER FI

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2017, 05:10:44 PM »

Yesterday a member of a Facebook group that I belong to posted pictures of state land adjacent to his property that is being clear cut.  Gotta love the MIDNR.  (It's too bad said land doesn't have a trout stream running through it so that they could cut right to the banks of that and destroy some fish habitat too.)

Fr. K
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Fr. Jeffrey Kurtz
Watersmeet, MI

Chesapeake

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 04:48:53 PM »

I'd bet it isn't deer yarding habitat. Regenerative  clear cuts provide more food and cover for critters than almost anything else......
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eskysixteen

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Re: UP Deer Habitat Work Group mtg. update
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 06:16:52 PM »

I'd like to agree with Chesapeake. Proper deer yarding habitat needs to be kept in tact as much as possible but also strategically harvesting in areas surrounding these yarding areas is just as important. Sustainable forest management is the nuts and bolts to quality wildlife habitat management.
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