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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2016, 08:18:07 AM »

I forgot to mention that Jeff Joseph, Weyerhaueser Forester, will be a panel discussion member at both the two pending meetings in Alberta and Crystal Falls. Weyerhaueser recently finalized purchase of all of Plum Creek Forestry's holdings in the U.P. Weyehaueser offers recreational land leases on their forest property holdings in both the southeast and northwest states where they currently conduct business- a good opportunity to talk to a representative for a new U.P. corporate neighbor.
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jd fish

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2016, 02:51:14 AM »

Just another point. The DNR is now touting they only control 20% of the winter habitat for deer. Now they are funding a study to find out where winter deer habitat is. Question, if they don't know where it is, how did they come up with their 20% number? Just a side note. The state owns 20% of the states timber land. If that is where they got their number from then does a 20% land owner in Marquette say he owns 20% of NMU and then ask where it is??? Just asking.
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grizzlyadams73

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2016, 09:38:27 PM »

seen quite a few deer along m95 the other night
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2016, 08:28:02 AM »

Just another point. The DNR is now touting they only control 20% of the winter habitat for deer. Now they are funding a study to find out where winter deer habitat is. Question, if they don't know where it is, how did they come up with their 20% number? Just a side note. The state owns 20% of the states timber land. If that is where they got their number from then does a 20% land owner in Marquette say he owns 20% of NMU and then ask where it is??? Just asking.

The work group's focus is to determine current DWC being used by the current and significantly smaller deer herd, forest cover mix within each of these 57 DWC units, what plans should be implemented to alter species mix for a specific general ration of cover:food, as well as what additional habitat management alterations can be implemented on all private holdings within 1 mile of these DWCs. For migratory deer please remember that deer learn through time via following the doe band they are born into, which DWC they migrate to. As deer numbers have changed, some DWC complexes are no longer utilized, since the herd is roughly one seventh the size it was at during peak density in the early 1990s. Even at that time, DWC complex habitat was estimated to only provide adequate carrying capacity to bring roughly 750,000 deer through a normal U.P. winter.

It is also important to point out that the UP Deer Citizen's advisory group wasted nearly two years via internal bickering about APRs recommendations, which were always subject to override by legislative action...oddly, they were ignored for a different package enacted when the license fee increase was passed. You can largely thank the U.P.Sportsman's Alliance officer cohort for that waste of time and effort.

Also, the number you are quoting (20 percent) is a statewide value...not a proportion applicable to U.P. State lands under MDNR Wildlife or Forestry Division management or oversight. I am not attempting to function as an apologist for the MDNR in this discussion. I do feel, however, offering invalid information is counterproductive and also does a broad disservice to the folks reading this thread with the expectation that it is a factual portrayal of what is being done on whitetail Deer Winter Complex habitats;as well as who is funding this effort. Again, the vast majority of the funding of this work group's efforts is coming from Safari Club International, including half of biologist MDNR point biologist,Steve Carson's salary. Garry Willis is the western U.P.Service forester for the MDNR. His specific job is to provide outreach to private landowners.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10368-31618--,00.html

Page six of this pdf contains listed participants in the DWC/UPHWC and the agencies they represent.  Please note, the participants are County Extension and Conservation District foresters, private forestland foresters, Federal Forest personnel from both the Ottawa and Hiawatha National Forests, U.P. Whitetails, M.U.C.C., private individuals, as well as MDNR Wildlife and Forestry Division personnel.

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/UP_Deer_Winter_Range_Management_Strategies_Mar._6_2015_488830_7.pdf

Pafe 8 provides an overview map of U.P. winter deer range, non-winter range, Historic DWC sites, and current DWC sites. 

In a series of thread statements, you outline the general decline in deer numbers through time in the U.P.   What you fail to apparently internalize is that habitat decline, particularly DWC  habitat decline via species mix alterations, outright elimination through time via harvest, and successional growth progression alterations have altered that landscape significantly since the mid-1990s peak in deer numbers. As noted, most DWC habitat is one private, private corporate, or Federal lands in the U.P.  DWC sites are not a static entity, nor is the tree species mix within them static through time. Particularly for cedar, harvest does not induce regeneration of more cedar.

Thanks to a multi-year effort by State Senator Casperson, Public Act 240, signed by Governor Snyder in 2012 placed a cap on State purchase of additional lands. NRTF monies had been part of the MDNR's Whitetail Management Plan, to stabilize winter habitat loss in key areas of whitetail range in the U.P.  A previous post on this site on deer numbers through time contains an overview that essentially concludes that nearly 60% of the deer in the U.P. occupy 30% of the forest habitat on an annual basis, with most of this habitat land not under State ownership.

http://michigandistilled.org/2013/04/16/does-the-state-own-too-much-land-no-heres-why-a-primer-on-michigans-land-strategy-and-how-to-be-heard/

You can draw your own conclusions regarding whether Senator Casperson's perspective that the citizens in the U.P. are being "cheated" by the State via its ownership and management of land. He has now announced that he is going to run for Rep. Dan Benishek's seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and continue his(Benishek's) legacy of "fighting for the U.P." (Ten bills sponsored in committee in nearly six years of "service": none which ever left committee for a general floor vote in the House Chambers.) Ahhh, yes, Pure Michigan!
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Al the Infidel

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2016, 11:50:16 PM »

Thank you for the clarification of some of the issues Wolf.
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jd fish

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2016, 02:01:32 AM »

Dire wolf, sure must have struck a cord, must have spent a lot of time compiling a lot of DNR data to make a point. Maybe part of the problem is for a lot of us old timers who have been around and witnessed what the DNR has said and done for years has left us with a little too many doubts about the accuracy of their points. Question, why are the recommendations of field DNR biologists  and foresters not published on line prior to or after DNR publication decisions?
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2016, 09:42:26 AM »

Dire wolf, sure must have struck a cord, must have spent a lot of time compiling a lot of DNR data to make a point. Maybe part of the problem is for a lot of us old timers who have been around and witnessed what the DNR has said and done for years has left us with a little too many doubts about the accuracy of their points. Question, why are the recommendations of field DNR biologists  and foresters not published on line prior to or after DNR publication decisions?

I have hunted and fished the U.P. for 35 years, living in the eastern U.P in the Soo, Straits of Mackinaw, and the Keweenaw; still apparently don't make the cut-off point for "Old Timer" classification. Do I feel the MDNR can do no wrong?  I can bend your ear for over an hour regarding how badly managed Lakes Huron and Michigan's sport fisheries are; have been; and continue to be. However, a big chunk of the blame lies at the feet of the USFWS, USGS, and United States Coast Guard; all Federal agencies. 

The post cost me all of twenty minutes of my life to provide accurate information, rather than speculative conjecture. I think it's a bit ridiculous to infer that the MDNR is controlling the flow and content of information when: 1.) These are Public meetings. 2.) The attendees involved in the DWC restoration initiative represent an array of County, Federal, Private Forest Industry agencies and entities, none of whom are under MDNR control or oversight. 3.) The majority of funding monies originate from SCI, MUCC and UPW sources.  4.) Senator Casperson even had his U.P. aide in attendance.

 I would suggest you contact Mr. John Pepin for access to the information you seek.  He is the Deputy Public Information Officer for the MDNR, formerly a journalist for The Mining Journal. If you are seeking a weekly stream of MDNR meetings, initiatives, decisons, grant awards, etc. there is a link that enables you to sign-up for weekly digest bulletins.

In truth, as a population biologist, I wouldn't place any faith in any deer population statistic beyond the annual buck kill value, since the range on the other individual estimates is quite large. Mississippi State University is recommending use of camera surveys and an Occupancy Model to estimate deer numbers. The big failing of this estimation technique is that it doesn't accurately estimate numbers when distribution is heterogeneous(when deer distribution is not evenly spread across the landscape), even with application of stratified randomized sampling (basically, you attempt to skew your sampling array more heavily to habitat types that deer are known to occupy preferentially and lower sampling effort in habitat arrays that hold few or nearly no whitetails to lower variance) you would still have to develop a correction factor or index( essentially, an index estimate of deer numbers per unit of area for habitat arrayed via cover type that employs GIS maps of total forest over-story and agricultural areas) to compensate for the likelihood of overestimating numbers.

The sixty percent of whitetails distributed on 30% cover type, largely represents deer abundance in and around agricultural areas, which adds another complication to accurately estimate deer population values annually, since access would have to be negotiated, literally on a tract-by-tract basis. Ashley Autentreith(Gaylord Office) is the whitetail population biologist specialist that has been hired to provide management oversight in Region 1 and Region 2.
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jd fish

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2016, 03:39:09 AM »

Dire Wolf, really, John Pepin, MDNR spokesperson.  I wonder who his employer is and more importantly, what his job responsibilities are. His knowledge on this issue is based in his education and experience in What????, his years of working for the Mining Journal?? He is a spokesperson, not a source of  insightful wisdom.
 Let me be clear, the DNR does dispute my numbers, they do not like them. I have spoken to the biologists in charge, all the way from Marquette to Lansing. This is what I was told. The base numbers I use are factually correct, (they came mostly from DNR reports) it is my math and assumptions that are in error. This is what I did, I multiplied their published number of wolves times the number of deer a wolf kills per year that THEY gave me and came up with my number of deer killed by wolves per year. They disagree with this number, not the math. Go figure, i did pass math 101. I then read THEIR report saying coyotes kill more deer than wolves but they do not give numbers. To get my number I took my 2x10=20 number (number of wolves x number of deer killed/wolf) and assumed I could add 10%, due to their, headline newsbreaking article, again I was told I am wrong. They still have no numbers to dispute my number.
Two questions,
1. I noticed you didn't address the question about why DNR Field biologists recommendations are not published on DNR web sites.
2. Why am I always told by DNR representatives that I am basically a back yard biologist who can't do simple math and that they know what they are doing. Then when I get home they are asking me for more money so they can further study a problem they just told me they knew all about and had under control? Again, just asking.
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2016, 10:41:28 AM »

Mr. Pepin's job is to get you the information as well as the source data for each of your requests within the MDNR and/or MDEQ. He is not employed to interpret the data, simply guide you to the individual source or report you are after. Yes, I did answer your question. 

I find it odd that you feel comfortable criticizing his expertise based on his background.education, and credentials, yet you feel you are well qualified to critique, criticize, and attempt to belittle wildlife population biologist's management efforts. Seems more than a bit hypocritical to me...

The principal error you are making is that you're assuming that the population trends for deer and wolves, as well as deer consumed per wolf per unit time are all  strictly nonvarying linear relationships, with rate of change (slope of the line) essentially constant through time. They are not. Wolf population numbers change through the course of a year, going up when pups are born, slowly declining to a different pre-winter base value that may be larger than the previous year's value, or it may decline. Well over fifty-percent of wolf pups do not survive their first year. Adults die as well via a variety of causes, including starvation in some cases. Animals are killed or driven-out by the pack in accordance with internal social hierarchy structural changes over time.  The same holds true for deer, which is why Mississippi State University was contracted via bid process to conduct the three Phase or Tier (low, medium, high snowfall zone) deer predation study.

What is the principal governing factor that alters rate of change in population's growth for an organism?  Habitat complexity, resource availability and quantity specific to the species occupying that habitat, as well as spatial area of quality habitat for the "critters". Disease, predation, and meteorological phenomena have secondary influence unless habitat availability is altered or diminished significantly.

This is the general Verhulst-Pearl logistic population growth equation that is broadly accepted as a relatively accurate descriptor of how a population's rate of numeric change varies in a habitat over time, from a base density where resource values are abundant, slowing as the population approaches the habitat's carrying capacity. Now, add disease, predators, cyclic environmental factors like weather and drought... as the population reaches carrying capacity.

http://www.zo.utexas.edu/courses/bio301/chapters/Chapter9/Chapter9.html

If you took Calculus, you can calculate the first derivative at any point on this non-linear polynomial function. This yields the value of the slope of a line tangent the function at this point, or the instantaneous rate of numeric change per unit time of the population (r). At all points of tangency leading up to the inflection point, the slope values are positive coefficients. At all points of tangency beyond the inflection point (where a population is growing at maximal value per unit time), the slope coefficients are negative values, indicating the rate of change per unit time of the population is declining. 

Obviously, this was not covered in Math 101.

What changed in the interval after the massive deer die-offs in 1995-96 and 1996-97?  Deer herd recovery did not progress back to levels that were evident in the interval prior those two killer winters!  Why? Deer Winter Complex habitat blocks continued to decline in size, quality, and species array due to silviculture practices being altered. Why did the MDNR not recognize this immediately?  The vast majority of DWC lands are not under State management. Was it a mistake made by professional biologists who Should have shifted their focus immediately to stabilizing and growing DWC spatial area in the U.P.? Yes it was. Does finger-pointing or throwing stones solve the problem of a continued decline in the deer herd? NO! If you want to blame someone, Becky Humphries, and K.L Cool were the MDNR Directors during this interval. Rebecca Humphries spent most of her time and effort restructuring the agency and merging DEQ back into the MDNR.  K.L. Cool was an absolute incompetent, well out of his league in the position he was appointed to by the Governor, just the guy the Governor Engler wanted...

What, as a population manager, can you control? If you keep the population well fed, disease incidence generally remains low, predators have a hard time catching and killing healthy adults, and animals are spread-out on the landscape limiting both predation and disease incidence. Specific to the Predator-prey Study data, wolves compete for territories with coyotes, forcing coyotes into the same high stem count areas does and fawns seek to avoid wolves, increasing encounters and consequent coyote predation on fawns in spring/summer and does who are malnourished in spring or starving in a hard winter. Phase I findings indicate that increasing the habitat's complexity (clear-cuts with high stem count per unit area, with hinge cut, blow-downs, brush piles, etc.) to increase spatial complexity, minimizes coyote predation success on fawns. Oddly, this is the same habitat that enables deer growth rates to be high as well, for both adults and fawns, since it provides cover and high quality food that is readily available.

They also found that does continue to bear fawns throughout their lives, not becoming "barren" and surplus in the population. From what I recall, there was one doe in the Phase I collared population that was either 16 or 19 years old. The researchers did provide guidance on what age cohorts of does was most prolific in fawn production, which slowed for does around ages 6-7 and older.

Since managers can't change the weather, the next option would be to either engage in massive wholesale feeding programs in Winter(very expensive and manpower intense), or save, improve and expand Deer Wintering Complex habitat to provide thermal cover and forage for more deer during winter. AGAIN, most of this DWC land is not under State ownership or control. Hence the DWC work group's formation and focused efforts.  Winter deer feeding has one associated major down-side: Concentrating deer around a handful of feeding sites results in predators also concentrating around these feeding sites; increasing mortality from predation, particularly in high snowfall areas where deer have limited escape cover due to snow depths in the surrounding area. In DWCs they are concentrated, but not as heavily concentrated as they are around point-specific feeding sites, lowering deer predation rates.

What also came to light from the Predator-Prey Study was that does are stressed physiologically for up to two years following transit through a severe winter, even in the Tier 1 low snowfall zone. Population managers are now reworking how they set DMU boundaries as well as what criteria should be met to issue doe permits.

What can you do to have the most beneficial impact? Improve habitat quality and quantity, one acre or acreage block at a time. Support the Federal level legislative action to delist wolves in the Great Lakes Wolf recovery unit, which will block any judicial overrides. Support a trapping program focused on wolf packs engaged depredation (trapping is far more efficient than hunting wolves. Sorry Dale McNamee, just another thing you didn't "get right" when you and your group immediately pushed for a hunting season on wolves following their delisting.)

There is an acorn planting device that is about to be marketed to the Public. It consists of two pipes welded in a "T" configuration. The long accent vertical has an access hole drilled in the cross-brace handle with bicycle grips on each end of the bars. There is a spring-loaded rod mounted adjacent the vertical tube, with the spring held in place by two tab brackets on each end of the spring. The rod has a rubber nob on the top end above where it penetrates the T bar handle. You insert the tube by stepping on a foot tab ear welded on the right side, essentially cutting a plug two to three inches deep out of the ground. You push the spring-loaded rod down, which is attached at is base to a plunger plug in the tube end that clears the dirt plug and swing  the rod and plug out of the tube throat to the side. You drop a germinated acorn down the tube and shove the dirt clod over the hole with you foot to plant the acorn. The inventor says he can plant 300 acorns an hour on average with no back-pain issues. The other advantage over a mechanical planter is that he can concentrate planting density in areas where the overhead forest canopy is thin, maximizing growth rates of the seedlings. He also added that enclosing the oak seedlings in a PVC tube held in place with a stake achieves not only protection from grazers, but serves to steer dew to the seedling for added  soil moisture around it, as well as providing a small microclimate inside the tube that is warmer than ambient air, accelerating seedling growth rate.  He modified an apple picking scoop to use the finger wire cage to rake-up acorns, which he sorts to remove clinkers and stores at 34F overwinter to aid in germination. He said you can also buy acorns on line to plant.

Snaring coyote via deer-proof snare sets on fence crossings, travel corridors in clear-cuts (just set a jump stick to guide deer over your snare loop set at coyote height), and lowland funnels is far superior to attempting to shoot them. Find a good trapper who will help you if you don't want to do the work yourself.

Purchasing a fishing or hunting license gives you a voice via "skin in the game"; it doesn't automatically make you a population biologist. I suspect that is why the Public opted to vote to support Proposal "G" when it was placed on the ballot years ago...to take "Politics and Public Pressure" out of the process of managing fish and game populations.
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2016, 11:39:15 AM »

Time to finish this off...

If you are a population biologist, you want to have an accurate depiction (estimate or actual value) of three things. Specific to whitetail deer, you want to know average annual fawn production per doe (either at the DMU level or,at minimum, stratified (arrayed under a broader heading) by East and West Deer Management Units in the current format used in Region 1. You want to know how much time passes prior an average fawn reaches sexual maturity, and you want to know the fawn mortality rate broken-down by geographic management unit (DMU specific values would be ideal), as well as by causal mortalities-predation, disease, starvation, vehicle collision, poaching, etc.

When you ran the numbers of deer left in the U.P., you didn't include three other very important and impactful additional statistics: 1.) Buck numbers prior the breeding season. 2.)Adult(sexually mature) doe numbers. 3.)Buck-to-doe ratios per Deer Management Unit.
These values would lend a "snapshot" of the reproductive potential of the population as a whole, as well as on a DMU specific level. Fawns are simply surplus production and are actually a drain of the resource base until they reach sexual maturity and can replace themselves in the population(steady-state population) or grow the population value(With all mortality factors minimized and an optimal habitat with no resource limitations exponential growth results, with maximal population growth approaching near=vertical first derivative derived slope values(basically the midpoint on the S-shape sign-wave growth curve).

What the broader goal of the DWC/UPHC is directed toward; beyond stabilizing, improving the cover:food ration mix per DWC, and potentially growing DWC area coverage on a per unit basis, is to stabilize the base U.P. whitetail total adult herd value at a level where a couple of mild Winters, or one mild winter will result in near maximal fawn production, as well as survival at levels above the current <40% value. To do this, private corporate, Federal, private, and State landowners and managers will have to adopt a focused long-term management plan with specific deer population "recovery yardstick" sequential goals.

There was a very focused discussion on development of deer estimation indices that are accurate, timely, and as close to real-time values as practicable to enable forest managers to quantify progress, as well as what "finished" should be.  Pellet surveys and the old Sex-Age-Kill Model have been discarded. To-this-end-goal, Jim Hamill, directed a very pointed set of comments to the Region 1 Wildlife Supervisor, the U.P. Field Operations Wildlife Supervisor, and Stacy Welling-Haughey's adjutant (Stacy is on maternity leave): Wisconsin has 60 Service Foresters currently serving 72 counties to provide recommendations to private land managers. Michigan's U.P. has two. Wisconnsin has seven private lands Wildlife Management biologists employed to work in concert with these service foresters. Michigan has zero statewide.

I order for you to measure success, you have to have a means of accurately determining how many adult deer exist on the current U.P. landscape, as well as factors impacting their survival: arrayed in decreasing order of degree of impact (annually and seasonally). If you develop a management plan without specific numeric goals, or at-minimum goal range values, with no accurate, timely, labor and cost efficient assessment techniques...it is just business as usual. This is essentially what has transpired over the last twenty years of management of the U.P. deer herd.

I am very hopeful that this (DWC/UPHC work effort and its goals) is a freshening breeze, blowing in the right direction. In order for it to succeed, private, State and private corporate landowners/forest managers will have to adopt a stewardship mentality that extends beyond timber value. When I factor-in all the multi-generational camps that dot the U.P. landscape, with owners that have a genuine interest in improving their land, and the fish and wildlife on it, I am certain that all these folks need is the right "tools" to accomplish the job to its optimal end-level. In my mind, these folks are the true examples of land stewards.

I also don't think that the continual antagonism and verbal stone-throwing I witness being practiced by the Board of the U.P. Sportsman's Alliance is or has been helpful or productive. In fact, I am quite sure it has contributed significantly to folks in the Wildlife Division offices in the Steven T. Mason building opting to ignore the U.P. deer herd trends over the last two decades.  Our Governor and State-level Senator apparently feel that The Iron Belle Trial is a premier example of optimal resource management. Consequently, I don't see any additional focus or funding coming to the U.P. This has to be a ground-swell driven effort...pretty consistent with the history of the U.P. of Michigan. As the Finns word it, pure Sisu! 

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jd fish

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2016, 02:33:00 PM »

Dire, Dire, Dire, I want to thank you again for all the time and effort to thwart what I am saying. Again, let me be clear, in your long and interesting response I do not see any numbers to challenge mine.
Secondly,  I am not implying that DNR field biologists are incompetent or lack basic knowledge on deer management. In fact I would have you once again read my simple question. Why are field biologist recommendations to the NRC not published? Let me quote a senior biologist when asked about NRC action taken last fall on predator hunting. "They are putting a band aid on a hatchet wound." And yes, I am cognizant of the fact the NRC has taken further action on this subject so please do not send me 25 links to unrelated sites.
Lastly, my point about the DNR not listening to back yard biologists. I believe this is valid for most government agencies. I would also like to add Safari Club International in as a equal partner. Now please do not send me 30 links to their sites where they cover a litany of topics in excruciating long detail but say nothing. Then, in the end they ask for donations.
  Now, let me use an example of how the system really works. 
 Joe Blow citizen's, Hundreds of them, for the most part not as formally educated as the people they file a complaint with on a subject dear to them make a complaint. When, and if, their complaint is addressed they are told that there is, after extensive checking,  really not a problem. What they witnessed is nothing more than a minor glitch. They are told that we the educated,  have people in charge who are also highly educated and knowledgeable in the area of your complaint, after extensive research find that your complaint is unfounded in evidentiary fact. To simplify , we, the educated people, know what we are doing and you do not. You, on the other hand, lacking a formal education in the area of concern, are ignorant of how the system works, how really complex it is and without a thorough knowledge of the subject are sadly mistaken in your basic field observation. End of response.  Does the word Flint turn on a light? Just asking. 
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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2016, 09:19:45 PM »

love ya grandson grandma doesn't like scales
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Dire Wolf

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2016, 08:20:52 AM »

Other than the annual buck and doe kill estimate statistic, the numbers you listed have no intrinsic value. They don't reflect the actual herd statistics. Why?  They were derived from the SAK model, which, has been abandoned because it's been determined to be more precise (generates population estimate values that are close to each other on a estimate-to-estimate interval), than accurate(generates population values that are close to the real World term).  IF you had given me a relatively accurate herd estimate value, with an accurate buck to doe ratio, then it would be worthwhile to use these values to gain some insight into the population's recovery potential and status.
One thing I would not opt to do, would be to use a Spring wolf count and a Fall deer count and then try and fit those into ANY population model. If you want to accurately depict wolf predation rates off average deer killed per wolf estimates, you should also have derived an estimate of the deer density in that same time interval. IF you want to obtain an accurate estimate of wolf predation on deer, you should come up with a value term for both predation rate AND population density and structure for the entire U.P., rather than take an estimate value from one piece of the total geography value and extrapolate that across the entire landscape of the U.P. AVERAGE wolf kill value is simply the average value SPECIFIC to that study's geographic area of coverage, IT IS NOT A UNIFORM U.P Wide statistic.   You don't provide any breakdown in what proportion of an inaccurate estimate of deer in the U.P. are adult bucks; adult does, and fawns. There also is no value that yields any way to quantify fawn survivorship over time. You grab a cluster of numbers, assume they are static constants through time; cobble-up a thesis of zero worth or applicability to what is actually likely happening;then pat yourself on the back for that "effort". 

Is that a more pointed response to your question? Will it make you stop and reconsider your conclusions? No, I doubt it...!

Actually, what I said to your request for MDNR internal manager's recommendations was: Go pose your question to the MDNR Deputy Public Information Officer,John Pepin, who will quite likely either send you to a link, or provide you contact information for someone who can. Spoon feeding someone who has no clue what they are doing, with zero interest in trying to figure-out what actually drives a population's growth or decline through time isn't my job assignment! Your response was to attack the credentials of that information manager...

What was that old Jerry Garcia song lyric? Oh yeah, "Ya ain't gonna learn what you don't wanna know!"  -Black Throated Wind
 
Are you aware that the original Recovery Goal for wolves in the U.P. was set at under 300 via joint assessment between the USFWS and MDNR.? No one in the State, including Governor Snyder has ANY say in wolf population management...none whatsoever, until the USFWS moves to delist them via the Endangered species Act legislation procedure. When that occurred, FEDERAL court injunction was sought to, again, move them back on the list.  IF, you read through the Federal judge's decision, you will note that most of the points she makes to underscore her ruling's logic are specific to Wisconsin's and Minnesoata's wolf management actions, and focused around the volume of wolves killed annually in their management hunts. She (judge) actually argued that conceptually, building the local geographic density of wolves would continue to "spread" them eastward across the landscape, independent of geographic barriers or large junks of habitat on that landscape that are no longer conducive to wolves (cities and urban corridors). The hunting season in Michigan was an incredibly poorly conceived, structured, and conducted initiative. It was an effort pushed by  the Upper Peninsual Sportsman's Aalliance and enacted to placate a group of "sportsman" who think that they are achieving some form of population control by killing an individual wolf.  How did that work out?

Hopefully, you will grasp the central theme: Wolves are under control of the Federal Judicial System. No one, outside legislative action via Congress can impact their current status. IF, blaming State-level biologists for a problem they can't impact seems rationale to you...go for it! Then bitch to your peers about your lack of success and blame the State level management folks. That's productive...!

What should have happened was an NRC order to hire trappers to remove wolves in depredation areas via a controlled program with State biologist and USFWS oversight. God bless Dale McNamee, Al Etenhoffer and Rory Mattson. I am pretty sure the Humane Society of the United States' lawyers and staffers greatly appreciate their efforts. When I attended the Wolf Symposium in Marquette when they were first delisted, I observed Dale McNamee's public exchange with the wolf preservation folks. When the finally stopped bickering, it was evident where things were going...

You want to control and limit predation on deer? Trap wolves and snare coyotes with deer-proof snares. Wolves are relatively easy to catch in a leg-hold trap, particularly wolves that have never been trapped. 

You want to expand the deer population? Clear-cut to regenerate aspen, leave blow-downs intact, and hing cut to increase the horizontal barrier cover that will impede the ability of coyotes to catch and kill fawns.

Hang onto your cash, or spend it on your grandchildren.

As long as we are extrapolating off of the Flint water contamination crisis: Does the slogan, "We need a person with good "Business" sense and a track-record of proven accomplishments in Business and Finance to return America to its past greatness!", resonate with you?  Oddly, another individual made a nearly identical "pitch" when he was trying to win the Governor's office.  That's right, Governor Snyder touted his vast business experience as a huge benefit to enable him to turn Michigan around.  His first major finance re-ordering move was to push through legislation to tax senior's pensions, indirectly improving the State's budget balance on the backs of its retiree population. There is a really interesting approach to asking for your money...taking it via legislative action!

What actually happened in Flint was caused by Governor Snyder's appointee to run the City's finances; a guy who knew nothing of basic water chemistry and chemical reactions who was placed in a position of authority to oversee the financial recovery of Flint. HE made the switch and opted to save additional money by not implementing the technique that would not cause encased lead to be leached from the existing supply pipes. But, then-again, you would have to make an effort to read through a bunch of excruciatingly long background documents and information to reach an informed conclusion, but that would deviat from your proven approach of shoot first, ask questions later...

All the "happy little soldiers" fell in line; pretty proto-typic of the personality type that opts to join a bureaucracy. When the truth "came out" in the water reports, several idiots with no internal ethics "compass" decided to falsify the data in those reports, rather than admit culpability. THAT is the parallel to the issues within the MDNR:There are people in the agency who are more interested in a pay check, as well as potential promotions, than they are in maximizing the well-being of the resource they manage. That is also an issue than none of us can impact. Internal change has to come via a Top-down driven initiative. You are correct on one important point: Within the MDNR promotability is not enhanced by questioning the system, or the rationale of management direction.

You do realize that there is an alternate conclusion to what you pose in your carefully scripted scenario?  When people repeatedly tell you that you don't know what you are talking about, it may actually be a True statement!  No, I didn't think so... That would require a concerted effort on your part to actually gain a better understanding of population biology and population dynamics; apply those principles in a real world scheme, and then compare them to the situation to gain insight on where management can have a marked impact to improve the deer population's status.  There is a much easier path that requires zero effort: not opt to change, learn, or adapt to the changing world around you. You need simply to look at a list of now-extinct species to determine the overall success of that approach when it is applied at the species population level.

Good luck shouting at the rain!
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Fish-ti-cuffs

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Re: UP deer Numbers
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2016, 08:08:53 PM »

C'mon good weather.

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Brett Lewis
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