MI Early Doe Season…a bad idea.
Let me say right from the start, I love the great state of MI. I was born here and will probably be buried here. There is so much for an outdoor loving sportsman to do, a guy just can’t do it all.
Having said that, let me also say that I don’t like many of the hunting regulations the MI DNR has in place. Many of their policies are driven by the almighty dollar, the anti-hunting crowd, and supposedly are designed to cater to sportsmen without seemingly having little regard for the health of its wildlife, namely whitetail deer.
The MI deer herd is so out of whack it’s not even funny. Over 700,000 hunters get 35 days to shoot two bucks with a firearm and 80 days with a bow, including a crossbow, not that I’m against crossbows at all, I’ll probably have to use one someday myself. But with all those days to shoot 2 bucks, can you say annihilation of the buck population?
In many areas there are not enough bucks to breed all the does. That results in a lot of does coming into estrus in December and even January. Whatever bucks are left, run themselves ragged deep into the winter when they should be conserving energy and building their nutrition level for the harsh MI winters. Bucks that go into winter in poor shape have a deeper hole to climb out of in the spring nutritionally, if they even make it at all, resulting in smaller antlers the following fall.
Need proof? How many deer hunting TV shows or videos are filmed in Michigan in which mature bucks are consistently harvested with a bow? Hmmm.
Many attempts by the MI DNR have been made to try to increase the doe harvest instead of decreasing the buck harvest to one buck per hunter per year period like most states. Now there is a MI early doe season with firearms that starts on Sept 22 and 23. Does anyone believe that with the ” brown it’s down” mentality of many hunters, if a big 140″ class buck, while in his summer routine, gives him a shot, that all hunters will be able to keep the safety on? No Way!
Poaching is already way out of hand. Now we’re going to give these poachers a license to go out with a firearm while it’s still summer? Gimme a break. It will result in more bucks being MIA before the season starts. Most MI hunters never even see a trophy buck during hunting season and some will not be able to restrain themselves. You know who you are.
The other reason I don’t like the MI early doe season is that most of the mature bucks will be totally nocturnal by the opening of bow season Oct 1. Not only because of the MI early doe season, but also the early youth hunt on the following weekend just before the regular bow opener.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the youth hunt. We need to recruit new youngsters into the sport. All 3 of my daughters took does with a bow during the youth hunt. I just wish the youth hunt was the only firearm season before the bow opener.
After all, MI just legalized crossbows to help more hunters shoot more bucks and does. Why do we need yet another firearm season to kill does while it’s still summer? It’s too hot, many deer will go to spoil if not found soon after being shot, and mature bucks will go nocturnal even before the youth hunt!
There’s a lot of things that should be considered and changed for the sake of the health of the MI deer herd. I could go on and on with more reasons but it won’t do any good because money talks and the MI DNR would never do anything that could decrease revenues coming in.
At a time when we all see so many TV hunting shows and videos of big bucks being harvested, these policies will only result in more MI hunters becoming discouraged and deciding to give up the sport or spend their hunting budget dollars out of state where better deer management is taking place. Either way, MI loses out on more revenue and MI hunters lose more voices to keeping the anti hunting crowd from taking away more outdoor privileges.
I believe the MI early doe season is just a way to raise more revenue without any consideration of the deer herd’s well being.
I would love to hear what you think. Feel free to leave a comment below.