LEN SCHEBIL: Practice deer management for a better, brighter future


Another hunting season is upon us and still the DNR has no clue about the actual deer numbers in our state or how to manage them.

I am asking you to bond with your neighbors and other land owners and to let the little bucks go. If you think back just a few years ago there were always deer crossing on 220th between Perry St. and Woodward. Think about the last time you saw one there . It’s been a few years for me.

We have a big problem with our DNR not regulating deer management, and I feel it’s up to us locally to help bring the deer population up to where it used to be. I am not asking you not to hunt, but to use conservation ethics. A big doe will actually keep her young fawns from eating just to survive herself – she is a better deer to harvest. Our average deer is 1 and a half years old, a deer does not fully mature until it’s 4 and a half years yet, we continue to take immature bucks, just to say we got a buck, when in fact we have taken away a chance to have a good buck if we let it go until next season – plus a chance for it to breed.

Have you noticed fawns with spots still on them in late summer? That is because the does are not getting bred on the first cycle. The fawns will have a hard time this winter if we get heavy snows and the solution is to have more bucks around to breed with the does – not to shoot every buck we see!

We should have two bucks walking for every doe we have. Not six does for every buck.

Some of you have talked with me and said you’re not taking a buck this year. I say THANK YOU. I haven’t shot a deer off of my land in two years.

Some of you shoot it if it’s brown, then wonder why we have no deer.

You are the problem.

But you also can be a big part of the solution – practice conservation and think about our future in hunting. If we don’t let them go we will have nothing left.

If you have people you allow to hunt on your land please show them this letter and let them decide. This program of letting them go will eventually produce bigger bucks for all of us who like to hunt. Have patience and you will be a happier hunter in a few years.

It’s for our own good to help preserve our deer herd for our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.


Big Rapids Township


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