Pay attention to the facts to save deer herd

Shockingly, Dr. Mason, DNR wildlife director, wrote in the Michigan Outdoor News (1/5/18) the following: (1) “APRs are incompatible with scientific based Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)”; (2) “there’s no evidence that APRs improve hunter retention or recruitment.” (3) “there is no evidence that APRs enhance antlerless harvest.” (4) “hunters probably want both bigger bucks and more deer … (simply) doesn’t align with reality.” John Ozoga, nationally recognized expert on deer, said the best way to reduce disease and risk of new diseases is to shoot every buck as soon as it can be identified (six months old) and the last thing to do is impose APRs. DNR statistics of 197,000 deer show that bucks are 11 times more likely to carry a disease. At least one deer specialist believes the quick spreading o CWD in southern Michigan is due to large bucks seeking does over large areas. CWD is the biggest threat to our hunting tradition and land values (dropped 25 percent) in past decade). Like Wisconsin with near wastelands of deer, CWD poses a much greater threat as it spreads. I know of three hunters who illegally brought deer from CWD areas to Alpena without being checked for CWD. We must stop APRs and save our sport. Yet, Mr Schnelle of QDMA continues to urge hunters to “pass on young bucks.” In other words, don’t let the facts get in the way.

Howard French