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Tag Archive | "deer"

Deer in the city


Ed Bremmer, who lives on West Muskegon Street within the city limits of Cedar Springs, shared some photos with us of a deer family that likes to hang out in his backyard. He said that this is the second year that the doe has had triplets. What a beautiful family! Thanks, Ed!

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DNR to answer questions about CWD in Mecosta County 


 

Feb. 22 town hall meeting in Morley

The Michigan departments of Natural Resources (DNR) and Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) recently announced the finding of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a Mecosta County deer farm facility.

There are two upcoming opportunities for interested landowners, hunters and deer farmers to get the latest information and ask questions about this finding:

For deer farmers – Wednesday, Feb. 1
MDARD will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. at the Big Rapids Holiday Inn, 1005 Perry Ave., Big Rapids.

For hunters and area landowners – Wednesday, Feb. 22
The DNR will host a town hall meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Morley Stanwood High School Cafetorium, 4700 Northland Drive, Morley.

At the Feb. 22 meeting, local DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing, DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart and DNR wildlife veterinarian Kelly Straka will present information on CWD, its effects on deer and deer populations, and the DNR’s CWD response to date. Following presentations, the panel will welcome questions.

“I have been getting many calls from hunters from the area, who want to understand our next steps,” said Stewart. “We scheduled our meeting a few weeks out in order to be able to share the most complete information available. When battling a disease like CWD, it is critical that local hunters and landowners are on board to help with the fight. We are thankful for the great cooperation we have received so far.”

CWD affects members of the deer family, including elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals.

To date, there is no evidence the disease presents any risk to non-cervids including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling venison. As a precaution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

To learn more about CWD, visit www.michigan.gov/cwd.

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Suspect CWD deer harvested in Eagle Township, Clinton County


 

It’s critical that hunters have deer near this area checked 

A 1.5-year-old buck taken Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Clinton County’s Eagle Township is likely the ninth free-ranging deer in Michigan to test positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).

A hunter took the animal within an area where deer check is mandatory and brought the deer to a Department of Natural Resources check station. Preliminary tests conducted by the DNR came back positive for CWD. The animal currently is being tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, to finalize confirmation of the disease. Confirmation will take a couple weeks.

The DNR reminds hunters that bringing harvested deer to a DNR check station is critical to helping the state understand the extent of CWD in Michigan.

“This latest suspect deer reinforces how critical hunters are in battling this disease,” said Chad Fedewa, DNR wildlife biologist. “We are counting on hunters to bring their deer in for testing so we have a better understanding about disease distribution. If this hunter had not followed the law, we would have no idea that the disease has traveled farther west.”

The DNR has tested nearly 9,000 deer since the first free-ranging CWD-positive deer was found in May 2015; thus far, eight cases of CWD have been confirmed. This new suspect, if the disease is confirmed, would bring the total to nine.

The DNR reminds individuals that they must check all deer they harvest in the Core CWD Area, which includes 17 townships. This area, which is referred to as Deer Management Unit (DMU) 333, consists of Lansing, Meridian, Williamstown, Delhi, Alaiedon and Wheatfield townships in Ingham County; DeWitt, Bath, Watertown, Eagle, Westphalia, Riley, Olive and Victor townships in Clinton County; Woodhull Township in Shiawassee County; and Oneida and Delta townships in Eaton County. Hunters harvesting deer in these townships are required to submit deer heads for testing within 72 hours of harvest.

With the discovery of this new suspect positive, hunters harvesting deer in three additional townships are strongly encouraged to have their deer checked. These townships are: Portland and Danby townships in Ionia County and Roxand Township in Eaton County.

“Although we won’t make any regulations changes this late in the year,” said Fedewa, “we can’t emphasize enough how much we need hunters in the new townships to have their deer tested so we can determine if there are more deer in the area with the disease.”

There are five check stations accepting deer for CWD testing within DMU 333. These check stations will be operating seven days a week (excluding major holidays). A complete map of check stations, including locations and hours of operation, is available at www.michigan.gov/cwd.

Deer feeding and baiting is prohibited throughout the Core CWD Area and CWD Management Zone, which includes Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Ionia and Shiawassee counties.

A fatal neurological disease, CWD affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids, from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal.

Some chronically CWD-infected animals will display abnormal behaviors, progressive weight loss and physical debilitation; however, deer can be infected for many years without showing internal or external symptoms. There is no cure; once a deer is infected with CWD, it will die.

To date, there is no evidence that CWD presents any risk to non-cervids, including humans, either through contact with an infected animal or from handling venison. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.

Anyone interested in learning more about how Michigan is managing CWD can view the biweekly CWD updates the DNR provides online at mi.gov/cwd. Announcements of additional CWD-positive deer will be posted online as well.

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Deer in the city


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We aren’t the only ones fascinated by the building of the new library at Main and W. Maple. These three deer wandered on to the property earlier this week to check things out, and Ed Bremmer snapped this photo for us. Thanks so much, Ed!

Readers—do you have a wildlife photo you’d like to send us? Email it to news@cedarspringspost.com and include your name, contact info, and a little info about your photo. We will print them as space allows.

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Five ways to protect your garden from the deer


Deer damage can be devastating to vegetable and flower gardens, making fencing, repellents and other tactics essential.

Deer damage can be devastating to vegetable and flower gardens, making fencing, repellents and other tactics essential.

By Melinda Myers

Don’t let your vegetable and fall flower gardens succumb to hungry deer. Even if you’re lucky enough to be deer-free now, be vigilant and prepared to prevent damage as these beautiful creatures move into your landscape to dine. Here are five tactics to help you in the battle against these hungry animals.

Fencing is the best, though not always practical, way to control deer. Install a 4- to 5-foot-high fence around small garden areas. This is usually enough to keep out deer that seem to avoid small confined spaces. The larger the area, the more likely deer will enter. Some gardeners report success surrounding their garden or landscape with strands of fishing line set at 12 inches and 36 inches above the ground.

Low voltage electric fencing or posts baited with a deer repellent are also options. Just be sure to check with your local municipality before installing this type of fencing.

Scare tactics are less effective on deer in urban environments. They are used to human scents and sounds. Many gardeners report success with motion sensor sprinklers. As the deer passes in front of the motion sensor it starts the sprinkler and sends them running. Just be sure to turn off the sprinkler when you go out to garden.

Repellents that make plants taste or smell bad to deer can also help. You will find products containing things like garlic, hot pepper oil, and predator urine. Apply them before the animals start feeding for the best results. And reapply as directed on the label. Look for products like Deer Ban (summitchemical.com) that are easy to apply, odorless and last a long time.

Include deer resistant plants whenever possible. Even though no plant is one hundred percent deer-proof, there are those the deer are less likely to eat. Include plants rated as rarely or seldom damaged by deer. And be sure to provide additional protection if you include plants known to be frequently or severely damaged.

Constantly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the methods used. Deer often change their feeding location and preferred food. And if the populations are high and the deer are hungry, they will eat just about anything. Be willing to change things up if one method is not working. Using multiple tactics will help increase your level of success.

So don’t let hungry deer stop you from gardening. Be vigilant and persistent and send them elsewhere to dine.

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and was commissioned by Summit Responsible Solutions for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ website is www.melindamyers.com.

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Teen gets first buck during youth hunt


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Derek Rose, age 16, the son of Pete and Cherri Rose, of Solon Township, got his first buck ever during last weekend’s youth hunt. He got the 8-point buck on Sunday, September 20, while hunting on private land, in Kent County, with his dad, Pete. The deer weighed in at 160 lbs. after being dressed out. Congratulations, Derek!

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Man injured in motorcycle crash


 

A Coral man was injured last Saturday when he tried to avoid hitting a deer with his motorcyle.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a report of a crash involving a motorcycle and a deer, about 9 p.m., Saturday, August 22, southwest of Howard City. The crash occurred on Kendaville Road near Arbogast Road, in Maple Valley Township.

According to police, the investigation showed that David Riley, age 59, from Coral, was headed east on Kendaville Road on his 200 Yamaha motorcycle, when a deer entered the roadway. Riley attempted to avoid the deer and slid into a shallow ditch. A passerby found Riley lying in the ditch and called 911. Riley was complaining of chest pain and received lacerations to his head. Riley was transported to Spectrum in Grand Rapids by Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services.

Riley was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

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Michigan drivers beware of deer


 

New data shows odds Michigan drivers will collide with a deer are declining

 

Michigan drivers are more than two percent less likely to collide with a deer in the next 12 months than they were last year, according to new claims data from State Farm. However, the odds that drivers will hit a deer in Michigan in the coming year are 1 out of 94—still above the national odds of 1 in 169.

Using its claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm, the nation’s leading auto insurer, calculates the chances of any single American motorist striking a deer over the next 12 months state by state.

More 2014 State Farm deer collisions facts:

  • Michigan is ranked 11th in the country for the most deer collisions
  • The national cost per claim average is $3,888, up 13.9 percent from 2013 when the average was $3,414.
  • The months a driver is most likely to collide with a deer in Michigan, mostly due to mating and hunting seasons, are:
  1. November
  2. October
  3. December
  • For the eighth year in a row, West Virginia tops the list of states where a collision is most likely with 1 in 39 odds. Hawaii rounds out the bottom of the list, also for the eighth year in a row, with 1 in 10,281 odds.

“Whether you live in Pennsylvania or Hawaii, it’s important that drivers are practicing safe driving habits and watching out for animals on the road. Wearing your seat belt and practicing defensive driving tactics could make a significant difference,” says State Farm Spokesperson Angie Rinock.

Avoid becoming a statistic

Injuries, vehicle damage and fatalities all can result from vehicle collisions with deer. In 2012, 175 deaths were the result of collisions with animals, with deer being the animal most often struck, according to the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These tips could help drivers avoid a collision:

  •  Use extra caution in known deer zones
  •  Always wear your seatbelt
  •  At night, when there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams
  •  Avoid swerving when you see a deer
  •  Scan the road for deer and other danger signs
  •  Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles

And here are some deer facts that all drivers should know:

  • Deer are on all roads
  • Deer are unpredictable
  • Deer often move in groups
  • Deer movement is most prevalent in the fall
  • Dusk and dawn are high risk times

 

 

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Savor the taste of your deer


Eric Payne with a dandy buck.

Eric Payne with a dandy buck.

by Jack Payne

As daylight finally arrived, the sound of crunching leaves were heard. After much anticipation, a nice deer appeared in the firing lane. Quickly the Ruger M-77 was shouldered and the Leopold scope centered behind the deer shoulder.

That quickly and the season was over. Now the next phase of the work begins. What is the best way to get the deer out of the woods? What needs to be done to protect the great taste?

Starting in the field right after the tagging of your deer becomes the critical time to insure a quality meal. Take your time when gutting the deer to avoid punching a hole into the intestines.

A toboggan works well but a deer cart is much better. We hauled ours through a river, into a swamp, over logs and it always worked great. Center the weight towards the front of the cart for the least amount of work.

Once the deer is home or in camp it is important to clean the cavity thoroughly. A hose or a pail of water to wash out the blood and dirt will pay dividends when the deer hits the frying pan.

If the weather is warm then a couple of ice bags stuffed inside of the cavity will quickly cool down and protect the meat.

Skinning the deer and boning it out helps a lot if it’s warm. Skinning a deer only takes maybe fifteen minutes when the hide is still warm. Quartering the deer or better yet, boning it out and placing it on ice in a cooler will preserve the meat until you are ready to process it.

“Care must be taken with the hide and cape if a mount is desired,” said award-winning taxidermist Charlie Walker. After a deer is shot care must be taken with the head.

“Don’t cut the hide short if a shoulder mount is desired,” said Walker. If not sure then leave it for the processor or for the taxidermist.

Don’t drag the head across the dirt because it’s easy to damage the nose, ears and facial hair. Forget the rope tied around the neck when you hang it up. Hang it from the hind legs will preserve the mount and helps bleed the deer out.

You can butcher your own deer or bring it away. Most places charge around $75 bucks and the meat is frozen and ready for the freezer when you pick it up.

Adding marinade to your meat prior to freezing is the best way to ensure that special taste. This is the best reason for cutting up your own deer. Marinade your meat before freezing will enhance the taste like never before.

Vacuum packing your meat really helps on the shelf life. The bags are reusable and this is a fast way to package your meat as compared to the old way of double wrapping the meat.

Sausage and jerky making is really easy but time consuming. We used to do our own but now we bring it away. Some of the local folks do a fantastic job plus you can get half dozen flavors.

Speaking of fresh venison, nothing tastes better than fresh venison in deer camp.

The sweet aroma of onions and the sound of the mushroom gravy sizzling in the frying pan were welcomed by the entire hunting party.

Fresh as in never frozen is the best. Marinade the tenderloins in Italian salad dressing or use one of the commercial products like the Lowery or Mountain Man marinades. Let it sit over night and sprinkle with Lowery seasoning salt and pepper. Slice up a few onions and sauté’ with butter in a frying pan.

Place the tenderloins in the pan with the onions and sear both sides. Turn down the heat, add two cans of mushroom gravy and let simmer. If fresh mushrooms are available, then throw in a handful.

Fresh K-Bobs is another stand-by meal each season. The best meat comes from the hindquarter. Bone off a few pounds and cut into 1-inch cubes. A marinade of soy sauce or a sweat and sour marinade adds zest to the K-Bob.

A venison stir-fry is fast and very simple to make. Back straps or a chunk of the hindquarter will suffice. Cut into 1 inches wide, three or four inch long strips, an estimated half-inch thick.

Keep you deer cool and clean, marinade your meat prior to vacuum packing and use a few spices. Venison will never taste the same.

 

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Opening day of gun season


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by Jack Payne

The countdown has started towards the opening day of gun season for deer. This season I am a bit more pumped up than normal. While archery season did produce a decent buck for me, the rut has not hit high gear like anticipated. Hopefully that changes next week.

Success during gun season encompasses a few additional items of consideration as compared to the archery season. Hunting pressure will greatly increase, some favorite food sources are gone and yes, the rut will factor in.

Our group success rate is way above that of the state. This can be attributed to the location. Location, much like in real estate dictates travel patterns, bedding areas and of prime concern, safety locations.

A nice buck will hole up in any type of cover that offers protection. In southern Michigan a one acre cattail swale, a small impenetrable thicket, a small group or trees out in the middle of a field, a deep ditch line with tall grass or a dense stand of pines can hide a deer.

Water is a great safety net. My favorite location has lots of water. On the worst years I needed hip boots to get into the small dry island. Most years knee high boots will work.

What a deer really wants is a location that they can either see danger coming to them or hear danger approaching. With water they can hear noise well before danger can reach them. A spot out in the open they can use their eyes and nose. A thick briar patch or a thick stand of pines they can hear and smell danger approaching.

Locating a likely spot that offers protection is the first step. Figuring out how to get there and how to hunt it is two other items of concern. Get there early is the first step. Try and get into your sweet spot well before daylight. You want to be seated before other hunters start pushing deer towards your cover.

Prune out a few lanes to shoot through. You need to see and determine if a tree is best or the ground. I sit on the ground. I listen, I wait and most often I see a piece of a deer long before I see a full deer. Then wait, wait for the deer to move into a lane.

Another consideration that we use is the location of other hunters. Where will the other hunter be? How will they get into and out of their spot. Let other hunters work to your advantage. Most hunters hunt 2-3 hours and then take a break.

You should plan on sitting from dark to dark. Carry in your lunch, extra cloths and possibly a book. I can’t read but my son does and he shoots nice bucks. Other hunters will spook deer walking in and out. Deer will run and hide anywhere and once it calms down return to their best security areas where hopefully you are sitting.

In the UP, where I will be for the opener, our best spot is huge. It covers hundreds of acres so we hunt tight to the cover, in a transition area, and catch the deer entering or leaving the sanctuary. We know where every other hunter sits; we know the location of the best available food source and the most likely direction that the deer will travel.

And then we sit. Some years we will see 2-3 bucks, some years only one. It only takes one to complete your hunt except when targeting a large rack. We have multiple stands in the same general area to contend with shifting wind patterns and the change from morning and evening travels.

When we hunt at home, in southern Michigan, we normally have one stand location for the entire day. We wait for the deer to arrive or leave. We shot a deer that we watched bed down that took hours before a shoot was available.

With the rut running later than expected, you will see bucks still on the roam. If pressured, they still will rut but under the security of thick cover, isolated pockets overlooked or under darkness.

My son shot his best buck to date late during the gun season, just before dark, as it left one small thicket and was heading into the next thicket only 50 yards away. His nose was to the ground and grunting when shot.

Patience, hunting spots where others will not travel, considering the effects of hunting pressure and deer travel routes, will place deer into your sight path. Security cover and access are the two primary areas of concern followed by patience. Good luck during the gun season.

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