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Tag Archive | "deer"

Protecting your landscape from wildlife damage


DIG-Protect-lawn-from-wildlifeby Melinda Myers

 

They’re cute, they’re furry and they love to eat – your landscape that is.  If you are battling with rabbits, deer, groundhogs or other wildlife, don’t give up.  And if you are lucky enough to be wildlife-free at the moment, be vigilant and prepared to prevent damage before these beautiful creatures move into your landscape to dine.

Anyone who has battled wildlife knows the frustration and difficulty involved in controlling them. Your best defense is a fence. A four-foot-high fence anchored tightly to the ground will keep out rabbits. Five-foot high fences around small garden areas will usually keep out deer. They seem to avoid these small confined spaces. The larger the area the more likely deer will enter. Woodchucks are more difficult. They will dig under or climb over the fence. You must place the fence at least 12 inches below the soil surface with 4 to 5 feet above the ground. Make sure gates are also secured from animals.

Some communities allow electric fences that provide a slight shock to help keep deer out of the landscape. Another option is the wireless deer fence. The system uses plastic posts with wire tips charged by AA batteries. The plastic tip is filled with a deer attractant.  When the deer nuzzles the tip it gets a light shock, encouraging it to move on to other feeding grounds.

Scare tactics have been used for many years. Motion sensitive sprinklers, blow up owls, clanging pans and rubber snakes strategically placed around a garden may help scare away unwanted critters. Unfortunately urban animals are used to noise and may not be alarmed. Move and alternate the various scare tactics for more effective control.  The animals won’t be afraid of an owl that hasn’t moved in two weeks.

Homemade and commercial repellents can also be used. Make sure they are safe to use on food crops if treating fruits and vegetables. You’ll have the best results if applied before the animals start feeding. It is easier to prevent damage than break old feeding patterns. Look for natural products like those found in Messina Wildlife’s Animal Stopper line. They are made of herbs and smell good, so they repel animals without repelling you and your guests.

Live trapping can be inhumane and should be a last option. Babies can be separated from their parents, animals can be released in unfamiliar territory, and trapped animals can suffer from heat and a lack of food and water. Plus, once you catch the animal, you need to find a place to release it. The nearby parks, farms and forests already have too many of their own animals and therefore they don’t want yours.

The key to success is variety, persistence, and adaptability. Watch for animal tracks, droppings and other signs that indicate wildlife have moved into your area. Apply repellents and install scare tactics and fencing before the animals begin feeding. Try a combination of tactics, continually monitor for damage and make changes as needed.  And when you feel discouraged, remember that gardeners have been battling animals in the garden long before us.

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author & columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV and radio segments and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers’ web site, www.melindamyers.com, features gardening videos, gardening tips, podcasts, and more.    

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NRC expands deer hunting territory for the fall


Hunters will have a little more territory to hunt for antlerless deer this fall as the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) opened a few more deer management units (DMUs) in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula at its regular monthly meeting Thursday in Lansing.
Newly opened DMUs reflect increased deer populations in those areas, explained Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph. The DNR will seek low quotas for the newly opened DMUs, Rudolph said.

A total of 72 DMUs will be open to antlerless deer hunting on public land, and 86 DMUs, plus the two multi-county DMUs in the Lower Peninsula (DMUs 486 and 487), will be open on private land. A complete list of open DMUs and their quotas will be published shortly in the 2012 Antlerless Deer Hunting Digest.

Antlerless deer license applications go on sale July 15 at all license agents and online at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings.

In addition, the NRC voted to restrict hunters in DMUs 486 and 487 to a maximum of 10 private land antlerless licenses this season, a decrease from five per day in 2011.

Special statewide hunts for youth and 100 percent disabled veterans will be held Sept. 22-23. The early antlerless season on private land in portions of the Lower Peninsula is being reduced from five days to two, also Sept. 22-23.
“There have been increasing concerns from some members of the hunting public that the recent expansion of September hunting is causing deer to be more wary during the traditional seasons,” Rudolph said. “By reducing and consolidating the September seasons, we’re addressing those concerns while maintaining opportunities for youth and disabled hunters throughout the state and for early harvest of antlerless deer on private land where it is most needed.”

In addition, the NRC changed conditions on special crop-damage permits in accordance with recent legislation. Public Act 65 of 2012 allows up to 15 authorized shooters on Deer Damage Shooting Permits. In the past, special authorization was required to allow more than three shooters to be designated per permit.

In other action, the NRC reaffirmed that naturally shed deer and elk antlers may be legally collected, possessed and sold.

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Kent City man killed in crash


A 22-year-old man was killed last Friday morning, November 11, when his pickup truck veered off the road and hit a tree.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Kyle Anthony Nota, of Casnovia, was traveling west on 17 Mile Road near Tyrone Avenue about 1 a.m. when the accident occurred. Nota was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, it appeared Nota swerved to avoid hitting a deer and went off the road. He is the second man to be killed in this type of accident in the last couple of weeks.
On October 28, a Solon Township man also died in a car-deer accident. According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Randall Scott Thomas, 48, of Solon Township, was driving a 2005 Caravan north on Pine Island Drive about 4 a.m. in Algoma Township, when he hit a deer just north of Rector. Police said that after striking the deer, Thomas appears to have lost control of the vehicle. He veered off the west side of the road and struck a tree, which caused the fatal injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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He topped it!



Last week we featured a photo of a deer in the woods, by publisher Lois Allen, on the front page. She asked readers, “Can you top this?” Cedar Springs resident Ed Bremmer took that challenge to heart and gave us three photos, including this cute photo of a doe and her triplet fawns. The kicker is that it was taken right here in the city limits! Click here to see the other two photos he sent.

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More deer photos


Ed Bremmer, of Cedar Springs, sent us this photo of a deer and one of her fawns, taken right here in Cedar Springs. The other photo, though a little out of focus, shows something rare—a piebald deer. Less than 5 percent of Michigan’s deer population are piebalds, which have a brown and white spotting pattern. He said that photo was taken somewhere in Solon Township.

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Strike a pose


Hunters seek them while drivers try to avoid them. Post publisher Lois Allen stopped and took a “shot” at this young deer while riding as a passenger in a friend’s vehicle in Spencer township last week. He seems to have no fear of cars or cameras as he poses for his front page picture. Can you top this picture? Get a great pic and send it to us at news@cedarspringspost.com.

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Special deer hunts on tap for youths, disabled veterans


The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters as the early antlerless firearm season concludes, a deer season continues for some people with a pair of special hunts.
Tuesday (Sept. 20) through Friday, Sept. 23, youth hunters 10 through 16 years of age may hunt antlerless deer only in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 486. DMU 486 includes the majority of southern Michigan with the exception of four counties on the southeastern edge of the peninsula – Monroe (DMU 058), Wayne (DMU 082), Macomb (DMU 050), and St. Clair (DMUs 074 and 174). For a map of DMU 486, see the 2011 Antlerless Deer Hunting Digest, which is also available at www.michigan.gov/deer. The bag limit during this special early season is one antlerless deer per antlerless license.
Following the early antlerless youth season, there will be a statewide youth and disabled veterans hunt this weekend, Sept. 24-25. A firearm or combination deer hunting license is valid for either an antlered or an antlerless deer during this special season. Veterans must be determined to be 100 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to be eligible to participate in the Sept. 24-25 season.
All hunters are required to wear hunter orange during these seasons.
The recently adopted Hunter Heritage Act extended the opportunity for hunters 10 through 13 years of age to hunt on private land with a firearm deer license, junior combination deer license or antlerless license—if they have successfully completed hunter education training, or with an apprentice hunting license. In any case, the youngster must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other adult designated by the parent or guardian. The change is not reflected in the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Digest, as the publication went to press before the law was changed. Youth ages 10-13 can hunt with archery and crossbow equipment on both public and private lands, and those age 14-16 may hunt with archery, crossbow or firearm equipment on both public and private lands.
To see which DMUs still have antlerless licenses available, visit www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings.
For more information on these hunts, check the 2010 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest or visit www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting.

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2010 firearm deer season harvest estimates similar to last year


Initial estimates suggest Michigan firearm deer hunters killed about the same number of deer statewide this year as in 2009, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE). Reports regarding deer harvest ranged widely, from significant increases in some locations to declines in others, potentially a result of concentration of deer around the excellent mast crops available this fall.
DNRE biologists estimate the harvest compared to 2009 was unchanged to up perhaps as much as 10 percent in both the Upper Peninsula and the Southern Lower Peninsula and down 5 to 15 percent in the Northern Lower Peninsula. Deer from throughout the state were reported to be in good condition, as indicated by improvements in antler development in all regions compared to last year.
As expected, with the mild conditions experienced in the winter of 2009-2010, deer numbers in both northern regions look to be recovering from the effects of prior winters. But hunter numbers appeared down – particularly on public land statewide – likely due to the opening day of the firearm season falling on a Monday this year.
“Most deer hunters support maintaining the traditional season dates of Nov. 15 through 30, but we consistently see a drop in hunter numbers in those years that the season opens on a Monday,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “This may need to be a topic for discussion as we move to form Regional Deer Advisory Teams and engage our conservation partners to discuss long-range management goals.”
“Antlerless quotas were set the same or lower in the Upper Peninsula and western portion of the Northern Lower Peninsula, but we emphasized the need for hunters to take does in the eastern portion of the Northern Lower Peninsula and much of the Southern Lower Peninsula,” said DNRE Deer Program Leader Brent Rudolph. “Efforts to control bovine tuberculosis in deer continue in the Northeastern Lower Peninsula. Although deer numbers appear stable over the last few years in much of the Southern Lower Peninsula, they’re still higher than we’d like to see in many places.”
Rudolph emphasized that the preliminary estimates will be replaced by final figures of harvest and participation generated by the annual mail survey completed once all deer seasons are concluded. Preliminary estimates last year suggested a decline of 10 to 20 percent from the prior season harvest, and the final mail survey results reflected a drop of 19.8 percent in the firearm kill.
For more information about hunting opportunities in Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/hunting or for additional information about deer go to www.michigan.gov/deer.

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