Another landowner pleads for antlerless deer tags

To the Expositor:

My wife and I are proud owners of a 95 acre parcel of land in the Ice Lake area on beautiful Manitoulin Island where we spend a lot of our time camping, fishing and also hunting (archery, rifle and muzzle loader seasons). We also have farming activities taking place on this property.

I might sound a little like an echo when I say that I somewhat agree with most of the letters submitted in recent months in regards to the future of deer hunting on Manitoulin. I strongly agree that landowners be allocated antlerless deer tags prior to the draw. After all, we pay taxes and contribute to the well being of our deer by farming and assisting in the winter by breaking trails to help them make it when times are tough, and by properly managing our parcels.

I assume there are a lot of landowners out there that use their land solely for hunting purposes. I feel for them also. I would suggest shortening the archery season by a week or two. Also, if the odds are going to remain at 65 percent to be successful in the antlerless draw, why should we not implement a system similar to the one in place for the moose draw system where we have two pools and also a group allocation system? Having said that, we, as landowners, have to ask ourselves, how much hunting pressure can these parcels of land sustain, taking in consideration as to how many hunters should be hunting without posing a risk of over-harvesting.

As landowners, we have to work together on this aspect for management techniques to succeed. I would prefer having fewer hunters having higher success rates for the long term than having too many hunters having good success, but short lived. Is it possible that there are a lot of us landowners that tend to over-harvest and it is possible that it has caught up to us? The deer numbers are down. My wife and I were successful in last year’s draw, but not so fortunate the previous year when neither of us had an antlerless tag. It was not a good feeling. We, as landowners, without a single antlerless tag.

I am also curious as to what the buck to doe ratio would be. I would assume there are a lot more does than there are bucks therefore hunters are targeting bucks way more than before, and not by choice, due to lack of antlerless tags. Wouldn’t this practice be more detrimental to the herd if there were too many bucks harvested? What is the answer? I sure hope the Ministry of Natural Resources will make the right decisions which will hopefully impact our deer herd in a positive way. We, as landowners, must also do our share by making the right choices. What will this fall bring?

Rob Simon