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Deer & Deer Hunting - Summer_2016

EDITOR’S STUMP Daniel

EDITOR’S STUMP Daniel E. Schmidt, Editor-in-Chief ALWAYS STRESS STEWARDSHIP DEER & DEER HUNTING “The Original Stump Sitters Magazine” ESTABLISHED IN 1977 www.deeranddeerhunting.com VICE PRESIDENT/GROUP PUBLISHER Jamie Wilkinson CONTENT DIRECTOR/EDITOR IN CHIEF Daniel E. Schmidt EDITOR Gordy Krahn ONLINE MANAGING EDITOR Alan Clemons GROUP EDITORS James Card, Chris Berens CONTRIBUTORS Charles Alsheimer, John Ozoga, Bob Zaiglin, Dr. Phillip Bishop Land management is fun, but it also comes with great responsibility. In our giddy enthusiasm to grow bigger and better deer, many hunters/landowners forget the founding tenant to sound whitetail management: responsible deer densities. A high abundance of white-tailed deer can create dramatic changes in forest understory that leads to irreparable harm to the habitat and future deer hunting prospects. Whitetails can and will change a forest’s understory simply by eating their way out of house and home. This can happen quickly in areas where traditional management ideals clash with so-called quality deer management (QDM) efforts. The problem, as I see it, happens where owners of larger parcels strictly limit the number of hunters on their properties while at the same time adhering to limited doe harvesting (“more deer is better”) and strict antler regulations. What happens is we get so caught up in growing and hunting bigger bucks that we take our foot off the pedal when it comes to doe hunting by invariably not harvesting enough antlerless deer early in the season. It’s understandable, but it’s also a vicious cycle that causes sobering consequences. Individual efforts are often lost in the land management fray. For example, one property owner might be a true QDM disciple in that he manages the land first and deer second. His neighbor, however, might take a complete hands-off approach because he knows he’ll see more deer if he provides more sanctuary. The result is nothing short of management chaos, really, because it’s no longer a collective county, region or statewide effort. It’s every man for himself. Pre-hunt deer densities should never exceed 35 deer per square mile on the very best habitat. There are a few exceptions, but those numbers are typically limited to habitat-rich regions within states such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia and Texas. Responsible deer density goals drop steeply (20 dpsm or less) the farther north, east and west you travel. It boils down to what’s in the soil and how much native forage that land can provide for all wildlife. Overpopulation leads to overbrowsing, which leads to the proliferation of non-native/invasive trees, shrubs and other plants in forest ecosystems. Peel back the layers, and what appears to be “thick deer cover” turns out to be one jungle of a mess that won’t do a lick of good for sustaining wildlife populations for future generations. Three things are certain: It can be fixed. It won’t happen overnight. And it’s going to take the entire deer hunting community to do it. ADVERTISING VP, ADVERTISING SALES Dave Davel, SALES REPRESENTATIVES Brad Rucks, 715.350.7085 Margaret Ann Huggins, 334.312.9126 NORTHEAST/MID-ATLANTIC Scott Buchmayr Buchmayr Associates, 978.462.6335, buchmayrscott@gmail.com SOUTHEAST/MIDWEST Amos Crowley Crowley Media, 440.564.5255, Amos@crowleymedia.us.com SALES ASSISTANT Lori Hauser PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Mark Lilla DESIGN MANAGER Sharon Bartch GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dave Hauser TELEVISION / VIDEO EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Chris Hermans EDITOR/PRODUCER Terry Boeder EDITOR/PRODUCER Lonnie Garland ONLINE VIDEO PRODUCER Abigail Hehner Deer & Deer Hunting (ISSN 01647318) is published 11 times per year: January, March, June, Summer, August, Equipment Annual, Modern Crossbow, September, October, November and December by F+W Media, Inc., 700 E. State St., Iola WI 54990. Periodical postage paid at Iola, Wis., and at additional mailing offices. Canadian Agreement No. 40665675. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Deer & Deer Hunting, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142. Copyright 2016 by F+W Media, Inc. Printed in the U.S.A. Deer & Deer Hunting and its logo are registered trademarks. Other names and logos referred to or displayed in editorial or advertising content may be trademarked or copyright. D&DH assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials sent to it. Publisher and advertisers are not liable for typographical errors that may appear in prices or descriptions in advertisements. SUBSCRIPTIONS: 800.250.9159 (U.S. and Canada) P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142 • Outside the U.S., call 386.246.3414 For newsstand sales, contact: Scott T. Hill, scott.hill@procirc.com F+W MEDIA, INC. THOMAS F.X. BEUSSE, CEO JIM OGLE, CFO/COO SARA DOMVILLE, President PHIL GRAHAM, SVP, Mfg. & Production STACIE BERGER, VP, Communications FIND DEER & DEER HUNTING ON: Facebook facebook.com/deerhuntingmag Twitter twitter.com/deerhuntingmag Pinterest pinterest.com/deerhuntingmag ShopDeerHunting.com The premier online store for deer hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. 4 | Summer 2016 www.deeranddeerhunting.com

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