Culling deer herd reduced chronic wasting disease

Capital News Service

LANSING — Federal sharpshooters and more hunting permits that reduced the deer population helped fight chronic wasting disease among white-tailed deer, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports. Results are in from the first-year management strategy for chronic wasting disease in Michigan. Wildlife officials confirmed the disease in the state’s wild deer herd in May 2015. During the past 16 months, the DNR tested more than 6,000 animals killed by hunters, sharpshooters employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture or in traffic accidents. Eight tested positive, the report shows.

Do the crime, pay fine – but what is a deer worth?

LANSING — Is a 21-point trophy buck worth 25,000 bucks? Not according to poacher John Baker Jr. who was convicted of illegally shooting one on property belonging to Valhalla Ranch, a private hunting resort in Grayling. Maybe — or maybe not — according to the Court of Appeals, which upheld Baker’s criminal conviction and prison sentence but ordered a Crawford County Circuit Court judge to reconsider the amount of restitution he owes the ranch. Valhalla promotes itself as “a premier hunting destination, nestled in one of the most picturesque locations in Northern Michigan” and as “a place of incredible whitetails with massive antlers and body size.”

The tangled tale of the poached buck’s price tag — and Baker’s legal woes — began in October 2012 when he and another man were hunting on a friend’s land adjacent to the ranch. A 10-foot fence surrounds the ranch.

Crossbows gain popularity with Michigan deer hunters

Capital News Service
LANSING – The number of deer hunters using crossbows has doubled since 2009, according to a survey by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The survey indicated that while the overall number of hunters in the state have declined, the method of crossbow hunting is growing in popularity. In 2011, about 74,120 hunters used crossbows in the deer archery season. In 2012, the number grew to 88, 565. The rapid growth is attributed in part to the loosening regulations over the past three years.