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Author Topic: Future Stickbow Haven?  (Read 918 times)

Offline Mojostick

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Future Stickbow Haven?
« on: August 26, 2013, 09:23:00 PM »
This is a pretty cool plan the residents, sportsman groups and Chamber of Commerce of Drummond Island are considering. Among those are limiting treestands, limiting baiting, limiting inline muzzleloaders, limiting scopes, limiting trail cams and "improvements in archery equipment", some "walk in only" public land sections and going to a 3pt APR.

The deer plan starts on page 6, with the title-
Quest for Exceptional Deer Hunting Experiences    


 The group recommends Drummond Island hunters would be allowed to take one deer (either antlered or antlerless), except during firearm season when only an antlered deer could be harvested. If the DNR allows, there could be extra antlerless licenses – a bonus tag would be allowed in all hunting seasons.

 The group recommends that antlered deer must have at least 3 points on one side.

The Writing Team recognizes that hunting technology improvements and regulation have changed through the years. The changes have generally been supported by hunters to increase
hunter success. These improvements have allowed hunter efficiency to increase. Examples
include, but are not limited to, use of bait, blinds, elevated platforms, trail cameras, improved firearms (particularly muzzle-loading rifles) and scopes, improvements in archery equipment, and improvements in hunting clothing.
 Use of these items has resulted in deer being more vulnerable to harvest than historically. Analyses presented by DNR staff suggest that UP bucks have become more vulnerable to harvest over the past 25 years than historically, influencing the buck age structure.

Based on the information presented, antler point restrictions and restrictions of one deer per
hunter will not address the larger issues of deer vulnerability. In order to meet the well-known
desires of sportsmen to have opportunities at more mature bucks and enhance the quality of
hunting on the island, the Writing Team believes it is necessary to limit some of the technologies
(use of bait and elevated blinds during certain periods of the fall) available to hunters within a
designated management area on the island. In addition to reducing buck vulnerability, such an
area will likely attract hunters preferring more traditional methods of hunting, which has also
been expressed as a desire of many hunters. The management area recommended was selected
by trying to maximize the amount of public land, minimize the private land involved, and provide a large enough area to realize a result. Consideration was made for evaluating the results
of this recommendation.


 The group recommends that elevated platforms and deer baiting be allowed from Oct. 1 through Nov. 4 and Dec. 1 through Jan. 1 in the Marble Head Management Area (everything southeast of Sheep Ranch Road) for 3 years. Elevated platforms and deer baiting in this area will be prohibited from Nov. 5 through Nov. 30 (Appendix F).

 Outside of this area, elevated platforms and baiting will be allowed from Oct. 1 through Jan. 1.

 The group recommends that the Drummond Island Writing Team convene in 3 years to evaluate the results/outcome of this recommendation.

Drummond Island’s characteristics provide a unique opportunity to study and manage the deer
herd on the Island. In addition to being its own DMU, harvested deer either stay on the island or
leave via ferryboat. Given limited resources for implementation, stakeholders are interested in
partnering with the DNR to collect data. In an attempt to monitor harvest including the effects of the above recommendations, the following recommendations are made:


 The group recommends that there be a special free Drummond Island stamp that must be obtained to hunt deer on the Island. Make it mandatory that deer hunters provide the DNR harvest data for all deer seasons. The Drummond Island Sportsman’s Club will assist with collection and cost of deer harvest data.

 Failure to return the data would result in the loss of deer hunting privileges on Drummond Island for the following year.

 The group recommends that Tribal deer harvest data obtained and submitted by the Drummond Island Sportsman’s Club be considered by the DNR.

Offline Mojostick

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Re: Future Stickbow Haven?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2013, 09:34:00 PM »
Here's a news story on the proposal. Hopefully this will happen in the next few years. I say years, because that's unfortunately how slowly things move.

Keep in mind, for those unfamiliar with the area, Mackinac Island has prohibited motorized vehicles (all cars and trucks-people use bikes and horse drawn carriage except for emergency vehicles and snowmobiles), since the late 1800's and the island is among the biggest tourism draws in Michigan. So "turning back the clock" isn't usual in the islands between the LP and UP of Michigan.

I think the idea of public land "walk in zones" for eastern states with heavy hunting pressure is an idea whose time has come.

DRUMMOND ISLAND, MI — The rocky, forested landscape and clear waters that Drummond Island has for decades made it a mecca for anglers, off-road enthusiasts, boaters and nature lovers.

But change is in the wind for this 126-square-mile northern Lake Huron island, which once was a haven for hunters, too.

A report issued in June by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and 20 stakeholders calls for resuscitating the island’s hunting heritage, among other things. The report and its recommendations have been a year in the making.

“What the group wants to do is increase the quality of hunting on the island,” said Terry Minzey, the DNR’s Upper Peninsula Regional Wildlife supervisor.

Minzey has been coordinating the island discussions about how to manage the almost 30,000 acres of state-owned land that makes up 57 percent of the island.

Those lands were purchased in 1942 with the proceeds from hunting license fees. But hunting activity has been in decline for a decade, and the reasons go beyond lessened interest on the part of youths.

In fact, many say the island has been overhunted. It has too little law enforcement to keep a lid on poaching or the illegal ORV use which interferes with hunting activities.

That, in turn, has made Drummond Island less attractive to downstate hunters who once filled the lodges and cabins each fall.

“We used to be open for business in November, but we’re no longer open because the business has dropped off,” said Jim Kelley, owner of the North Haven Gift Shop on the island.

“I think they have overhunted the island.”

Kelley represented the Drummond Island Tourism Association in discussions this past year. His organization, along with others, wants the island to again become a quality fishing and hunting destination, just as it is for hikers, kayakers, fossil collectors and off-roaders.

Kelley’s business isn’t the only one to suffer. Minzey said fall lodging on the island has dropped off dramatically. Many lodging operators have noticed the change.

The question has become what to do; how to elevate the quality of the hunting and fishing experiences here?

The 73-page report, which is available online, covers a lot of ground from hunting and law enforcement recommendations to those for controlling ORV use. It also presents recommendations to build hiking trails and camping platforms on the shoreline that can be used by hunters or kayakers.

Hunters will be interested in rule changes being proposed. They include requiring a special free tag to hunt the island, requiring hunters to report their kills, restricting deer kills to bucks with no less than three antler points on one side, eliminating baiting and tree stands during the firearm season on parts of the island, and creating a walk-in zone for hunters in which motorized vehicles would not be allowed.

“That’s for the guy who wants to experience walking in a couple of miles to get a crack at an older buck,” Minzey said.

Older bucks are a goal for a lot of the recommendations. Islanders say they want to see big bucks once again.

Another recommendation is for a conservation officer to live on the island. It is common knowledge that the island is lightly — if ever — patrolled. Calls go out around the island when DNR officers cross over from DeTour on the ferry.

“The problem is significant enough that islanders felt a need to recommend having an officer living on the island,” Minzey said. “Everyone knows of the guy who poaches a 10 point buck, but no one steps up to turn the case over to the CO. People have the feeling that if it’s state land, they can do whatever the hell they want on it.”

Still other recommendations involve rebuilding the fishery by establishing a trophy perch and pike management. Intensive forest management to improve grouse and woodcock habitat also is recommended. So is increasing hunting and fishing license fees, which were last raised in 1997.

“We were unanimous on all the recommendations,” Kelley said.

The Drummond Island report will be incorporated into the DNR’s comprehensive resource management plan for the region, Minzey said.

It then goes out for public comment and to the state’s Natural Resource Commission for approval where necessary.

That step won’t happen very soon, according to Minzey, given staffing shortages within the agency.

So, for those downstate who want see things change, the best that can be said is there is a light, fresh breeze blowing in from the north.

Those that remember the good old days there just might want to stay tuned.


  • Trad Bowhunter
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Re: Future Stickbow Haven?
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2013, 08:42:00 AM »
I have 3 generations of history on that island. Id love to back again, with purpose.

Offline Mojostick

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Re: Future Stickbow Haven?
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2013, 09:13:00 AM »
I haven't been there for years and years, and that was for perch fishing. I think if this plan gets legs, and I think it will because tourism dollars can drive change, this would be huge for Drummond Island, drawing hunters from all across the nation.


  • Trad Bowhunter
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Re: Future Stickbow Haven?
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2013, 09:27:00 AM »
I agree. Tourism is why it exists for the most part. Some mining and logging I suppose. My family has pike fished and deer hunted the island since the 60's. We used to head a crew of 15-18 guys every spring. Not so much the last 10-12 years. Fishing and hunting went to pot in a hurry.

Online Cory Mattson

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Re: Future Stickbow Haven?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2013, 09:27:00 AM »
is there a state traditional or stickbow group who would support eliminating compounds?

all "archery only" seasons were created for real bows - muzzleloaders too resembled a time period when seasons were created.

seems to me "traditional bows" only and "traditional muzzleloaders" only would be the best way for game to flourish and hunter experience to improve.
Savannah River Bow Zone - Trad only Bowhunting Clubs and Camps

Offline Mojostick

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Re: Future Stickbow Haven?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2013, 11:18:00 AM »
The Drummond Island proposal is a very unique and very limited case. My guess is, of the 30,000 public acres, they may make some smaller part of that a part of the non "improvements in archery equipment" area.

What that means, nobody knows for sure. Does that mean no xbows? No releases? No sights? Trad only? I'd love to see traditional bowhunters contact the stakeholders and let them know that a trad only area would be too cool and a destination for trad bowhunters all over not only the nation, but the world.

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