Protect Yourselves and your children from Lyme Disease

If you are going to be in areas that may be tick infested, there are several ways you can protect yourself.

Wear light colored clothing so ticks can be spotted more easily, and removed before attachment
Wearing long sleeved shirts and pants tucked into socks or boot tops can be helpful in keeping ticks from reaching your skin
Ticks are usually located close to the ground, so boots or shoes and not sandals, are recommended
Applying insect repellants such as DEET (n,n-diethyl-m toluamide) to clothes and exposed skin, and applying Permethrin (which kills ticks on contact) to clothes can reduce the risk of tick attachment
DEET can be used safely on children and adults, but should be applied according to label guidelines.

For more information see MI, Lyme Disease: Treatment and Prevention

Deer Count in Michigan

From Deer Friendly:
Michigan data:
An estimated 1.5 million deer in 2015.
Based on harvest data about 1.4 in 2014, 1.6 in 2013 and 1.7 in 2012.

The last official estimate of 1.73 from 2011.
A significant population decline in 2013 and 2014 following harsh winters, most severe in the Upper Peninsula

From South Bend Tribune
Well, just be glad you hunt southern Michigan. The biggest drop occurred in the Upper Peninsula where harvest plummeted 25 percent and that certainly skews the state numbers. The northern Lower Peninsula wasn’t much better.

The UP suffered a brutal winter for the third straight year. There was more than 3 feet of snow on the ground before the Nov. 15 firearm season, making it difficult for hunters to get out.

More importantly, deer numbers have been declining due to heavy snow that makes it difficult for the deer to move and feed. That has led to fewer fawns and a big reason why the DNR is restricting antlerless deer hunting there this fall.

Southwest Michigan persevered much better. DNR statistics show some 8,000 deer were taken in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 311, which encompasses Cass, Berrien and Van Buren counties.

Of those 8,000, 4,400 were bucks.

Admittedly, that’s 1,000 fewer deer harvested than the year before, but there are some reasons for that, too.

The entire Southwest Michigan District, that covers far more counties, saw a 20 percent increase in doe harvest during the archery season but a 16.7 percent drop during gun season.

The district’s buck harvest during archery season climbed 8.9 percent but dipped 1.9 percent during the gun season.

Bucks in Ann Arbor Hills

Click on link to see the video:
Buck vs Buck

These two actually just look like they are practicing.

In a yard in Glacier Highlands– I was so amazed I didn’t think about filming it– two large bucks ran through the yard, one across my deck, started fighting and then ran back across the yard (one across the deck again) chasing each other. And it did not end so quickly!

The Culture War over the Deer Cull – A Divergence in Values

deer Ward 2 ann arborThe Culture War over the Deer Cull, The Ann, Feb 2016Ann Arbor is struggling through a “nature war.” White-tailed deer have invaded yards and natural areas throughout the city. In response, and in spite of protests led by the Humane Society of Huron Valley, the City Council voted on Nov. 5 to hire sharpshooters to kill 100 of the city’s deer. This article describes the process that resulted in the cull, compares it to the struggle over “accessory dwelling units” in 2002, and, from the comparison, draws lessons about how to sway City Council.

More than 300 species of plants in Ann Arbor, based on the pollen records circa 1824

Often excluded in the discussion about deer numbers management over the last 10000 years or so, in Ann Arbor, was the very distinct and close relationship between humans and deer.

I daresay the major predator of the White-tailed deer, here, were Indians. In so doing, along with fire management — they established an extraordinarily beautiful, and floristically rich “natural area” here — with more than 300 species of plants in the pollen records circa 1824!

When Ann’s Arbour was settled, the were many exclamations about how wonderful the trees were (great Burr Oaks), and the richness of the herbaceous flora beneath (both prairie and Spring ephemerals). The town was built on a often used Indian campground, on the east shoreline of Allen’s Creek.

Were the Indians here ever to think they should not kill deer, they would have been eaten out of house and home, been without wonderful and comfortable clothing, likely would have had a great deal more trouble surviving.

Deer and humans have learned to be very close to one and other — but without the ability to kill them, things get way out of hand.

Chris Graham

Nature Wars

From Jim Sturba’s home page–

The trouble was that baby boomers and their offspring had increasingly withdrawn from the natural world. They spent most of their time indoors, got anthropomorphized versions of wild nature from films and TV, and were encouraged to treat pets like children and wild animals like pets. They discarded their grandparents’ hard-won knowledge of the working landscape and forgot obligations of responsible stewardship. Their Earth Day instincts told them to save creatures and trees. But as wild species multiplied and trouble with them grew, they faced a new reality: too much of a good thing. Conflicts erupted over how to deal with it. People divided into species partisans, staged demonstrations, went to court, and raised and spent fortunes to save geese, beavers, cats, coyotes, bears, deer and other creatures from people who wanted to harm or kill them. A growing chorus of environmentalists and wildlife biologists, meanwhile, argued that ecosystems needed protection from some of the very creatures that species partisans sought to save, and that means responsibly managing local landscapes for all their inhabitants, including people.

Local In Ann Arbor

The latest post on Local In Ann Arbor brings together a lot of information on the deer cull, the process, and the latest suit against.

The post includes excerpts from The Michigan Daily interview with Barry Powers, the attorney who is representing Sanzotta and her fellow plaintiffs. The article, published on January 13, 2016, confirms the intent to refile in state court. It also contains a statement by the City Attorney, Stephen Postema:

“Allowing the cull to proceed does not damage, but actually furthers, the State policy permitting municipalities to exercise their valid police powers to manage and control wildlife nuisances,” Postema wrote. “The City adopted the Deer Management Plan to alleviate these nuisances as a matter of public health, safety, and welfare.”

Comments from the Assistant U.S. Attorney Therese Urbanic about the suit were also pointed:

“Mere repetition of constitutional labels … cannot suffice to show a strong likelihood of success on the merits.”

HSUS’s Failed Deer Fertility Control Plan

Most recently, the radical animal rights organization attempted to push back against an urban hunt in Ann Arbor, Michigan, by proposing the non-lethal fertility control method. The City Administration there had recommended the hiring of sharpshooters to conduct annual culls of deer in the urban areas starting in 2016. This plan would also include a recommended ban on feeding deer and greater study of herd population size and movement. All of these are logical ideas meant to curtail a booming deer population in the city, and eliminate the well-known threats deer overpopulation causes.

These methods were recommended after a Cornell University study found that even with a 90% medication rate using HSUS-preferred sterilization methods; you can only stabilize the deer population. Additionally, the study pointed out that in suburban landscapes, like Ann Arbor, over 95% of female deer must be able to be surgically sterilized or the community should not even consider a sterilization program for population control. The cost of such a method would exceed $1,200 per deer.

Read more…

Two bucks fighting in a back yard– happened in my backyard, too

Two bucks fighting like this happened in my yard, too, November 2014- in Ann Arbor, MI. Of course, we didn’t have the snow then. They eventually ran off, but not before running across my raised deck, within inches of our sliding glass doors (both ways). The second buck ran around the deck.

Buck fight in Ouray

Adam Kunz was plowing snow in Ouray when he came across this epic buck fight. #ColoradoLiving

Posted by KOAA 5 on Thursday, November 19, 2015