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January 2003
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News from the Beaver Island Wildlife Club

The Beaver Island Wildlife Club held its annual meeting and election of officers on December 9, 2002 at the Peaine Twp. Hall. By unanimous vote the club elected officers for the year 2003. Jeff Powers will be the new president and Ivan Young, vice president. Harold Lounsberry and Lois Williams were reelected as treasurer and secretary respectively. Mark LaFreniere, Don Tritsch, Bob Banville, Pete LoDico, and Bob Bass were elected trustees. We are pleased to announce that we will now have a home for our meetings. We will meet once a month on the second Thursday of the month at the Fire Hall, starting January 9th.

We have had a busy year and look forward to one equally as busy and exciting. High on our list this year was the groundbreaking for a walleye-rearing pond. Beaver Island landowners have leased us the land for the pond. Once the pond is completed, rearing of walleye will be monitored and supervised by a graduate student from CMU. A wet September slowed construction, so we are running somewhat behind schedule but are pressing on to completion. Our annual Hunters' Dinner was not well attended this year. Trying to second-guess when hunters will leave the Island left us serving fewer people when over 100 left on the boat earlier that day. But we still had good food, a good time, and renewed a lot of memberships. Mark LaFreniere won the Big Buck Contest with an eight-point that scored 97 on the Boone and Crockett method. We are once again prepared to supplement wild turkeys with corn through the winter months. Anyone locating a flock and wishing to feed them should contact Mark LaFreniere at 448-2220; he will even deliver the corn. Corn is for turkey feeding only and not for deer. Joe and Lois Williams have purchased a feeder approved by the DNR and the Wild Turkey Federation. If the feeder works out well, the club may consider the purchase of feeders for the 2004 season. We have begun to improve habitat for whitetail deer. One landowner gave us permission to plant rye on a 3-acre plot for critical feed in April. We appeal to all landowners to dedicate a small area for habitat improvement. Check with Alvin LaFreniere for ideas. We are investigating the possibility of DNR permits to do some forestry cutting this winter now that logging operations have ceased on the Island.

Whitetail deer harvest is down considerably since 2000 and 2001. The only records we have are of those deer taken off on the ferry. There were 295 in 2000, 300 in 2001, and only 170 in 2002. We now have two things in motion: a plan to encourage registration of all deer taken on the Island (watch for information on this) and an appeal to the DNR to help us manage the herd.
The DNR has announced that pike limits on Fox Lake and Lake Geneserath have been liberalized. There is a five-fish daily limit and no size restriction on either lake.

We have been spared many things here that make our island unique. We have no skunks, possum, rats, porcupines, and poisonous snakes. We also don't have chronic wasting disease and TB in our healthy whitetail herd. We would like to keep it that way. Please don't bring wild animals and exotic pets to the Island that could escape into the wild and bring unwanted disease here.
We are aware some residents are concerned about the populations of coyotes and beaver. At this stage we are still collecting facts so we can make a decision based upon scientific material.

–Lois Williams, secretary

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