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February 2003
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News from the Wildlife Club

The Beaver Island Wildlife Club met Thursday, January 9, 2003 to kick off its new year. Attendance was good. Plans were made for goals to accomplish in 2003. January was the first of the monthly meetings to be held on the second Thursday of each month at the St. James Fire hall.

High on our list of projects is whitetail deer habitat planting and clearing. A committee was appointed consisting of Phil Wyckoff, Doug Tilly, and Alvin LaFreniere. State-owned areas will be earmarked for planting and clear-cutting and the list submitted to the DNR for permits. We are encouraging land-owners to dedicate a small plot for habitat also, and have agreed to pay up to $1000.00 for 5 one acre plots or the equivalent of 5 acres this year. Owners must contact a committee member to have their site approved. Act now to take advantage of this offer. Ideally site preparation should begin in the spring, with planting occurring in September.
In an effort to collect data on the deer harvest, we are going to offer a "Successful Deer Hunter Contest." Details will be announced later but it will encourage all deer hunters to register all deer taken and be eligible by drawing for a substantial first prize and very nice follow-up prizes. Ivan Young will chair the committee and Joe Williams and Mark LaFreniere will serve.

There is evidence to support a substantial drop in the whitetail deer harvest. It may be a reflection of something more than just unlucky hunting. By our estimates the harvest is down by 50%. We agreed to contact Rebecca Humphries, Chief of the Wildlife Division of the DNR. There are so many unanswered questions regarding our herd, and we want to obtain the very best advice we can at the state level.

We will take part in a turkey census in late January for the DNR. Flocks are scattered, probably because of the lack of snow. If you have a flock in your area you may call Mark LaFreniere for corn at 448-2220.
We are still moving ahead on our walleye-rearing pond project. Jeff Powers has worked hard to keep this a viable plan. He says it will be ready by spring–I have faith that it will!

Join us for our February 13th meeting. We need YOU to make a difference.

–Lois Williams, secretary

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