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Beacon Archive

July 2004
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News from the Townships

AmVets Retire Worn Flags

Long-EZ's return - Burt Rutan-designed experimental aircraft

PABI GroundBreaking

Island Airways Hangar Party

Wildlife Club News

School Election Results

Letters: To the Beaver Island Community

Walleye Pond a Success this Year

The yearbooks are in. The yearbooks are in. The yearbooks are in!

Thanks to Ed Wojan who orchestrated the event, Islanders get to Skydive from 11,000 ft. at Township Airport

On This Date

Museum Week 2004 Schedule of Events

A Sturdy New Home - Ben Fogg's new Tug Spartacus.

Lighthouse School Graduation

Silent Auction added to Fashion Tea

Phyllis Townsend 1911-2004

Preservationists named Honorary Architects

The Dig Continues - Suttons Bay Anthropology Club

Rich Gillespie will run for Charlevoix County Commissioner

Will there be a New Boat?

BIRHC Grand Opening - A Fine Celebration

One Hundred Years Ago

Art found in Nature - the Wood Sculpture of Bruce Struik

Mary Gallagher 1909-2004

Cecelia Kinney 1911-2004

Emergency Lights Available

New First Responders

Blood Drive; Hospice Needs Summer Caregivers

New Map of Beaver Island


Wildlife Club News

There was very good attendance at the monthly meeting of the Beaver Island Wildlife Club. This special meeting was held at the Peaine Township Hall to accommodate our guest speaker, Brian Mastenbrook, wildlife biologist with the DNR. Brian has been working with us for the last two years as we collect data and promote wildlife habitat on the Island. His presence on the Island is an encouragement to us since he walks and inspects miles of habitat and is able to make hands-on suggestions.

Brian began by praising us for our efforts to obtain data that will help the DNR determine the health, population, and future of our whitetail deer on Beaver Island. You may recall that we had two major projects in place last year. One was the driving survey done for the census. For six weeks, 10 people drove a designated stretch of Island roads at least three times a week at the same time each day and recorded the number of does, bucks, and fawns. The other project was to sponsor a successful hunter contest. By checking your legal deer, buck, or doe, at one of our check-in spots, you could be eligible to win a 12-gauge shotgun in a drawing. Brian told us he had never had access to the amount of information we were gathering. The DNR determines the health of the herd by the measured beam diameter of 1-1/2 year old bucks. The numbers of points on those bucks are also indicative of health. Compared to bucks in the UP and the NLP (Northern Lower Peninsula), which is the closest to our type of habitat, our bucks fall short of the desired beam and points. A UP buck averaged a 17.1 beam and 3-4 points. A NLP buck was essentially the same. A Beaver buck averaged only a 14.7 beam. What is most alarming is that the beams are getting smaller. From 2001-2003 the beams were 15.9. From 1987-2000 the beams were 16.6. Brian interprets this to mean that our habitat needs improvement.

The successful hunter contest gave us valuable information about the harvest. Although we estimate that we checked only about 50% of the harvest it still is a step toward compiling very important data. The records show that of the 200 deer checked, 50% were bucks and 50% were does. He sees that as a healthy harvest. As a club we will have the contest again and offer a very nice prize. We encourage you to take advantage of this while helping to strengthen our herd and make hunting a continuing reality on this Island. There will still be 900 antlerless permits available for 2004. The fact remains that we have too many deer. Couple that with poor habitat and that spells trouble in the future. Habitat planting is progressing, but slowly. Grooming fields that haven't been used for years is an arduous and costly job. The process to get DNR permits to work fields is often bogged down. Brian has taken an active role in facilitating this. He is also working on non-commercial harvest of state owned Aspen forests since private timber sales are cost-prohibitive. Another angle to be explored would be to issue permits for people to cut in a designated 40-acre area.

Stay tuned for future news and updates from you wildlife club.

– Lois Williams, secretary

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