Title:  Allocating Resources Among User Groups: Current and Future Trends in Archery Deer Hunting
Author(s): Kimberly M. Mattson Hansen,Michigan State University; William E. Moritz, Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Scott R. Winterstein and R. Ben Peyton, Michigan State University
Year: 1998
Abstract: Archery deer hunting has become very popular in Michigan within the past thirty years. This is evidenced by a five-fold increase in the number of archery hunters throughout the state. Originally, archery hunting regulations were fairly liberal, primarily designed to provide additional hunting opportunities. Early legislation allowed for a long archery season, use of tree stands and compound bows, and archery either-sex tags in addition to a firearm tag. Because of the initial small number of participants, archery hunting was thought to have little impact on the deer herd. However, archery harvest numbers have grown from 3 to 28 percent of the total harvest since 1967. Several factors may have influenced these increases. Advancements in archery equipment (e.g. compound bows) and techniques, such as tree stands and baiting, have led to a high degree of technical specialization among hunters and likely contribute to a higher hunter success rate. With a significant proportion of deer being harvested by archery hunters, concerns have been raised that there may be biological impacts on the herd. Recent evaluation of check station data has shown significant differences in the sex and age compositions of archery and firearm harvested deer. The large number of bow hunters has also resulted in controversy regarding potential competition between gun and bow hunters for trophy bucks. These trends and associated issues must be assessed periodically to maintain an effective deer management program that achieves equitable allocation of resources to all stakeholders.

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