What is the "Doe Patrol", what do they do, and how do they help families in West Michigan?

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What is a "Doe"?

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If you have lived in Michigan your whole life and don't know what a "Doe" is, turn in your official Michigander card.

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A doe is a female deer that some hunters refer to as tattletales since they will often rat out a hunter's presence by snorting and raising their tails alerting other deer that there is something over here that is not normal to them.

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Since the Michigan deer hunting rules mainly focus on harvesting a male deer (buck) there tend to be way more does than bucks. There are some special doe seasons to balance the numbers but are usually not as effective as the Department of Natural Resources would like.

What is the "Doe Patrol"?

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According to WOOD, the "Doe Patrol" began in Holland, Michigan, in 2020 when a man by the name of Tim Boetsma who was involved with the Boys and Girls Club was asked about getting extra meat for students while on Christmas break.

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During COVID many parents were not working and many families were struggling and that is when Boetsma began the "Doe Patrol."

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Boetsma created a non-profit charity that has been raising money and harvesting deer for families in need ever since.

How Does The "Doe Patrol" Help West Michigan Families?

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The "Doe Patrol" has partnered up with Matthew's House Ministry in Holland to help provide meat for people in need. They have annual fundraisers to help as well as hunters who donate meat from does they harvest. This helps the ratio of does to bucks get better and helps families in West Michigan at the same time.

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If you would like to learn more about or become a member of the "Doe Patrol" they do have a website you check out here.

BUCKING Trends? Michigan Deer Harvest Not Even Close to 2022's

Numbers continue to show a downward trend for not only deer harvest in 2023 as compared to 2022, but the interest in and numbers of hunters taking part in the sport continue to drop. Here's a look at Michigan's 2022 vs 2023 Deers Season to date*.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

UPDATE Michigan Deer Season: Which County Has Tagged Most to Date?

Using data available through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer harvest report, let's count down to the Michigan county that has tagged and reported the most deer to date in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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