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This profile was last updated on 10/18/08  and contains information from public web pages.

Employment History

  • Big Game Specialist
  • Whitetail Specialist
  • Big-Game Specialist
  • Big Game Specialist
    The Department of Natural Resources
  • Big Game Specialist
    Michigan DNR
  • Deer Specialist
    Michigan DNR
  • Wildlife Biologist
    Michigan DNR
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources big game specialist
23 Total References
Web References
CHLHA- News/Info- Archive, 18 Oct 2008 [cached]
1999 FIREARM DEER SEASON HARVEST ESTIMATESFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 9 DEC 99 CONTACT: John Urbain, 517-373-1263 LANSING--Preliminary harvest estimates for the 1999 Michigan firearm deer season show there were 340,000 deer taken, of which 184,000 were antlered and 156,000 antlerless.
Antler development has been very good," said John Urbain, DNR big-game specialist.
History of the MWTHA [cached]
Another trip was taken to the NWTF state chapter meeting at East Lansing during September, 1983 to talk with DNR biologists Wayne Bronner and John Urbain regarding the 1984 spring hunting season.
On 5/28/85 Tom Tighe and Maturen met with the new Wildlife Division chief, Ed Mikula and John Urbain at the Mason building.
We complimented John Urbain for providing the first quality spring hunt in years and requested that the hunt be similar in future years.
On 10/2/85 attended a meeting at the DNR Rose Lake Research Station near Lansing with biologist Steve Schmidt, John Urbain & the assistant chief of the Wildlife Division.
DNR turkey coordinator, John Urbain has drawn up a draft of a turkey management plan.
6/23/86: Traveled to Lansing for a meeting with DNR deputy director, Jack Bails, wildlife division chief Ed Mikula and turkey specialist John Urbain.
Michigan Farm Bureau: AgriNotes October 14, 1999 Issue, 14 Oct 1999 [cached]
John UrbainJohn Urbain, Michigan Department of Natural Resources big game specialist, points out the many areas throughout Michigan that will be offering unlimited amounts of over-the-counter firearm antlerless permits this hunting season.Urbain met with the Michigan Farm Bureau Policy Development Committee last week to explain the new regulations.
"This is designed to make it more challenging to fill both buck tags and to encourage the taking of does," explained John Urbain, DNR big game specialist.
During last year's harvest, Michigan hunters killed just shy of 600,000 animals - of which more than half were does."That's an all-time high," Urbain said."About 315,000 of those deer were taken in the southern Lower Peninsula, which is just phenomenal, considering that there were only about 70,000 deer total in that region in 1972."
While the DNR is still trying to estimate the size of this year's herd, officials say that it's slightly smaller than last year - but still too large.By measuring antler beams and the number of points on 18-month-old bucks, DNR biologists say the large deer population is affecting the health of the herd."We've been seeing smaller beams and fewer points, which indicate a less healthy population," Urbain explained."The more points and bigger beams show a better balance with their habitat.And, if the bucks are healthier, so will be the does and fawns."
Mild winters combined with deer feeding practices have prompted a population explosion over the last few years that hunters are just starting to catch up with.
"It's easy for the DNR to control increasing the population, but not so easy to downsize," Urbain said.
The department is increasing its effort to educate hunters on the many regulation changes that have occurred in the last three years."We can give hunters the tools, but because 97 percent of the land in southern Lower Peninsula is private, it's up to them to decide whether or not to utilize them."
Another obstacle created through history is the taboo around shooting does."Last year, for the first time, we switched from taking 40 percent does and 60 percent bucks, to taking 60 percent does and 40 percent bucks," Urbain said.
"Michigan has an abundance of deer," Urbain said.
ERIC SHARP: Deer kill low, so herd remains big, 7 Mar 2002 [cached]
John Urbain, the DNR's whitetail specialist, declined to give specific numbers, but said: "The figure we have now is based on the initial postcard returns.Those first returns tend to be weighted toward successful hunters.People who weren't successful often don't send in a return until we've pestered them a couple of times, and when the information comes in from that second group we know the figure tends to decrease."
That is not good news for the DNR.With the entire state coming out of an unusually mild winter, mortality among deer has been negligible.Does have endured little winter stress, and a subsequent Bambi-boom this spring might result in an increase of the deer herd from last fall's 1.9 million to record or near-record numbers in October.
Urbain said many hunters, especially those who use bait, saw far fewer deer than expected last fall largely because the weather was so mild that deer didn't have to move much to find food.
"What a lot of hunters don't understand is that when the weather is warm like that, deer don't like to move," Urbain said."They get overheated.They don't move until it gets cooler at night, and a lot of hunters told me that they'd put a bait pile out in the evening, and when they came back the next morning it was all gone."
A statistic that will upset many hunters concerns Deer Management Unit 452, an area in the northeastern Lower Peninsula where bovine TB rates in deer exceeded 5 percent in some townships.In a controversial decision last fall, the Natural Resources Commission voted to allow baiting in the area, even though it was banned everywhere else deer had been found with the disease.DNR biologists insist that baiting helps spread and maintain bovine TB.
"We're obviously interested in this development" in Wisconsin, Urbain said."I don't think we have any plans yet to do testing of deer in Michigan, but it's something we should keep an eye on."
Contact ERIC SHARP at 313-222-2511 or
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Online, 2 Oct 2000 [cached]
CONTACT : John Urbain , 517-373-1263
1999 MICHIGAN DEER HARVEST FIGURESLANSING--The Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimates 544 , 895 deer were harvested during all hunting seasons in 1999.Of the total deer harvested , 279 , 018 were antlerless and 265 , 877 were antlered.The DNR uses a mail survey of randomly selected hunters to estimate the total harvest.
Geographically , the statistics show that hunters in the Upper Peninsula harvested 77 , 495 deer , hunters in the northern Lower Peninsula harvested 200 , 431 deer and hunters in southern Michigan harvested 266 , 971 deer.
According to John Urbain , DNR Big Game Specialist , the 1999 antlerless harvest puts the DNR on target with population management objectives for the Lower Peninsula deer herd.This year's regulation changes will continue the DNR's direction of a smaller deer herd with a higher percentage of bucks , Urbain said.
Deer season regulation changes for 2000 approved by the Natural Resources Commission and DNR Director K.L. Cool include :.
The early and late firearm antlerless deer hunting seasons continue and reflect the calendar date changes.A youth firearm deer hunt will be held September 23-24.
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