Conservation Resource Alliance
Call 231-946-6817


A Deer Hunter's Biologist

December 4, 2001

I recently read a great book by John Ozoga entitled Whitetail Intrigue. I am, however, admittedly biased for a few reasons. First, John Ozoga is a Michigan grown biologist and secondly, in graduate school I had the opportunity on at least three occasions to meet him and listen to him lecture on various whitetail related topics. Whitetail Intrigue was published in 2000 and is available through Krause Publications in Iola, Wisconsin.

For those of you not familiar with John Ozoga, he retired from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in 1994 after a 30-year plus career as a research biologist. He is recognized in North America by his fellow whitetail deer researchers as one of the greatest contributors to the field of deer management. In 1994, he joined the staff of Deer & Deer Hunting as their Research Editor. Although retired as a research biologist, he continues to stay on top of deer research throughout the world!

Patrick Durkin, who for almost a decade has been the editor for Deer & Deer Hunting, writes the foreword for the book. Although the book is a great read with many great photographs, my comments today are directed at the foreword for the book.

Mr. Durkin points out that his readers are always impressed with John's objective yet heartfelt fascination with whitetails. He states, "that despite 30 years of working with hundreds of individual deer, John is ever the scientist. Never does he let himself fall victim to naming deer or referencing to them by anything other than an ID number. These are wild animals after all, and his respect runs so deep that he refuses to domesticate them in any way." Durkin continues by saying, "John refuses to romanticize the creature or offer off-hand explanations for various deer behaviors or adaptations." This of course is in contrast to some of the agency, "black bear" and "wood turtle" biologists that I have criticized in the past. Modern biologists seem compelled to think with their "heart" instead of their "head"! John Ozoga because he cares so much for the deer he studies has forced himself to remain the objective biologist.

Durkin also makes another observation about the author that is important. He states, "Despite John's no-nonsense approach to whitetail research, there's another side to John that's not always apparent in his writing. While he simply won't draw conclusions about deer without the requisite research and academic peer review, he isn't judgmental when he hears layman's interpretations. If anything he encourages observations?.by the regular deer hunter." It has been my observation as well that John's willingness to connect with deer hunters is what makes his writing so accessible to the hunting community. Durkin continues, "While other researches" (or biologists) "might have just as many insights to offer, few are his equal in presenting information in a clear, concise, easily understood terms. That's why I always consider John J. Ozoga to be the deer hunter's biologist!"

In closing, we need more of these practical, down to earth biologists in the world today!

A Closing Thought

"In all thy getting, get understanding!" -- Solomon


Copyright 2001 Bob Aslan. All rights reserved.


Archives
2019
May (1)
June (1)
July (1)
2018
May (1)
2017
May (3)
June (2)
July (1)
2016
May (2)
June (2)
July (1)
2015
May (2)
June (1)
2014
May (3)
June (5)
July (5)
2013
May (1)
July (4)
2012
May (2)
2011
May (1)
June (4)
2010
June (2)
2009
May (3)
June (1)
2008
May (1)
June (1)
July (3)
2007
May (5)
July (3)
2006
June (2)
July (3)
2005
June (1)
July (5)
2004
May (2)
June (1)
2003
May (8)
June (4)
July (3)
2002
May (4)
June (2)
July (3)
2001
1999
June (1)

Become a CRA Member

Our partners and supporters, like you, are what really make a difference. Your support of our organization and projects are what make the biggest impact. We appreciate your investment. Together, we do great work. 

E-Newsletter Sign-up

Sign up for our e-newsletter to keep current with news and other happenings at CRA!

Conservation Resource Alliance

Bayview Professional Centre
10850 Traverse Highway, Suite 1180
Traverse City, MI 49684
231-946-6817

SIGN UP