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Posted on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 10:04 a.m.

Meet Tina Yerkes, PhD in Zoology, parent and hunter

By Rick Taylor

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Photos courtesy of Yerkes family

I’d like to think that I’m pretty well versed when it comes to wildlife behavior, habitat and conservation.

The truth of the matter is my friend Tina Yerkes knows more about conservation than most of us “experts” will ever know. Dr. Tina Yerkes has her PhD in zoology and has worked throughout North America.

Tina and I have known each other for a few years, and I’ve always been impressed with her passion for improving and restoring conservation. Most of us wish we could do something about it, but Tina leads the way in improving wildlife conservation. Tina is the chief operating officer for “The Stewardship Network” based out of Ann Arbor.

This highly effective organization works on a multitude of items relating to the restoration and improvement of land, the eradication of invasive species and promotion of native flora. More specifically, The Stewardship Network is a grassroots cooperative organization working to protect, restore and manage Michigan's natural lands and waters. It helps individuals, organizations, and businesses manage specific sites through sharing ideas, resources, and information.

“The Stewardship Network” works with landowners throughout the area and will gladly assist them with their concerns.

I’d recommend you call them if you have questions about your property.

Tina is so busy with her profession and raising a family that she doesn’t get out like she used to. So, I offered to take her deer hunting to the famous “Dexter Honey Hole”.

Tina and I met on a beautiful sunny afternoon, and she followed me to the hunting property. Tina grabbed her crossbow; we put on our safety harnesses and headed out to my ladder stand.

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Tina Yerkes poses with this large mature doe she shot with her crossbow.

Once tied into the tree I began to tell Tina the most likely places for deer to come into view. Tina was responsible for finding deer to the right and I the left.

The winds were howling at more than 20 miles an hour, and we had a dreaded southeast wind. Normally I would not have hunting on this day, but our crazy schedules forced us to live with it.

Tina saw the first deer about an hour and a half into our hunt. I was just glad we saw something as this button buck milled around behind us. We didn’t have much luck after that and knew we only had another 30 minutes of hunting light.

But, Tina caught movement to her right and we waited in anticipation. One of the three does made the mistake of walking in front of us long enough for Tina to get her crossbow ready.

I grunted to stop the doe at 25 yards but the doe kept walking. I grunted louder, and she finally stopped, offering Tina the perfect broadside shot. Tina squeezed off the shot, and the doe dropped in her tracks.

I couldn’t believe the shot! No tracking needed on this huge doe. Honestly, I was looking for antlers, thinking this deer was a buck.

I looked over at Tina, and she had that trademark smile that we know so well. I can’t begin to tell you how rewarding it is to guide people on hunts. I’d recommend you take someone out; you might enjoy it yourself.

This was Tina’s first deer with a crossbow, and I was proud to be a part of the experience.

Feel free to contact Tina or anyone else at “The Stewardship Network” at 734-996-3190 or visit their website: Of course, there are also membership and volunteer opportunities available and donations are happily accepted as well.

Rick Taylor warmly welcomes your comments and story ideas. You may reach him at 734-223-5656 or


Rork Kuick

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Hunt or not, get involved taking care of our land for our young people. In fact I accuse hunters of not helping enough (and I'm one). is a jewel. We are very lucky (if you want to call it luck to have dedicated, smart, hardworking people). Thanks Tina. *bleat*


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:40 p.m.

So, Rick, this "huge" doe certainly doesn't appear to have been suffering from EHD and, based on her "huge" size, does not appear to be a candidate for one with significant "wearing of teeth" at this point in her life (excuse me, her inflicted death). Do you think she was grateful for the kill as opposed to what nature was serving up for her?


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

Looking forward to venison this year.