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Michigan Deer harvest decreases nine percent in 2009

Michigan Deer harvest decreases nine percent in 2009

Michigan hunters harvested about 9 percent fewer deer in 2009 than they did in the previous season, according to Department of Natural Resources and Environment wildlife biologists.

Hunters killed an estimated 444,047 deer last year, down from 489,922 in 2008, according to the DNRE’s annual mail survey.

Hunters killed 5 percent fewer antlerless deer and 14 percent fewer antlered bucks in 2009 than in the previous season.

Overall, hunters purchased about the same number of deer hunting licenses last year as they did in 2008. An estimated 686,392 hunters went afield in 2009, a one percent decrease from the previous season.

Forty-three percent of hunters reported killing at least one deer last year, a 4 percent decline from 2008.

Hunter success was down most significantly, about six percent, during the traditional Nov. 15-30 firearms season. Success was about one percent higher during the state’s archery seasons, something wildlife officials think might be attributed to liberalized rules for using crossbows.

The complete harvest survey is posted online at www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting.

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