Posted on 22 September 2011.
The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters as the early antlerless firearm season concludes, a deer season continues for some people with a pair of special hunts.
Tuesday (Sept. 20) through Friday, Sept. 23, youth hunters 10 through 16 years of age may hunt antlerless deer only in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 486. DMU 486 includes the majority of southern Michigan with the exception of four counties on the southeastern edge of the peninsula – Monroe (DMU 058), Wayne (DMU 082), Macomb (DMU 050), and St. Clair (DMUs 074 and 174). For a map of DMU 486, see the 2011 Antlerless Deer Hunting Digest, which is also available at www.michigan.gov/deer. The bag limit during this special early season is one antlerless deer per antlerless license.
Following the early antlerless youth season, there will be a statewide youth and disabled veterans hunt this weekend, Sept. 24-25. A firearm or combination deer hunting license is valid for either an antlered or an antlerless deer during this special season. Veterans must be determined to be 100 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to be eligible to participate in the Sept. 24-25 season.
All hunters are required to wear hunter orange during these seasons.
The recently adopted Hunter Heritage Act extended the opportunity for hunters 10 through 13 years of age to hunt on private land with a firearm deer license, junior combination deer license or antlerless license—if they have successfully completed hunter education training, or with an apprentice hunting license. In any case, the youngster must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other adult designated by the parent or guardian. The change is not reflected in the 2011 Hunting and Trapping Digest, as the publication went to press before the law was changed. Youth ages 10-13 can hunt with archery and crossbow equipment on both public and private lands, and those age 14-16 may hunt with archery, crossbow or firearm equipment on both public and private lands.
To see which DMUs still have antlerless licenses available, visit www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings.
For more information on these hunts, check the 2010 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest or visit www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting.
Posted in Outdoors
Posted on 16 December 2010.
Initial estimates suggest Michigan firearm deer hunters killed about the same number of deer statewide this year as in 2009, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE). Reports regarding deer harvest ranged widely, from significant increases in some locations to declines in others, potentially a result of concentration of deer around the excellent mast crops available this fall.
DNRE biologists estimate the harvest compared to 2009 was unchanged to up perhaps as much as 10 percent in both the Upper Peninsula and the Southern Lower Peninsula and down 5 to 15 percent in the Northern Lower Peninsula. Deer from throughout the state were reported to be in good condition, as indicated by improvements in antler development in all regions compared to last year.
As expected, with the mild conditions experienced in the winter of 2009-2010, deer numbers in both northern regions look to be recovering from the effects of prior winters. But hunter numbers appeared down – particularly on public land statewide – likely due to the opening day of the firearm season falling on a Monday this year.
“Most deer hunters support maintaining the traditional season dates of Nov. 15 through 30, but we consistently see a drop in hunter numbers in those years that the season opens on a Monday,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “This may need to be a topic for discussion as we move to form Regional Deer Advisory Teams and engage our conservation partners to discuss long-range management goals.”
“Antlerless quotas were set the same or lower in the Upper Peninsula and western portion of the Northern Lower Peninsula, but we emphasized the need for hunters to take does in the eastern portion of the Northern Lower Peninsula and much of the Southern Lower Peninsula,” said DNRE Deer Program Leader Brent Rudolph. “Efforts to control bovine tuberculosis in deer continue in the Northeastern Lower Peninsula. Although deer numbers appear stable over the last few years in much of the Southern Lower Peninsula, they’re still higher than we’d like to see in many places.”
Rudolph emphasized that the preliminary estimates will be replaced by final figures of harvest and participation generated by the annual mail survey completed once all deer seasons are concluded. Preliminary estimates last year suggested a decline of 10 to 20 percent from the prior season harvest, and the final mail survey results reflected a drop of 19.8 percent in the firearm kill.
For more information about hunting opportunities in Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/hunting or for additional information about deer go to www.michigan.gov/deer.
Posted in Outdoors