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Tag Archive | "DNR"

Deer check stations


The Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials remind hunters that the DNR would like to check as many deer as possible during all the deer seasons to continue gathering critical data of Michigan’s deer herd. The data is important for monitoring the herd’s health and determining population size.
During all deer seasons, deer can be checked at DNR Operation Service Centers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday (except state holidays). Other check stations are only open on specific days. For more details, see the list of deer check stations for 2011 on the DNR website at Michigan.gov/dnr. Click on “hunting and trapping” and then “deer check stations.”
The last day to check your deer will be Jan. 6, 2012. The DNR will test any deer that is identified as “suspect” for chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine tuberculosis (TB). The DNR will also collect samples of deer from areas where disease concerns have been identified, which include the five counties in the Northeastern Lower Peninsula within the TB area, as well as Iosco, Shiawassee, Cheboygan, and Emmet counties.

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New regulations for fur harvesters


The Department of Natural Resources reminds fur harvesters that new regulations are in effect for all species that require registration this season.
Trapping season begins Oct. 15 with the opening of fox and coyote season statewide and raccoon and badger seasons in northern Michigan (Zones 1 and 2).  Seasons for species with mandatory registration kick off with otter season in the Upper Peninsula beginning Oct. 25.
Fur harvesters are required to submit entire skulls from marten, fisher, bobcat and otter when presenting pelts to the DNR for registration and sealing.
Skulls will be used for aging to help the DNR with population modeling and management policies. Skulls will not be returned to fur harvesters. The required submission of skulls standardizes data collection among all furbearer species that require registration.
In previous years, the DNR only collected the skull from fisher and a tooth from marten and bobcats when they were registered. Submission of otter skulls or teeth was not required.
Pelts that have been registered and sealed will be released to fur takers immediately.
“The data we collect will help us better understand population dynamics of these species and will enable us to make appropriate harvest regulations,” said DNR furbearer specialist Adam Bump. “We appreciate the hunters’ and trappers’ cooperation with this effort.”
For more information on furbearer registration and harvest seasons for these species, please see check the 2011-2012 Hunting and Trapping Digest or visit www.michigan.gov/hunting.

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DNR confirms presence of cougar in Houghton County


The Department of Natural Resources today confirmed the presence of a cougar in northern Houghton County, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The animal was captured on a trail camera on Sept. 24, walking directly toward the front of the camera and clearly showing it has a radio collar.
DNR Wildlife Division staff visited the property Sept. 26 where the trail cam is mounted and verified the location of the camera. The property owner wishes to remain anonymous.
“This is almost certainly the same cat as was confirmed in Ontonogan County on Sept. 8,” said Adam Bump, a wildlife biologist with the DNR’s Cougar Team. “What is also interesting is that the Wisconsin DNR earlier verified two trail camera pictures of this cat as it passed through Wisconsin on its way to the UP.”
The DNR is still in the process of tracking down where the cougar is from and has been checking frequencies from collars of cats from South Dakota. Only western states currently have cougars collared for research projects, so the animal likely traveled a great distance to reach the Upper Peninsula.
The Department will inform the public as soon as more details are known about this cougar.
Cougars, also known as mountain lions, originally were native to Michigan but were thought to have been extirpated around the turn of the last century. The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed near Newberry in 1906. However, sightings are regularly reported and although verification is often difficult, the DNR has verified sets of cougar tracks and confirmed the location of a cougar photo in the eastern Upper Peninsula in 2009 and several sets of cougar tracks in Marquette and Delta counties in 2008.
Established cougar populations are found as close to Michigan as North and South Dakota, and transient cougars dispersing from these areas have been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of new territory. Characteristic evidence of cougars include tracks, which are about three inches long by three and a half inches wide and typically show no claw marks, or suspicious kill sites, such as deer carcasses that are largely intact and have been buried with sticks and debris.
Reports of cougar tracks and other evidence should be made to a local DNR office or by calling the department’s 24-hour Report All Poaching line at 800-292-7800. If a citizen comes into contact with a cougar, the following behavior is recommended:
- Stop, stand tall, pick up small children and do not run. A cougar’s instinct is to chase.
- Do not approach the animal.
- Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
- If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
- If a cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Do not play dead. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.

Cougars are classified as an endangered species in Michigan. It is unlawful to kill, harass or otherwise harm a cougar except in the immediate defense of human life. If you see a cougar, call your local DNR office to report it or report it on their website. To learn more about cougars and how to identify their tracks, go to www.michigan.gov/cougars.

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Hunters using ORVs with orange flags are disabled


The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that persons using off-road vehicles that display an orange flag are hunters with disabilities and are allowed to have their ORVs operating in an area open to hunting.
According to state law, persons who meet certain criteria are permitted to operate licensed ATVs/ORVs on forest roads that are open to public vehicular travel on state lands, including those not posted open to ORVs. Privileges do not extend to cross-country travel, nor to areas, trails and roads specifically posted closed to vehicle or ORV use. Privileges also do not extend to the operation of an ORV within state game, wildlife, or research areas, federal forest lands, state parks, state recreation areas or Michigan trailways.
The law is intended to prevent misunderstandings between sportsmen and sportswomen that might arise when confronted with an ORV operating in an area open to hunting.  It is important for hunters to understand that under certain circumstances, ORV use is permitted, said Lt. Andrew Turner of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division.
Turner said the law simply allows hunters with disabilities to display an orange flag if they so choose. The law does not require a flag, and there are no size or height requirements in the law for the flag. The DNR chose orange for the flag color because orange flags are readily available, highly visible, inexpensive and commonly used for safety purposes.
For more information on hunting opportunities in Michigan, visit the DNR’s Hunting website at www.michigan.gov/hunting.

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DNR confirms cougar in UP


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed last week the presence of a cougar in Ontonagon County, on the far western side of the Upper Peninsula. The animal was captured on a trail camera on private property on Sept. 8, walking directly toward the front of the camera and clearly showing it has an ear tag and a radio collar.
DNR Wildlife Division staff visited the property Sept. 12 where the trail cam is mounted and verified the location of the camera.
“We are pleased that the individuals that caught this animal on video reported it promptly to the DNR and allowed us to verify the location of the camera,” said Adam Bump, a wildlife biologist with the DNR’s Cougar Team. “It is a very interesting sighting given the fact that the cougar has been radio-collared and ear-tagged.”
The DNR is in the process of tracking down where the cougar is from, and is contacting other states with known cougar populations. Only western states currently have cougars collared for research projects, so it is possible that the animal traveled a great distance to reach the Upper Peninsula.
The Department will inform the public as soon as more details are known about this cougar.
Cougars, also known as mountain lions, originally were native to Michigan but were thought to have been extirpated around the turn of the last century.The last known wild cougar taken in Michigan was killed near Newberry in 1906. However, sightings are regularly reported and although verification is often difficult, the DNR has verified two sets of cougar tracks and confirmed the location of a cougar photo in the eastern Upper Peninsula in 2009 and several sets of cougar tracks in Marquette and Delta counties in 2008.
Established cougar populations are found as close to Michigan as North and South Dakota, and transient cougars dispersing from these areas have been known to travel hundreds of miles in search of new territory. Characteristic evidence of cougars include tracks, which are about three inches long by three and a half inches wide and typically show no claw marks, or suspicious kill sites, such as deer carcasses that are largely intact and have been buried with sticks and debris.
Reports of cougar tracks and other evidence should be made to a local DNR office or by calling the department’s 24-hour Report All Poaching line at 800-292-7800. If a citizen comes into contact with a cougar, the following behavior is recommended:
- Stop, stand tall, pick up small children and do not run. A cougar’s instinct is to chase.
- Do not approach the animal.
- Try to appear larger than the cougar. Never take your eyes off the animal or turn your back. Do not crouch down or try to hide.
- If the animal displays aggressive behavior, shout, wave your arms and throw rocks. The idea is to convince the cougar that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
- If a cougar attacks, fight back aggressively and try to stay on your feet. Do not play dead. Cougars have been driven away by people who have fought back.
Cougars are classified as an endangered species in Michigan. It is unlawful to kill, harass or otherwise harm a cougar except in the immediate defense of human life. To learn more about cougars and how to identify their tracks, go www.michigan.gov/cougars.

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Special deer hunts on tap for youths, disabled veterans


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.

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Bear hunter injured by black bear


A 49-year-old bear hunter from Shepherd, Mich., was injured Sunday night (Sept. 11) when he was attacked in his tree stand by a female black bear in Mackinac County, west of the village of Trout Lake, the Department of Natural Resources reported today.
The hunter sustained non-life threatening lacerations to his legs and was transported to a local hospital by a member of his hunting party.
According to initial reports, the hunter was seated approximately 10 to 12 feet above the ground in a tree stand when a female bear and three cubs approached. The sow climbed up the tree and clawed at the hunter and he attempted to kick her to fend off the attack. The bear retreated momentarily, and then returned up the tree to again claw at the hunter. At that point, he was able to shoot the bear with his rifle as it was attacking him.
Investigation of the incident is ongoing by the DNR and Michigan State Police.
The black bear is the only bear species native to Michigan, with approximately 90 percent of the bear population living in the Upper Peninsula. Black bears are shy by nature, and have a fear of humans. However, a perceived threat to cubs can provoke a mother bear to attack on occasion.
For more information on bears in Michigan, including how to prevent problems between bears and humans, go to www.michigan.gov/bear.

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DNR urban and community forestry grants now available


Grant applications for community forestry activities are available from the DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry (UCF) Program. These grants are funded through the USDA Forest Service, State, and Private Forestry Program.

“Trees provide many benefits to communities, including shade, oxygen, and beautifully landscaped streets,” said Kevin Sayers, DNR UCF program coordinator.  “These grants will help enhance the livability of our communities through tree planting and improve the management of our valuable natural resources.”

Local units of government, nonprofit organizations, and schools are eligible to apply.  All projects must be performed on non-federal public land or land open to the public.  Community forestry projects considered for funding include:

• community tree management and planning activities
• training and education activities
• purchase of trees, and
• Arbor Day celebrations

Grant applications must be received by Sept. 16, 2011, to be given funding consideration for this grant cycle.  Projects must be completed by Sept. 1, 2012.

This year up to $100,000 may be awarded statewide for approved projects.  All grants require a one-to-one match of funds.  The match may be made up of cash contributions or in-kind services, but may not include federal funds. Depending on the category, grants up to $20,000 may be requested.

For a grant application or more information, visit the DNR website at http://www.mi.gov/ucf or contact Kevin Sayers at 517-241-4632, via email at sayersk@mi.gov, or in writing at DNR, Forest Management Division, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952.

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DNR director rescinds order to close 23 state forest campgrounds


Department of Natural Resources Director Rodney Stokes withdrew an order to close 23 state forest campgrounds this summer at Thursday’s Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.
Stokes said he wanted to give the Department more time to work with local units of government on lease agreements, and he called on the Department to review the entire state forest campground system for possible local partnerships and interdepartmental agreements to operate state forest campgrounds.
The DNR announced the first lease agreement with a local unit of government earlier in the week, turning over operation of the McCollum Lake State Forest Campground in Oscoda County to Clinton Township. Talks continue with other local units of government on some of the campgrounds that were slated for closure, Stokes said.
The DNR Parks and Recreation Division will assume management of Lime Island State Forest Campground, and will conduct a pilot project with the DNR Forest Management Division to co-manage the Munuscong River State Forest Campground in Chippewa County.
The DNR will continue to operate the remaining campgrounds this year, Stokes said. He has asked Forest Management Division to develop a comprehensive cost estimate for operating the campgrounds slated for closure.

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DNR halts target shooting in state game area


This bullet hole in a child’s bedroom wall is just one of several incidents of bullets hitting homes in the Saddle Ridge community in Algoma Township. This bullet hole in a child’s bedroom wall is just one of several incidents of bullets hitting homes in the Saddle Ridge community in Algoma Township.

Several incidents of stray bullets striking homes and whizzing past kids and parents in a residential neighborhood in Algoma Township has caused the Department of Natural Resources to close target shooting in the Rogue River State Game Area Extension.
Effective immediately, target, skeet and trap shooting at the Rogue River State Game Area Extension will be prohibited. However, lawful hunting will continue to be allowed in the state game area.
The order was signed by DNR Director Rodney Stokes May 5.
“It is always unfortunate when we have to close an area to certain activities,” said DNR Director Stokes. “However, the careless and illegal shooting at the Extension is a serious public safety risk that we must address.”
The order is in response to a growing number of complaints from residents who live in the Saddle Ridge subdivision near the Extension about careless or illegal shooting dating back to 2004.
The Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigated at least three recent incidents of bullets striking homes and a light pole in the Saddle Ridge neighborhood, which is located a half mile to the west of the Rogue River Extension nature area, located east of Algoma Avenue and north of Fonger Road.
Bullets penetrated a home exterior and bedroom in the 9700 block of Sunset Ridge on April 10, and during a canvass of the area by Kent County Policing officer Tonya Walkons and DNR officers found another home which had also been struck. In that case the bullet passed close to a little girl’s bed and stopped in a bathroom. Two other homes had also been struck by bullets.
It was determined that three Rockford area men had fired the bullets from an AK-47 rifle and a .30 X .30 caliber rifle while target shooting at the Rogue River Extension Area, located one half mile from the damaged homes.  They have been cited for misdemeanor Reckless Discharge of a Firearm.

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