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Tag Archive | "hunting"

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Women’s Shooting Discovery Day Sept. 29

The Department of Natural Resources will offer an opportunity for women to explore different types of shooting all in one day at the Women’s Shooting Discovery Day in Sparta on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Part of the DNR’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, the class will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sparta Hunting & Fishing Club. This shooting clinic, for beginners as well as those who would like to sharpen their shooting skills, will provide certified, one-on-one instruction for archery, handgun shooting and trap shooting (shotgun).

The day will begin with a range safety orientation, and the class will then break up into three rotation groups, where each participant will have the opportunity to learn and practice each of the shooting activities throughout the day. All shooting activities will take place outdoors.

Cost is $50 per person and includes lunch, served by the Sparta Hunting & Fishing Club membership, as well as all equipment, eye and ear protection and ammunition. The Sparta Hunting & Fishing Club is located at 13218 Long Lake Drive in Sparta. For more information about the club, visit www.spartahuntingandfishingclub.com. 
For registration forms and information on this and other BOW events, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, email dnr-outdoors-woman@michigan.gov or call 517-241-2225.

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman helps women learn about and enjoy hunting, fishing, backpacking, shooting sports, canoeing and many other outdoor recreation activities. BOW specializes in beginners, but also offers a variety of programs that support a mix of skill levels. BOW is a noncompetitive program, designed to let each individual learn and gain confidence at her own pace. The program emphasizes the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, while sharing in one another’s success. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/bow.

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Teen gets first deer

Austin M. Coalter, 11, shot his first deer, a 6-point buck on Nov. 16, 2011, while hunting with his uncle Keith Coalter, just north of Cedar Springs. He was shooting a Ruger 270 cal. rifle and the deer was about 120 yards out. His family is very proud of him. Congrats, Austin!

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Teen bow hunter gets his buck

Michael Smith Jr., 15, the son of Mike and Betty Smith, shot this nice 8-point buck with his bow on Nov. 5. He was hunting behind his house in Solon Township. He is a freshman at Cedar Springs High School. Congratulations Michael!

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Ten-year-old gets deer

Trey Lewis, 10, the son of Jake and Amy Lewis, of Solon Township, went hunting on opening day evening on his family’s property, near 22 Mile and Trenton, with his Uncle Bill Woudwyk, and got this 8-point buck his first time out.
Congratulations, Trey!

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Firearm deer season underway

The 2011 firearm deer season opened Tuesday, Nov. 15, and impressions regarding deer observations, hunting activity, and check station operations from the first few days of the season have been compiled by the Department of Natural Resources. Overall, hunting activity started slow but appeared to increase later in the week and over the weekend. Deer condition throughout the state has been reported as good to excellent. The following are the early impressions summarized on a regional basis:
 Upper Peninsula: Hunter numbers across the region appear the same or lower than during the early days of the 2010 firearm season. Most hunters are reporting seeing more deer than last year, and that deer are in good condition. The excellent conditions of deer at check stations supports hunter observations. Initially slow activity at check stations picked up near the end of last week to now include similar or increased numbers of deer checked compared to last year.
Northern Lower Peninsula: Hunting activity last week was reported as fairly light compared to previous years. The northeast portion of the region noted an increase in number of deer checked, but the western and southern portions have noted similar to fewer deer brought in compared to last year. Early reports on weekend check station activity suggest check station and harvest numbers may now have caught up to or exceeded numbers from last year. Deer condition has been described as very good with several exceptional bucks observed at a number of check stations around the region.
Southern Michigan: About 71 percent of corn was picked by opening day, which matches the five-year average but was less than last year, when 97 percent was picked. Hunting activity varied somewhat around the region, but appeared the same or lower than last year; shots heard were consistently lower than last year throughout the region over the first few days of the season. Fewer deer have been checked compared to last year, but deer are in good condition. Some check stations noted an increase in 3-½ and even 4-½ year-old bucks compared to recent years.
Each year, DNR Wildlife Division staff working at check stations around the state submit their impressions and a summary of comments provided by hunters from the first few days of the firearm season. These impressions provide an early view of how the firearm season is faring. Deer populations in both northern regions have come through two relatively mild winters in a row, on the heels of two relatively severe winters of 2007 and 2008. Deer numbers appear to be recovering, but more notable is the good to excellent condition being observed by hunters and confirmed by data collected at check stations. License sales through opening day were about 2.5 percent lower than in 2010, which supports the observations of generally lighter hunting pressure in most areas of the state.
Firearm deer season continues through Nov. 30, with archery season resuming Dec. 1.
For more information about deer hunting opportunities in Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/deer. Updated field observations and check station summaries will be posted on the collaborative DNR Wildlife Division and Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife website at www.deer.fw.msu.edu.

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Waterfowl season dates for 2011-12

Michigan duck hunters will again enjoy a 60-day season this year as the Natural Resources Commission approved upcoming waterfowl seasons at its August meeting last week.
Duck season will begin Sept. 24 in the North Zone (Upper Peninsula) and run through Nov. 18, then re-open Nov. 24-27. In the Middle Zone, duck season is set for Oct. 1–Nov. 27 and Dec. 3-4. In the South Zone, the season is Oct. 8–Dec. 4 and Dec. 10-11.
Bag limits are unchanged from last year. Hunters may take up to six ducks daily with no more than four mallards (no more than one of which may be a hen), three wood ducks, two redheads, two scaup, two pintails, one canvasback and one black duck.
The early Canada goose hunting season begins statewide Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 10 in the North Zone and in Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron counties; and through Sept. 15 in the rest of the state. The daily bag limit is five.
The regular Canada goose seasons, with the exception of designated goose management units (GMU), are Sept. 17-Oct. 31 in the North Zone; Oct. 1-Nov. 8, Nov. 24-27 and Dec. 3-4 in the Middle Zone; and Oct. 8-Nov. 10 and Nov. 24–Dec. 4 in the south zone. The daily bag limit is two.
At Muskegon Waste Water GMU, the seasons are Oct. 11–Nov. 13 and Dec. 1-11. The daily bag limit is two.
Hunters may take 20 snow, blue or Ross’ geese daily and one white-fronted goose and one brant during the regular and late seasons in respective zones or GMUs.
About 75 percent of Michigan’s mallard harvest is from ducks produced in the Great Lakes region. Michigan’s mallard population was down 34 percent this year from 2010 and 40 percent below the long-term average. Therefore despite very good predictions for continental fall duck flights, Michigan duck hunters will likely encounter fewer ducks, especially mallards, this season.
In general, goose hunters are likely to see smaller numbers of Canada geese throughout Michigan’s goose hunting seasons; however some local areas have good giant Canada goose numbers and will provide excellent opportunity.
For more information on waterfowl hunting in Michigan, go to http://www.michigan.gov/hunting and click on Waterfowl.

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Turkey hunting workshops for women in January

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is offering turkey hunting workshops in January in cooperation with Gander Mountain. These workshops are part of the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program.
BOW is a noncompetitive program in which each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace. The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, and sharing in the success of one another.
In each two-hour workshop, instructors will provide participants will all of the information needed to begin turkey hunting. The workshops include season rules and regulations, habitat, scouting, patterning, hunting technique and will cover different types of equipment needed for a successful hunt.
Participants must pre-register for this workshop as space is limited. Young hunters ages 10 and older are welcome when accompanied by an adult. The cost per person is $10 and includes all workshop materials, including a turkey call.
Workshop dates are:
*Saturday, Jan. 15, from 1-3 p.m. at Gander Mountain, 2890 Acquest Avenue, SE,
Grand Rapids, MI 49512. Registration deadline Jan. 12.
*Wednesday, Jan. 19, from 6-8:30 p.m. at Gander Mountain, 430 N. Marketplace, Lansing, MI  48917. Registration deadline Jan. 17.
For registration forms and information on this and other BOW programs, visit www.michigan.gov/bow, call 517-241-2225 or email dnr-outdoors-woman@michigan.gov.

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Early Canada goose season opens sept. 1

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment reminds hunters that the early Canada goose hunting season opens statewide Wednesday, Sept. 1.

Early goose season, designed to target resident giant Canada geese, runs through Sept. 10 in the Upper Peninsula and in Huron, Tuscola and Saginaw counties, and through Sept. 15 elsewhere in Michigan.

Prospects for the upcoming goose season are excellent; the resident Canada goose population is estimated at 300,000 birds, the second highest population ever recorded. Hunters may take five Canada geese daily during the early season.

Wildlife officials remind hunters that a number of Canada geese in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties within the Kalamazoo River watershed were covered with crude oil following the Enbridge pipeline rupture in late July. Hunters who observe oil-covered geese or other oiled wildlife should report them to 800-306-6837, the Enbridge wildlife response hotline.

Geese that were rescued, cleaned and released sport double leg bands, one of which reads: “Oil Spill Bird Contact Michigan DNRE 1-517-336-5030.”  Hunters who harvest the birds can call the phone number to get more information. The Michigan Department of Community Health suggests that adverse health effects from consuming these birds are unlikely.

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Muzzleloader season opens

The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that muzzleloading deer season opens Friday, Dec. 4, in Zone 1 (the Upper Peninsula) and Zone 3 (southern Michigan).

The season runs for 10 days in Zone 1 and 17 days in Zone 3. Firearms licenses, combination licenses and antlerless-only licenses are valid throughout muzzleloading season. Hunters may use archery gear or crossbows during muzzleloading season.

Muzzleloader season opens Dec. 11 in Zone 2 (northern Lower Peninsula) and runs for 10 days.

“With the unseasonably warm weather during much of the firearms season and with more standing corn than is typical for this time of year, there may be a lot of deer out there that haven’t shown themselves to hunters yet,” said DNR deer research specialist Brent


“We’d like to remind hunters that this is an excellent opportunity to fill any unused antlerless deer tags and we’d particularly encourage hunters in southern Michigan to do so.”

Hunters are also reminded that archery deer season is open Dec.1- Jan. 1. Deer hunters may not use crossbows, except in Zone 3, unless there is a firearm deer season open.

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2009 Michigan Deer hunting prospects

The statewide forecast


The most notable change in deer hunting regulations for 2009 is the new crossbow regulations that will be in effect. Crossbows are now legal to use:

• During any season in which a firearm may be used, for both big and small game statewide.
• By anyone 50 years of age or older during the Oct. 1-Nov. 14 bow hunting deer season statewide.
• By any hunter age 12 and older during the bow hunting season in Zone 3.

A free crossbow stamp, available from all license agents or online at www.michigan.gov/dnr, is required in addition to a valid hunting license.

Another change that hunters should keep in mind is the reduced number and reduced dates and times of operation of Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staffed deer check stations. This reduction is the result of reduced staffing and budget shortfalls being experienced by the DNR. A list of DNR deer check stations, hours, and telephone numbers may be found online at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Hunters also are reminded that changes to several deer management units (DMUs) have been made for 2009. Deer management units 486 (all of Zone 3 except Kent, St. Clair, Macomb, Wayne and Monroe counties) and 487 (the six county bovine tuberculosis (TB) area—Presque Isle, Montmorency, Alpena, Oscoda, Alcona and Iosco counties) were created to provide additional flexibility for antlerless deer hunters. Also, two DMUs were each split into two smaller DMUs (049 becomes 249 and 349 and 062 becomes 162 and 262) to allow deer management to be more specifically applied.

The DNR also would like to remind hunters of changes that occurred last year that remain in effect for 2009. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), an always fatal neurological disease of deer and elk, was confirmed in a privately owned cervid (deer) facility in Kent County in August 2008. In 2002, the DNR adopted the Michigan Surveillance and Response Plan for Chronic Wasting Disease of Free-Ranging and Privately Owned Cervids. The CWD Plan requires a ban on all feeding and baiting of cervids within the peninsula where CWD is documented. This baiting ban is a prudent measure to help prevent the potential spread of CWD. The DNR is doing surveillance for CWD in Kent County. All deer harvested in the nine-township CWD surveillance area must be taken to a DNR check station and submitted for testing. Deer carcasses may only be removed from the CWD surveillance zone after receipt of a negative CWD test. Another change that hunters should remember is that beginning in 2008 new Upper Peninsula (UP) “hunter’s choice buck tag” regulations were established. This regulation was presented to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) by the UP Whitetails Association of Marquette County. Hunters must decide, before purchasing their deer license, if they wish the opportunity to take one or two antlered deer. Those wishing the opportunity to shoot two bucks must purchase a combination license. Both bucks have antler point restrictions. One buck must have one antler with at least 3 antler points; the other buck must have one antler with at least 4 antler points. Those choosing to purchase both a firearm deer license and an archery deer license are limited to taking only one buck all seasons combined. See the 2009 Hunting and Trapping Guide for additional information on the regulation. This regulation only pertains to those hunting in the UP.

Deer are not evenly distributed across the state. Every year hunters only a few miles apart have very different experiences observing and harvesting deer. Even in the UP, where there are fewer deer, deer hunters should find 2009 very similar to 2008.

Deer hunting prospects by region

Upper Peninsula

Although not as bad as last year, throughout much of the UP, the 2008-2009 winter had a negative impact on the deer herd. Snow depth and severity was sufficient to cause some over-winter mortality. In addition, the winter was severe enough to impact pregnant does. This impact will result in fewer fawns in the UP deer herd this year. With an expected reduction of the deer herd in 2009, fewer antlerless deer licenses are available in the UP this year.

The production of mast (fruit and nuts) in the UP appears to be good this year. The plentiful mast, where available, will help concentrate deer and provide excellent nutrition for the upcoming winter. Hunters targeting these areas should have good success. “The largest bucks (heaviest and largest antlers) typically come from agricultural areas, but nice bucks also are taken from forested areas where access is limited and they have an opportunity to grow older,” said Bob Doepker, Western UP supervisor.

More deer will be found in the Southern UP near Lake Michigan, with fewer in the Northern UP near Lake Superior. “Distribution of deer will not be uniform with agricultural areas having higher deer densities, and public land and heavily forested areas containing fewer deer than the average for these areas,” said Terry Minzey, Eastern UP supervisor. “In general, hunters should expect to see fewer deer in 2009 than they experienced over the last few years in the UP.”

Review the buck hunting regulations put in place last year for the UP before purchasing your deer license.

Northern Lower Peninsula

Remember, baiting is not allowed throughout the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP).

The deer population for the NLP is expected to be similar to the past few years. “Despite a more severe winter this past year, deer came through in good condition. A few fawns were lost, especially on private land providing poor quality wintering habitat. Fawn production appeared to be good this spring although there were some reports of more does with only single fawns,” said Larry Visser, Northwestern Management Unit supervisor. The number of antlerless deer licenses has been increased in some parts of the NLP, while no antlerless permits were available in several counties (Emmet, Cheboygan, Otsego and Roscommon).

Hard mast production is reportedly poor in much of the NLP, although in the east part of the region, acorn production appears to be good in some areas. Wild growing apples appear to be abundant throughout the NLP.

Bovine tuberculosis continues to be a concern in the northeast corner of the NLP. Ongoing TB management efforts require a large sample of deer heads from northeast Michigan to assess the distribution and rate of infection of this disease. “Bovine tuberculosis sampling will be challenging this deer season due to the reduced number of checking stations,” said Tim Reis, Northeastern Management Unit supervisor. “We ask that hunters be patient as limited staff work as quickly as possible to collect biological data.” Slow, but important progress is being made in the effort to control TB in deer and it is important for hunters to continue to observe the ban on baiting and feeding and to harvest at least as many antlerless deer as bucks.

Southern Lower Peninsula

Remember, baiting is not allowed throughout the Southern Lower Peninsula (SLP).

The deer population in southern Michigan is expected to be similar to the past few years. Abundant food and cover in the form of agricultural crops and scattered swamps and woodlots provide very good habitat across the southern Michigan landscape. This high-quality habitat, combined with relatively mild winter conditions, results in an abundant and productive deer population. Deer populations generally are far above DNR goals and fawns generally come in sets of twins and triplets. High numbers of antlerless permits are available again this year with the added flexibility to use private land permits throughout most of the SLP (See the 2009 Hunting and Trapping Guide for information on DMU 486). Hunters are encouraged to harvest antlerless deer, especially on private land to bring populations closer to goal and to help address concerns of excessive crop damage and deer-vehicle collisions. “Landowners and hunters both play a critical role in deer management,” said Sara Schaefer, Southwestern Wildlife Management Unit supervisor. “Working together, we can support responsible antlerless deer harvest and reduce ecological damage, economic losses and social concerns in areas with an overabundant deer herd.”

The amount of corn standing in the SLP always impacts deer hunting. Hunters tend to have the most success when most but not all of the corn is harvested. If half of the corn is still in the field, hunters not having access to corn fields will find fewer deer. If all the corn is picked before Nov. 15, deer change their patterns as they seek other forms of cover and hunters will need to look in swamps and woodlots for deer. “It is anticipated that corn will be harvested later than normal this year, resulting in some large areas of standing corn,” said Rex Ainslie, Saginaw Bay Management Unit supervisor. 2009 DEER SEASON FORECAST

Western Upper Peninsula Management Unit (WUPMU) Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, Iron, Dickinson, Delta, Menominee, Marquette, and west Alger Counties

Bob Doepker: 906-228-6561

The 2008-2009 winter produced average snow totals across most of the southern and eastern portions of the WUPMU. However, snow totals were above average in the northern and western portions of the unit. The combination of early heavy snowfall and extremely cold temperatures (-10 to -20 degrees some nights) stressed the deer herd. Fortunately, weather conditions moderated in the southern areas in late March resulting in an average spring green-up and constraining overwinter losses to that of an average year. However, snow cover persisted in the northern snowbelt areas and deer surviving the winter were observed in poor physical condition. The severity of winter weather is a major factor determining the number, physical development and productivity of deer in the WUPMU.

Deer numbers in the western UP will be lower than last year, especially in the northern portions of the WUPMU. Deer will be most plentiful on the agricultural landscapes of southern Menominee, western Delta, south Marquette, and west Alger counties. Much of this land is privately owned and permission is required to hunt on it. Private land antlerless deer licenses are available in the agricultural DMUs, and they can be purchased at a rate of two per day (limit two per year) until the quota is reached. These antlerless licenses are valid during all seasons with appropriate equipment to match the season.

Extensively forested areas exhibit lower deer densities when compared to agricultural areas. Within the primarily forested areas, deer numbers are highest in east Iron, southern Dickinson and Marquette, north Menominee and west Delta counties. Quotas for public land antlerless deer licenses usually are lower than for private land and tend to sell out more quickly. Generally, deer numbers are lower on primarily forested state, federal, and Commercial Forest Act lands; however, hunter density also will be lower, which some hunters desire.

Hunters likely will observe an average number of fawns and fewer one-and-one-half-year-old bucks this fall. The reduced number of 1.5 year-old bucks is due to the residual impacts of last year’s severe winter. The largest bucks (heaviest and best antlers) typically come from agricultural areas, but nice bucks also are taken from forested areas where access is limited and they have an opportunity to grow older.

Fruit and acorn production is good to excellent across the western UP. The presence of an abundant acorn crop will attract deer to those areas that contain oaks. Advance scouting to locate areas where oak is present will pay dividends to the hunter.

Unit Biologists:

Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon Counties
Bill Scullon, 906-353-6651
Iron and Dickinson Counties
Doug Wagner, 906-875-6622
Delta and Menominee Counties
Craig Albright, 906-786-2351
Marquette and west Alger Counties

Chippewa, east Alger, Luce, Mackinac, and Schoolcraft Counties

Terry Minzey: 906-293-5131

The winter of 2008-2009 was the second severe winter in a row in the eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP). Snow depths in the southern portion of the unit were sufficient to result in a reduction of the yearling-age class for the 2009 deer season. Additionally, the number of fawns observed in 2009 will be reduced from 2008 levels, as a result of the harsh winter conditions.

It is anticipated that the EUP will experience a fall deer population below that of 2008. Distribution of deer will not be uniform with agricultural areas having higher deer densities, and public land and heavily forested areas containing fewer deer than the average for these areas. Likewise, the southern portion of the EUP will have higher deer numbers, with the deer densities decreasing farther north.

The availability of antlerless licenses has been decreased in most areas of the EUP. Deer management unit 049 has been split into DMU 249 (the eastern portion of the old 049) and DMU 349 (the western portion of the old 049). Antlerless permits have been eliminated in DMU 249 and reduced in DMU 349. Deer management unit 121 continues to experience crop damage issues and hunters are encouraged to scout private agricultural lands and check with farmers who may desire fewer deer on their lands.

Fruit and nut production has been fairly good across the EUP. Unfortunately, due to beech bark disease, many private landowners (including the commercial forest lands) have been actively removing beech from their forest. The reduction in hard mast from this activity may well impact deer movements and activity on a local basis.

Unit Biologists:

East Alger, Schoolcraft Counties, and Garden Peninsula:
Kevin Swanson, 906-452-6236
Luce and West Mackinac Counties:
Kristie Sitar, 906-293-5024
Chippewa and East Mackinac Counties:
David Jentoft, 906-635-6161

Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, and Wexford Counties

Larry Visser: 231-775-9727

Deer hunters in the Northwestern Management Unit (NWMU) should expect to see the same or slightly more deer than they saw in 2008. Despite a more severe winter this past year, deer came through in good condition. A few fawns were lost, especially on private land providing poor quality wintering habitat. Fawn production appeared to be good this spring although there were some reports of more does with only single fawns. Deer numbers in the northern counties (Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau) are at goal; and private land antlerless deer licenses were made available in all of these counties in 2009. Leelanau County is in the seventh season of quality deer management regulation. Reduced harvest of younger bucks in Leelanau County for the past several years is resulting in an increased proportion of older bucks.

In the central counties (Manistee, Osceola, Lake, Mason, Missaukee and Wexford), deer populations appear to be at or slightly above goal. Deer numbers are higher on private land than on public land. Some of the best hunting in these counties typically is found where agricultural land and forest land are interspersed.

For the southern counties (Mecosta, Newaygo and Oceana), deer populations are above goal in all areas except northern Newaygo County. In northern Newaygo County the deer population is at goal with more deer near agricultural areas and fewer deer in areas of public land. Newaygo County was split into two DMUs because of differences in land use, productivity and deer numbers. Southern Newaygo also is part of DMU 486 where abundant private land antlerless deer harvest opportunities exist.

The soft mast crop was heavily impacted by drought this summer. Acorn production is spotty. Red, black and pin oaks are producing acorns in some areas. Beech trees have not produced well. The wild apple crop is good to excellent. Antler development appears to be a little below average this year.

Unit Biologists:
Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Manistee Counties:
Rich Earle, 231-922-5280
Lake, Mason, Missaukee, Osceola, and Wexford Counties
Larry Smith, 231-745-4651
Oceana, Newaygo, and Mecosta Counties
Pete Kailing, 231-745-4651

Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Oscoda, Crawford, Emmet, Iosco, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Otsego, Presque Isle, and Roscommon Counties

Tim Reis: 989-732-3541

Deer numbers are down in Antrim, Charlevoix, Emmet and Cheboygan counties because of the hard winter last year. There are no antlerless licenses for much of the public land so we expect less deer to be taken. We should see an even higher proportion of two-and-one-half-year-old and older bucks in the harvest this year. Acorns are good in spots. Deer will be concentrated on food sources; early season scouting is important. New this year is DMU 487, which includes Presque Isle, Montmorency, Alpena, Alcona, Oscoda and Iosco counties. Therefore, a private land antlerless deer license valid for DMUs 001, 004, 035, 060, 068, 071, 135 and 452 in the NEMU is valid for all DMU 487.

Hunters may observe fewer deer but more and larger bucks on public lands in Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle counties. Antlerless deer hunting opportunities remain good 7

across much of the private agricultural lands and in club country. Fewer twin fawns were observed this summer compared to previous years, which may be a reflection of the long winter.

Deer hunting in Crawford, Oscoda and Alcona counties is expected to be no better than last year due to the long, tough winter and what appears to be a poor fawn crop. A greater number of bucks are being observed by field staff this year. Lots of wild apples and scattered acorns will influence the distribution of deer during the hunting season.

The deer population in Roscommon County is expected to be slightly higher this year. The population continues to grow going into the third year of no antlerless harvest on public lands and the second year on private lands. Moderate winter losses were observed after a relatively severe winter, but spring fawn production was very good. The acorn crop is excellent this fall, so hunters should concentrate their efforts where hard mast is abundant. Food plots on public and private lands should be productive with the warm September temperatures this year. In Ogemaw and Iosco counties, the deer population is similar to 2008. Deer are most abundant on private lands in the mixed forested/agricultural areas. Increased antlerless opportunities are available in Iosco County to reduce the population and prevent the spread of bovine TB. Hunters who harvest deer in Iosco County are encouraged to bring their deer to a DNR check station to have it examined for TB.

Ongoing TB management efforts require a large sample of deer heads from northeastern Michigan to assess the distribution and rate of infection of this disease. Bovine tuberculosis sampling will be challenging this deer season due to the reduced number of check stations. We ask that hunters be patient as limited staff will be working as quickly as possible to collect biological data. Hunters can help with this effort by knowing the Township, Range and Section (example: T28N, R8E, Sec.12) of the harvest location before coming to the check station. Buck hunters also can help by removing the antlers from their deer. However, it is important that antlers remain with the appropriate deer when registering these animals.

Very few elk are accidentally shot by deer hunters; however, those individuals deer hunting in elk range in Montmorency, Otsego, Cheboygan and southwest Presque Isle counties are reminded to be careful and avoid the unintended shooting of an elk.

Unit Biologists:
Alcona, Crawford, and Oscoda Counties:
Elaine Carlson, 989-826-3211 ext. 7030
Alpena, Montmorency, and Presque Isle Counties:
Jennifer Kleitch, 989-785-4251 ext. 5230
Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, and Otsego Counties:
Brian Mastenbrook, 989-732-3541 ext. 5430
Iosco, Ogemaw, and Roscommon Counties:
Mark Boersen, 989-275-5151 ext. 2730 8

Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Huron, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, and Tuscola Counties

Rex Ainslie: 989-684-9141

Hunters should expect a similar season in the Saginaw Bay Management Unit (SBMU), as experienced in 2008.

Deer populations remain at or above goal in the entire unit; and greatly exceed desired population levels in all agricultural areas. The distribution of deer is noticeably different on public and private lands, with greater numbers of deer observed on private land, particularly in agricultural areas.

Fawn sightings are reported to be average across the management unit. Based on the deer checked from the Youth Hunt this year, all indications suggest the 2009 hunting opportunities should be as good if not better than a year ago.

Timeliness of the agricultural harvest impacts deer hunting in the SBMU. Hunter success is best during years when most of the corn is harvested before the opening day of the firearm season. It is anticipated that corn will be harvested later this year, resulting in some large areas of standing corn. Although deer will still concentrate on brushy and forested cover types, the additional standing corn will provide more hiding cover and make hunting more challenging.

Acorn production appears average with a very scattered beechnut crop, and soft mast production is observed to be excellent, most notably apples.

Antlerless deer license quotas remain similar to last year. To help reduce impacts to crops, the entire portion of the management unit within the south zone has early and late antlerless deer seasons.

Deer hunters are urged to visit a check station to assist with disease surveillance and data collection vital to the successful management of local deer herds. Hunters wishing to check deer at Bay City are reminded the office has moved next to the Bay City State Recreation Area at 3580 State Park Drive, Bay City, MI 48706.

Deer hunting opportunities exist on the many wetlands and managed waterfowl areas in the SBMU; however, they may be limited during the waterfowl hunting season. Deer hunting is by permit only on the following managed waterfowl areas: Nayanquing Point, Fish Point and the Shiawassee River State Game Area, as well as the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Hunters are encouraged to call ahead for specific details concerning deer hunting on these and other wetland areas.

Unit Biologists:
Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Midland, and Arenac counties:
Richard Shellenbarger, 989-426-9205 ext. 7630
Bay and Saginaw counties Wetlands/Waterfowl Areas:
Brian Piccolo, St. Charles, 989-865-6211
Huron, Tuscola, and Sanilac counties:
Arnie Karr, 989-872-5300 9

Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Monroe counties

Tim Payne: 248-359-9040

Throughout the management unit, deer are in good physical condition with good fawning rates being observed. This year soft and hard mast crops appear to be good throughout the area.

The habitat of the management unit is diverse. Agriculture with scattered woodlots and wetlands, predominates in the outer areas of Monroe, St. Clair, Lapeer and Genesee counties, with the Tri-County and Flint areas being heavily developed. Between these areas, in and around suburbs, are pockets of habitat where deer do survive, which can provide hunting opportunities if you can get access to the land. Although most of these areas are not open to firearm hunting, there are some areas that allow archery hunting. It also is where archery hunting is an important tool for taking deer in helping to control deer numbers. It is difficult to get access to these private lands and it takes a while for hunters to cultivate a relationship with the landowner to get it. New this year is DMU 486; this DMU includes all counties in the SEMU. Therefore, a private land antlerless deer license valid for any DMU in the SEMU is valid for all DMUs in the SEMU and valid for most DMUs in Zone 3.

Hunters are reminded that many of the more urban southeastern communities have various forms of firearm closures. Hunters should contact their local units of governments for questions dealing with these closures. Hunters should be especially careful in hunting these more urban areas and be thinking safety at all times. Always respect the property rights of others to ensure future hunting privileges for you and others. Do not trespass on lands of another without their permission. Hunting is still the most efficient method for controlling deer numbers and is an essential method for managing the population in southeast Michigan.

Oakland, Lapeer, and Genesee Counties:

Deer hunting should be good in Oakland, Lapeer, and Genesee counties. Weather can play a big role in actual harvest since it affects crop harvest and hunting conditions. Overall, deer numbers are similar to last year. Crop damage complaints are up in Genesee and Lapeer counties, but this may be more of an indication of economy than increase in actual deer damage.
Lapeer County offers great deer hunting opportunity. Deer numbers are high, and the Lapeer State Game Area offers great public land deer hunting opportunity for those that don’t have access to private land. There is no public land in Genesee County, but those with access to private land should see lots of deer. Oakland County has a mix of public and private lands, with highest populations on private land. Highest deer numbers are in the northern and western townships.

Macomb and St. Clair Counties:

Even though the spring was somewhat cool, it did not appear to impact productivity; expect a good fawn crop in 2009. The wetter and cooler summer impacted the soybean crop, but the corn crop is expected to be good. Natural foods, i.e., hard mast and fruits, appear to be plentiful this year. Expect deer to be in good condition heading into the 2009 season. Early fall conditions are dry, so expect the harvest of the fall crops to be early.
Macomb County is primarily private land hunting with the six northern townships providing hunters with the best opportunities to see and harvest deer. To access private lands, hunters will have to spend a great deal of time making the proper contacts and checking local ordinances. Overall deer numbers in Macomb County are up from 2008, with some localized higher and lower density areas. Expect a good buck harvest in this county.
Overall the highest deer densities in St. Clair County are in the northern half of the county. Deer numbers in northern St. Clair County continue to increase and are expected to be a little improved over 2008, with some localized spots with higher and lower deer densities. The southern half of the county also will have deer numbers similar to slightly improved over 2008; however, some localized areas are expected to have slightly lower numbers. Buck harvest will not meet or exceed the 2008 harvest. The Port Huron State Game Area and the St. Clair Flats Wildlife Area (Harsens Island) support good deer numbers and should provide hunters with good public hunting opportunities.

Monroe and Wayne Counties:

As a result of liberal antlerless regulations, the deer population in Monroe County has been at population goal for the past several years.

There are limited state lands in Wayne County, so most deer hunting efforts will take place on private lands. The highest deer population exists in the southwestern portion of Wayne County. Deer population levels in Wayne County are similar to last year.

For Monroe County the expected buck and antlerless harvest should be more than the 2008 season; however, local crop harvest, hunter pressure and weather may influence hunting conditions and overall harvest rates.

Unit Biologists:
Oakland, Lapeer, and Genesee Counties
Julie Oakes, 248-328-8113
Macomb and St. Clair Counties
Ernie Kafcas, 586-465-7214
Monroe and Wayne Counties
Joe Robison, 734-379-9692 11
Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston,
Montcalm, Shiawassee, and Washtenaw counties
David Dominic: 517-641-4903
The South Central Management Unit (SCMU)

Deer Season Prospects for Eaton, Ionia, and Montcalm Counties:

The projected deer populations are well above goal for all three DMUs. It appears that populations in Eaton, Ionia and Montcalm counties are stabilizing and the harvest of both antlered and antlerless deer should be similar to 2008.

Deer Season Prospects for Clinton, Gratiot, Ingham, Livingston, and Shiawassee Counties:

Deer harvest should be similar to last year in these counties or increase due to a slightly larger population. However, local crop harvest, hunter pressure and weather may influence hunting conditions and overall harvest rates. Corn harvest may be later this year due to a cooler growing season. This could affect deer harvest as standing corn provides escape cover for deer.
Deer Season Prospects for Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, and Washtenaw Counties:

Deer numbers are still above the goal for these areas and complaints of crop damage caused by deer have increased in 2009 from previous years. Although complaints of deer damage have increased, the population itself does not appear to be significantly increasing, with numbers remaining at approximately the same levels as recent years. The trend for deer-vehicle accidents in the area coincides with this population trend.

Antlerless and buck harvest in 2009 for these counties is expected to be similar to last year’s harvest. Hunters are encouraged to take more antlerless deer in these counties; the late firearm season will give hunters the opportunity to harvest additional antlerless deer. Hunters also are encouraged to inquire about hunting privately owned cropland, where damage has been reaching intolerable levels. In an effort to assist farmers in alleviating crop damage, it is recommended that hunters asking for permission to hunt private property offer to take at least one antlerless deer before taking a buck.

Unit Biologists:
Eaton, Ionia, and Montcalm Counties:
John Niewoonder, 616-794-2658
Clinton, Gratiot, Ingham, Livingston, and Shiawassee Counties:
Dan Kennedy, 517-641-4903
Jackson, Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Washtenaw Counties:
Kristin Bissell, 517-522-4097

Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, St. Joseph, and Van Buren Counties

Sara Schaefer: 269-685-6851

Deer populations remain generally stable in the unit, but most counties have deer populations above established goals. Deer numbers continue to be very high in Barry, Calhoun and Kent counties, especially on private lands. Deer are becoming increasingly numerous in suburban and residential habitat areas throughout southwestern Michigan. Legal deer hunting is an important aspect of deer management in these areas.

Crop harvest started in September and is on schedule this year in most of the southwest. Acorn and soft mast production appears to be variable to below average heading into the fall season, due in part to cool conditions during the summer. As a result, deer may be found in pockets associated with food sources. Deer should continue to be in excellent physical condition.

Antlerless deer licenses are allocated by quotas in all the southwest DMUs, and all units have private land antlerless deer licenses. Hunters may purchase up to five private land antlerless licenses for the season. Hunters are reminded that all counties in the Southwestern Management Unit are open for the late firearm antlerless season, and are urged to take advantage of private land hunting opportunities in these counties. New this year is DMU 486; this DMU includes all counties in the SWMU. Therefore, a private land antlerless deer license valid for any DMU in the SEMU is valid for all DMUs in the SWMU and valid for most DMUs in Zone 3.

2008 was an average harvest year throughout most of the southwest. In areas where deer populations remain above goal, the harvest of adult antlerless deer is an important part of responsible deer population management. Average fawn production in 2008 should result in consistent numbers of yearling bucks in most units.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was discovered in Kent County in a penned deer facility in 2008. The implementation of Michigan’s CWD response plan calls for additional surveillance of wild deer in Kent County. A nine-township CWD Surveillance Zone in Kent County, delineated in 2008, continues in effect and includes the townships of Tyrone, Solon, Nelson, Sparta, Algoma, Courtland, Alpine, Plainfield and Cannon. All deer harvested by hunters from the CWD Zone must be tested for CWD. Heads from these deer must be taken to one of the deer check 13

stations inside the zone so samples can be collected for testing. Locations of these check stations and additional information about CWD surveillance efforts can be found on the DNR Web site. Deer harvested in the CWD Surveillance Zone of Kent County cannot be removed from the zone without a negative CWD test.

Due to the finding of CWD in southwest Michigan, there is added concern about overpopulation, making it even more important that landowners and hunters work together to reduce deer populations in southwest Michigan. Hunters are encouraged to contribute excess deer to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger to process wild game for local families in need.

Access to private land is an important part of successful deer hunting and management in southwest Michigan. Individual hunters can play important roles in maintaining hunting access. Please remember that courtesy, safety and early preseason contact with landowners are all vital parts of securing access to private hunting lands.

Unit Biologists:
Berrien, Branch, Cass, St. Joseph, Calhoun (south), Kalamazoo (south), and Van Buren (south) Counties:
Steve Chadwick, 269-244-5928
Allegan, Barry, Calhoun (north), Kalamazoo (north), and Van Buren (north) Counties:
John Lerg, 269-685-6851
Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties:
Nik Kalejs, 231-788-5055

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