LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the deer hunting harvest was down this year from last year during firearm season.
According to preliminary estimates, the DNR says the number of deer killed appears to have decreased in all regions this year, but particularly in the Upper Peninsula.
DNR biologists estimate that the harvest was down about 30 to 40 percent from last season across the Upper Peninsula, decreased perhaps as much as 10 percent in the northern Lower Peninsula and was down about 5 percent in the southern Lower Peninsula.
Deer populations in the Upper Peninsula have declined after two prior severe winters. Cold weather and deep snow put a damper on last month's hunt, though a warm-up about midway through the season may have contributed to some hunting success.
The DNR reduced antlerless quotas prior to this season and invested in habitat improvement and research assessing the role of predators, habitat and weather conditions for deer in the Upper Peninsula. Some areas had more than 40 inches of snow accumulation by mid-November.
The 15-day firearms season ended Nov. 30. The DNR says detailed numbers for all deer hunting seasons will be put together later following an annual mail survey.
The DNR's Upper Peninsula Regional Supervisor Terry Minzey says that: “The number of deer brought to our check stations declined as much as 60 percent in some locations, though hunter success was somewhat better in areas with higher deer densities.''