Doe permits eliminated for Roscommon County

Munising, Mich. – The Natural Resources Commission voted to
eliminate the issuance by the DNR of any antlerless permits for
Roscommon County at its meeting in Munising on July 10.

The local DNR wildlife biologist had recommended quotas of 1,000
public-land antlerless permits and 2,000 private-land permits due
to the fact that deer numbers were above desired levels in the
county.

But the commission and the DNR had received requests from the
public that no antlerless permits be issued for the county.

Taking public input into account, acting Wildlife Division Chief
Doug Reeves looked at the DNR data on deer numbers from the county
and recommended cutting the antlerless quotas in half. He suggested
offering 500 public-land and 1,000 private-land permits for
Roscommon County. Reeves told the commission that there’s some
“noise” in the data for the county, and deer numbers are not
uniform. He said some areas have too many deer, and the number of
animals is low in other portions of the county, but overall, herd
size is above the wildlife division’s goal for the county.

Although commissioner Frank Wheatlake was not able to attend the
meeting in Munising due to illness, he conveyed his support for
zero antlerless permits in Roscommon County through chairman Keith
Charters. After listening to Reeves’ recommendations for reducing
the antlerless quota, Charters also went on record in support of a
zero quota for antlerless permits in the county.

The commission also received comments from a number of Upper
Peninsula residents in opposition to issuing private-land
antlerless permits for U.P. deer management units (DMUs) through a
drawing. In the past, private land permits could be purchased over
the counter. The DNR claims that the permits for many U.P. and
northern L.P. management units were sold out soon after they went
on sale, denying some hunters access to the permits. To eliminate
the inequity, it changed the system for allocating permits to a
lottery.

At the commission meeting, Reeves explained that a computer
problem that has been identified is what led them to believe the
quotas for antlerless permits were reached quickly.

Hunters who do not want to pay the $4 application fee for a
private-land antlerless permit for U.P. deer management units with
the highest permit quotas, such as DMU 055 in southern Menominee
County, may be able to buy them over the counter after the drawing
is held. In past years there have been leftover permits for DMU
055.

Reeves also told the commission that there were errors in the
original printing of the 2008 Michigan Antlerless Deer Hunting
Guide.

He said the table in the lower left-hand corner of the guide did
not list some DMUs that had public land permits. He added that not
all counties open during the late firearms antlerless-only deer
season were listed in the guide, either. The same counties where
antlerless deer were legal with firearms during the 2007 late
season will be open again this year.

Corrected antlerless guides were to be distributed to license
dealers by the time the application period for antlerless permits
began on July 15. The online version of the guide is accurate.

On sale now

Applications for antlerless deer licenses may be purchased at
all license dealers and online at www.michigan.gov/dnr. Hunters may
apply for a single license, for either private or public land, for
a single DMU. The deadline for application is Aug. 15.

Any leftover licenses will go on sale over the counter Sept. 17
at 10 a.m. You need not have applied for an antlerless permit to
buy the leftovers. The DNR is issuing more than 600,000 antlerless
licenses statewide.

Hunters may purchase up to five antlerless licenses, though no
more than two may be from the Upper Peninsula and/or the northern
Lower Peninsula, unless they are for DMUs in the seven-county
special regulations zone where deer have tested positive for
tuberculosis.

Hunters are reminded that youths ages 10-16 may purchase an
antlerless permit over the counter for any DMU during the
application period.

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