Firearms harvest is close to that of ’07

DNR Report

Lansing – The DNR has announced the preliminary estimate of the
white-tailed deer harvest during the 2008 firearms season.

Statewide, an estimated 272,000 deer were taken during the
firearms season, Nov. 15-30. Of that total, about 157,000 were
antlered bucks and about 115,000 were antlerless deer. That
compares with a 2007 estimated harvest of 273,000, including
171,000 bucks and 102,000 antlerless deer. However, there were
significant shifts in where deer were taken.

In the Upper Peninsula, the early estimate is that hunters took
about 32,000 deer, down 22 percent from last year’s harvest of
41,000.

“Most reports indicated that hunting pressure was down
noticeably in the UP this year,” said Rodney Clute, DNR big- game
specialist. “We anticipated a lower harvest in the U.P. due to the
tougher winter there last year and that was a major factor, but
lower hunter numbers and the change in rules for use of buck
licenses probably contributed, too.”

Hunters killed an estimated 23,000 bucks in the U.P. this year,
compared with 33,000 last fall.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, preliminary estimates indicate
that about 91,000 deer were taken, up from about 85,000 last year.
About 59,000 antlered bucks and 32,000 antlerless deer were
estimated taken in the NLP.

The Southern Lower Peninsula continued to dominate the deer
harvest. In the SLP, an estimated 149,000 deer were taken, about
75,000 of which were antlered bucks, along with 74,000 antlerless
deer.

The preliminary harvest estimate is based on early check station
results, license sales, employee reports of hunter effort, and
processor observations.

Final harvest figures, which are based on a mail survey of more
than 50,000 deer hunters, along with surveys submitted by hunters
who report on the DNR’s web site, will not be available until July,
2009. Hunters wishing to report their harvest online can access it
through the DNR web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

DNR Wildlife Chief Russ Mason reminds hunters that there are
still many opportunities for deer hunting this year.

“The late archery season, muzzleloader seasons, and late
firearms season in selected locations are great opportunities for
deer hunting when fewer hunters are in the woods,” he said.

The muzzleloader deer hunting season ran Dec. 5-14 in the U.P.,
and runs through Dec. 21 in the Lower Peninsula. The archery season
runs through Jan. 1, and the late firearms antlerless-only deer
season runs Dec. 22-Jan. 1 on private lands in 36 deer management
units in the Lower Peninsula.

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