Michigan Deer News

So, what can those deer hear? July 19, 2014 Michigan, Battle Creek Enquirer
... “A deer’s hearing capabilities isn’t that different from ours ... Their greatest capability is in the same range as sounds we hear.” ... Deer can also detect sound at lower volumes than we can, although the difference isn’t great...

Hunting Fees Going To Private Landowners July 18, 2014 Michigan, Michigan Capitol Confidential 
... 12 wildlife habitat grant winners for the "Deer PLAN" (Private Land Assistance Network) ... The DNR ... argue that the 24 percent of land that is publicly owned does not have enough impact on deer in the state and grants need to go to private groups...

Antlerless deer license applications on sale now through Aug. 15 July 15, 2014 Michigan, MDNR News
     Antlerless deer quotas have been reduced to about 494,000 licenses statewide, down from about 550,000 for 2013. In the Upper Peninsula, licenses are available only in DMUs 122, 055 and 155, and have been eliminated in other Upper Peninsula DMUs due to the severe winter of 2013-2014 and the resulting losses in the deer herd.  License quotas for each DMU can be found at www.michigan.gov/deer

... About 8% of HAP hunters would not have hunted if HAP did not exist. 
The primary reasons hunters selected HAP lands were (1) the HAP lands were 
located near their residence [64%], (2) they did not have access to private lands 
[62%], (3) they had limited time to locate alternative hunting sites [56%], and (4) 
they had previously experienced good hunting on HAP lands [56%]. The primary 
species hunted on HAP lands was deer; 74% of the hunters hunted deer ...

Just how well do deer see and hear? July 12, 2014 Michigan, Battle Creek Enquirer 
... Research Scientist Bradley Cohen, Ph.D., from the University of Georgia recently trained deer to alert researchers when they could see different wavelengths and intensities of light... deer were most sensitive to blue light and least sensitive to red. Deer were also able to detect ultraviolet light. “Because there’s a lot of blue light at dawn and at dusk in their environment,” deer see best during these times of the day,” ...

East Lansing, City Council passes ordinance to limit deer population July 8, 2014 Michigan, The State News 
... Citizens will not be allowed to put any edible material edible by deers outside, unless it is covered. The ordinance still allows for naturally growing vegetation, like plants and garden vegetables, as well as bird feeders...

Grants help target new hunting opportunities July 7, 2014 Michigan, Up North Live
... The DNR's Deer PLAN (Private Land Assistance Network) will expand natural areas and improve hunting opportunities through the habitat grants. The grants, available to private landowners in a six-county area of northeast Michigan, are specifically designed to enhance food and cover for deer on private land.  "Fifty thousand dollars will be divided among the 12 successful applicants ...

2015 Wildlife Habitat Grants available; DNR will accept applications
through Aug. 12  - July 3, 2014 Michigan, MDNR News
The Department of Natural Resources today announced that it will accept Wildlife Habitat Grant Program applications through Aug. 12, 2014. Projects featuring habitat enhancement for game species will be given highest priority... The main objective of the WHGP is to enhance and improve the quality and quantity of game species habitat in support of a specific goal from the Wildlife Division’s strategic plan, The GPS. This goal is:  GPS Goal 2 – Manage habitat for sustainable wildlife populations in a changing environment ... Minimum grant amounts will be set at $15,000, with the maximum being the amount of funds available for that grant cycle. The 2015 overall available grant amount is approximately $1 million...

Deer farms caught between regulators and the beef lobby June 28, 2014   Michigan, TimesHerald 
...  the most likely scenario that chronic wasting disease developed in a Colorado research facility where biologists were trying to see if sheep scrapie could infect wild deer and elk. Well, after a few injections of infected brain matter, they had a success! And, as bad luck would have it, some of the infected deer escaped and began infecting wild deer in the area...

... Michigan, USA ... Fawn resource use appeared to reflect dam avoidance of lowland forests with poor forage and greater use by wolves (C. lupus), their primary predator. While this strategy led to greater fawn mortality, particularly by coyotes, it likely promoted the life-long reproductive success of dams because many reached late-age (>10 years old) and could have produced multiple generations of fawns. Studies often link resource selection and survival of ungulates, but our results suggested that multiple factors can mediate that relationship, including multi-predator risk...

... A bill is on its way to the governor that would allow motorists who bump into a deer to pick up the carcass, take it home and either plop it in the freezer or on the stove without getting a note from the DNR to do it...

Share ideas on forest plans for Arenac, Clare, Gladwin and Midland counties June 24, 2014 Michigan, DNR
     DNR invites public input on forest plans for Arenac, Clare, Gladwin
and Midland counties   The Department of Natural Resources will host open houses July 23 in Gladwin and July 24 in Harrison to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2016 in the Gladwin management unit, which includes Arenac, Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties and the southern part of Iosco County...  . Timber management, wildlife and fisheries habitat, minerals, archeological sites, recreational use, wildfire potential and social concerns are just some of the topics taken into consideration during this review.
...  information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestry. Compartment review packets for the 2016 year of entry can be found by selecting the shown map and clicking on the “Gladwin” button. Records of decisions, recorded timber harvests and other treatments for past years are available on this page.  On July 30, the DNR will complete its formal compartment review to decide on final treatment plans for these areas. That review will take place:

Share ideas on forest plans for Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon counties June 23, 2014 Michigan
... The Department of Natural Resources will host an open house June 25 in Baraga to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2016 in the Baraga management unit, which includes Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. The open house is set for: Wednesday, June 25, 3-7 p.m. Baraga Operations Service Center, 427 U.S. 41 North, Baraga ... Maps and information regarding proposed treatments will be available at the open house. The information can also be found at www.michigan.gov/forestry...

Michigan deer head underwater eating seaweed - June 23, 2014

Diseased deer not worth a few paid trophies June 13, 2014 Michigan, The Times Herald 
... States got into banning captive deer imports once biologists figured out that privately owned deer and elk were spreading dangerous diseases across the continent. Those diseases — bovine tuberculosis, brucellosis and chronic wasting disease ... Michigan’s sole case of chronic wasting disease showed up in a captive deer brought into the state...

Natural Resources Commission to meet Thursday in Lansing June 11, 2014 Miichigan, MDNR News
     The Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will hold its regular monthly meeting Thursday, June 12, at the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, 4125 Beaumont Road, in Lansing... At 1 p.m., the Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries will receive updates from DNR Fisheries and Wildlife divisions, including the latest on migratory game bird regulations, antlerless deer license quotas and the deer harvest survey report for the 2013 seasons....
     Immediately following the awards presentations, the commission will hear comments from the public. Those wishing to make public comments before the NRC should contact Cheryl Nelson, executive assistant to the NRC, at 517-284-6237 or nelsonc@michigan.gov to register.  Following public comments, The NRC is scheduled to take action on:  Deer management units (DMU) that will be open for antlerless deer hunting.  Use of rifles with straight-walled cartridges in the shotgun zone.  Deer baiting and feeding.  Muzzleloader season and early and late archery seasons.  Hunter’s choice options in the Upper Peninsula and DMU 487.  DMU boundaries.  Elimination of the crossbow stamp.
     For more information about the Natural Resources Commission, including full agendas and meeting minutes, visit www.michigan.gov/nrc.

East Lansing to consider deer feeding ban June 4, 2014 Michigan, Lansing State Journal
... The East Lansing City Council set a public hearing for July 8 on the proposal at Tuesday’s meeting... If passed in its current form, the ordinance would prohibit the deliberate setting out of nuts, seeds or any other food which could attract deer... hosta plants have been nibbled and entire beds of hybrid lilies have been munched to the ground...

... When Michigan’s white-tailed deer population began dying off in 2012, Cooley had more than 100 infected deer come through his lab. The DNR identified the culprit as epizootic hemorrhagic disease, a virus transmitted from deer to deer by midges, gnats and mosquitoes, and estimated it had killed 15,000 deer in the state...

Agenda for June 12, 2014 Natural Resources Commission (NRC) Meeting May 27, 2014 Michigan, DNR News
... The agenda for the June 12, 2014, Natural Resources Commission meeting ... will be held at the MSU Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, 4125 Beaumont Road, Lansing, Michigan. To register for public comment, please contact Cheryl Nelson, executive assistant to the commission by calling 517-284-6237 or emailing nelsonc@michigan.gov . Those registering by 5:00 p.m. Friday, June 6, will be allowed up to five (5) minutes to address the commission.  Agenda items related to deer include: Habitat Workgroup.  Deer Harvest Survey Report 2013 Seasons.  Antlerless Deer License Quotas ...

Harsh winter impacts deer May 24, 2014 Michigan, Escanaba Daily Press
... In one recent study, fawns born last spring and other deer in Iron County were fitted with collars last summer and monitored over the ensuing winter months.  "The fawns were the first ones to go, and in that study the fawn survival rate was zero percent," ... "We need some mild winters," ...

DNR invites public input on forest plans for Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac and Otsego counties   May 16, 2014 Michigan, DNR News
   The Department of Natural Resources will host open houses on June 17 in Gaylord and June 18 in Indian River to provide information and receive public comment on proposed forest management treatments for 2016 in the Gaylord management unit, which includes Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac and Otsego counties. The open houses are set for:  Tuesday, June 17, 3-7 p.m.  Gaylord Field Office, 1732 West M-32, Gaylord.    Wednesday, June 18, 3-7 p.m.  Indian River Field Office, 6984 Wilson Road, Indian River ... For more information about the state forest planning process, visit www.michigan.gov/forestplan.

Norton Shores citizen survey queries residents on deer ... options May 10, 2014 Michigan, The Muskegon Chronicle
... Officials discussed deer control in January during a work session in which staff was asked to research how the city could reduce the deer population before actually developing a control program... Larks and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the city’s only option for control is to apply for a permit to allow sharp shooters to harvest deer on city property...

DNR Study: The last 2 winters were hard on deer May 11, 2014 Michigan, Mining Journal 
... The planned nine-year study is being undertaken by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources ... Researchers hope to complete the study over three general snow depth areas ... To learn more about the study, or to review past progress reports, videos and research photographs, visit:  www.fwrc.msstate.edu/carnivore/predatorprey/index.asp.

Ann Arbor Considers Killing Some Deer In City May 6, 2014 Michigan, CBS Detroit 
... efforts to control the city’s deer population that could include killing some of the animals or sterilization... Council member Stephen Kunselman said efforts are more likely to involve hunting and killing deer, possibly through an organized hunt. Kunselman said hunters likely would volunteer and the city doesn’t need to spend too much time studying the issue...
... Lumm said residents who want to keep their yards attractive are stymied both economically and physically because of damage caused by deer, and that is "compelling justification" for moving toward addressing the problem... Tanya Hilgendorf, executive director of the Humane Society of Huron Valley ...  said money and effort that otherwise might be used for killing would be better directed toward non-lethal methods...

2013-14 winter takes toll on E.U.P. deer herd May 1, 2014 Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie Evening News 
... “Fawn production will be pretty low this year,” ... The 1/2-year-old deer, according to researchers, traditionally make up the bulk of the Michigan harvest — which likely will result in a hunters having less success this fall...

$65,000 for deer habitat improvement projects planned for Upper Michigan May 1, 2014 Michigan, Upper Michigans Source 
... nine Upper Michigan conservation organizations are set to receive grant money to improve deer habitat....  Dickinson Conservation District will receive $9,250 to plant crabapples and oak trees on more than 40 parcels of privately owned land ... U.P. Whitetails, in partnership with The Forestland Group LLC, will receive $10,000 to plant 15,000 mesic conifers ...

Tons of dead deer... April 27, 2014 Michigan, michigan-sportsman.com
... in the spring they flock to the sides of roads because it's the first place to green up and they like the salt.We had a lot hit over the winter on 55 between 37 and Wellston. At one time I believe I counted 11 or so dead , this is only a 7 mile stretch of road. They were looking for food...

How To Tell the Age of a Deer [PICS] April 27, 2014 Michigan, wideopenspaces.com
... Thanks to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, we’ve got a pretty helpful guide. Though it’s specified for Michigan deer, we’re betting the same principles can apply to any region’s deer, and you’ll at least end up with a close estimate.

Michigan bill makes it easier to legally eat roadkill April 4, 2014 MSN Autos (blog)
... under a recent so-called roadkill bill introduced in the Michigan Legislature, drivers could at least make the best of a bad situation by legally claiming roadkill and, as the Detroit News says, turn it “into fast food or a pronto pelt.” ... 

Natural Resources Commission Meeting March 28, 2014 Michigan, MDNR News 
   The agenda for the April 10, 2014, Natural Resources Commission meeting has been posted to the Natural Resources Commission website at www.michigan.gov/nrc and can be accessed by clicking this link (includes Elk regulations).   Please note the April 10 meeting will be held at the MSU Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, 4125 Beaumont Road, Lansing, Michigan.

     The Department of Natural Resources today announced that, starting April 1, the application period will open for the new Deer Private Land Assistance Network (Deer PLAN) grant program. The Deer PLAN, funded by the Fish and Game Fund, is designed to support private-land deer habitat improvement projects in the northern Lower Peninsula.  "There are two primary goals applicants should strive to meet," said DNR wildlife biologist Brian Piccolo. "The projects should produce tangible deer habitat improvements and build long-term partnerships between the DNR and sportsmen's clubs."  For 2014, $50,000 will be available, focused on the following counties: Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle....

Potential high-risk TB areas for deer established March 26, 2014 Michigan, farmersadvance.com 
... the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed one bovine TB positive free-ranging white-tailed deer in Presque Isle County, and another in northwestern Montmorency County... For more information visit the Michigan DNR Emerging Diseases page ...

Debate continues for antler point restrictions during deer season March 22, 2014 Michigan, Battle Creek Enquirer
 ...  let’s shelve all APRs and go back to the one-buck limit for all deer seasons. It will protect young bucks and let more hunters enjoy harvesting a buck – not just those who are fortunate enough to have one with a certain number of points walk by...

Brooklyn Park City Council OKs hunt to cull deer herd March 2, 2014 Minnesota, Minneapolis Star Tribune
... n 2001, the council adopted a deer management plan to reduce the deer population to a range that the natural habitat can support, which is 15 to 20 deer per square mile of natural habitat. [a recent U.S. Forest Service Study puts the optimal deer density at 15 to 28 deer per square mile]

Two deer test positive for bovine TB March 18, 2014 Michigan, Alpena News
... The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development named two potential high-risk areas after two deer shot in Montmorency and Presque Isle counties tested positive for bovine tuberculosis....

2013 Antler Point Restrictions Survey:  North-Central Lower Peninsula [PDF] March, 2014 Michigan, BJ Frawley - MDNR
     A survey was completed to determine whether hunters supported proposed mandatory Antler Point Restrictions (APR) in the north-central Lower Peninsula. A key feature of the proposed mandatory regulations was changing the definition of a buck to a deer with three or more points on one antler. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) supports the voluntary implementation of APR practices on private land in Michigan. Mandatory APR are implemented by regulation only when a clear majority (>66%) of hunters support implementation. Questionnaires were sent to a random sample of hunters; 72% of hunters returned their questionnaire. About 62% of the people hunting deer in the north-central Lower Peninsula supported implementing 
mandatory APR regulations. Support from hunters was insufficient to recommend 
implementation of antler point restrictions in the north-central Lower Peninsula. 

Harsh winter's impact to linger in Michigan March 16, 2014 USA Today 
...  near-record snowfall ... second-most days below zero in a winter ever in the Flint area ... A deer die-off is expected in the Upper and northern Lower peninsulas ... "Our Forest Resources Division has reached out to timber jobbers to leave tree tops on the ground or leave their cut-down trees on the ground for a day or so, so the deer can nibble on them," ...

Sustaining the Deer Population March 14, 2014 Michigan, Upper Michigans Source 
...  A mix of cold weather and fewer areas for deer to feed have led to a decline in the deer population around Grand Marais.  In an effort to curb the decline, the Grand Marais Sportsmen Club has started a feeding program ...

Deer Antler Rules: Divided We Fall  March 14, 2014 Michigan, Deer & Deer Hunting
... Last fall, Michigan enacted mandatory antler rules in 12 counties. In short, hunters are required to pass up any buck that does not have more than 3 points on one side of its rack. According to Smith’s research, more than 100 hunters were ticketed last year for shooting sublegal bucks...

Natural Resources Commission to meet Thursday in Roscommon March 10, 2014 Michigan, MDNR News
... The Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, March 13, at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center, 104 Conservation Drive, in Roscommon... At 1 p.m., the Policy Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries will receive updates from Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries and Wildlife divisions; discuss elk regulations and quotas and bear quotas; receive an update on bovine tuberculosis surveillance; and learn the results of the Southern Lower Peninsula antler point restriction survey... For more information about the Natural Resources Commission, including full agendas and meeting minutes, visit www.michigan.gov/nrc.

Grosse Ile, Deer culling causes confusion March 9, 2014 Michigan, The News-Herald
...The man told the officer that he saw the deer in the woods ... it had been standing with blood coming off its head and face and that he believed it had been shot by a member of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer culling group... A member of the culling group later confirmed to a Grosse Ile police officer that they shot the deer and left it there to die. When they returned to the site, the deer was gone ...

Follow the rules for feeding deer March 5, 2014 Michigan, Midland Daily News
... the Michigan Department of Natural Resources ... allows what it calls “recreational feeding” ...“Feed should consist only of grains, second cut alfalfa and clover, and pelletized food materials containing no animal protein,” ... the DNR recommends corn be mixed as a minor component (25 percent or less) ...

... Results from the 2014 winter survey provided an elk herd estimate of 668 animals.  This reflects a reduction of the population size that had previously exceeded the population goal rane to now fall within the desired range of 500 to 900 animals.  Acounting for this reduced number of animals and the potential effects of the current severe winter on future population growth rates will require a reduction of elk license quotas.  The Department proposes establishing elk license quotas of 100 per year for the 2014 and 2015 season. ...

Holland Township, Game farm proposed for Holland Township raises concerns March 4, 2014 Michigan, MLive 
... asking township officials to approve a special land use for the 20-acre property ...  residents favoring the project saying it would provide opportunities to teach young people about hunting and wildlife and keep the area natural. Opponents expressed concern about stray bullets striking residences or people, as well as noise from the gunfire...

Search for news and information by keyword above or find links to state news stories organized by topic.

Michigan data: A significant population decline in 2013 and 2014 following two harsh winters, most severe in the Upper Peninsula.  Harvest declines of 30 to 40 percent were reported by some regions in 2013, down about 25 percent in the Upper Peninsula overall.  To boost the herd, antlerless deer quotas were reduced to about 494,000 in 2014, down from about 550,000 in 2013.  About 1.8 million deer in 2012, up from about 1.7 million deer in 2011, not counting urban deer. In the 1990's the state had about two million deer.  Last official estimate was 1.73 million for 2011. On average about 40 percent of the Upper Peninsula harvest is yearling bucks.  Antler restrictions were implemented in 12 counties in 2013 and continue to be a topic of debate.  In a survey, 62 percent of hunters supported antler restrictions for the north-central Lower Peninsula, not enough to meet the 66 percent support requirement for implementation.
    An estimated 668 elk based on the 2014 winter survey.  Target range is 500 to 900.  Michigan restarted its elk population with just seven animals in 1918 after the herd was hunted to extinction in the 1800's.  Elk and deer have different diets during the spring, summer and fall. Hunting statistics  The number of game ranches peaked at about 800 in 2003 and has since fallen to about 394, in part due to rising feed prices and stricter regulations.

Other useful links:
Information about deer management, and links to additional resources such as a list of deer check stations. www.michigan.gov/deer 
For information on Chronic Wasting Disease: 
Michigan Deer Crash Collisions - Transportation Information
- Database of Deer-Vehicle Collisions from 2008 to 2012
Deer News and Information from the DNR and MSU
Michigan Deer Information and History, DNR
Michigan Whitetail Deer Information Site from the DNR and MSU
- Deer Survival Study, ongoing reports from the field

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DNR News Releases

Michigan Deer Management Plan: to maintain a healthy whitetailed deer population, using sound scientific management, maximizing recreational opportunities while minimizing negative impacts on ecosystems and other wildlife species and without creating undue hardship to private interests."

Michigan Deer Harvest Survey Results  Double click chart below for larger image

DNR - Regional Deer Advisory Teams - State of MichiganDepartment of Natural Resources January 24, 2012, Information about the DNRE's Regional Deer Advisory Teams.
With the adoption of the Michigan Deer Management Plan on May 6, 2010, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment committed to establishing a Regional Deer Advisory Team (RDAT) for each ecologically-based region of Michigan. Each RDAT will correspond to the boundaries of the DNR hunting and trapping zones,

Michigan United Conservation Club, June 26, 2011, provides detailed information about Michigan deer hunting in their recently released document, The debate about changing the firearm deer season opener [PDF].

UPWhitetails.com purpose shall be to instruct the public on the practices of sound deer management.

Ghost of the forest, albino deer in Michigan - May, 2013