Michigan Deer News

... Michigan Department of Natural Resources biologist, Kristin Bissell, says a specific goal is needed before any proposal to reduce the deer population can be considered... controlling natural populations is not a quick fix, because "any time you're doing population level management ... you're committing to something long-term, because populations are constantly trying to rebuild themselves." ...

... Not so fast, Wildlife Division research specialist Brent Rudolph said.  Much of the worst decline has happened in the Upper Peninsula, but statistics show it's on par with two other states in the northern region, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  “Certainly from the U.P. perspective we’ve been telling people since last winter that deer numbers are down,” ...

Deer harvest reports disappoint ... December 16, 2014 Penn Live 
... Wisconsin: The lowest deer harvest in 30 years. Minnesota: Down 23 percent. Illinois: Down 7 percent from last year at this time and down 28 percent from 2012. Michigan: Hunters are seeing less deer. Ohio: The harvest will likely be lower...

Conditions prove challenging for deer hunt December 16, 2014 Michigan, bcsn.tv
...  lower herd numbers in some areas of Michigan and Ohio ... Some parts of the western U.P. had 5 feet of snow for the opening day of deer season, so many traditional hunting grounds and deer camp sites were simply inaccessible ... Michigan’s early estimates point to this season’s U.P. harvest being down as much as 40 percent, while the northern reaches of the Lower Peninsula will likely show a drop of about 10 percent ...

Harsh winters far from the only reason for low deer harvest December 15, 2014 Michigan, Midland Daily News
... Early hunts and vastly more popular archery hunting have taught them that when the woods get busy in early fall, they need to start being more careful.  Bait piles and food plots allow deer to stay in one place more often...

...  the harvest was down possibly as much as 10 percent in the northern Lower Peninsula and about 5 percent in the southern Lower Peninsula when compared to 2013... Firearm deer harvests were down approximately 30 to 40 percent across the Upper Peninsula...

... Under a new law, poachers face a $10,000 fine for illegally killing a buck deer with six points per antler, 12 total. The fine is $1,500 for killing a royal elk ... makes little sense, with less than 700 elk in Michigan, versus more than perhaps 1 million deer ...

Deer Harvest Down December 14, 2014 Michigan, South Bend Tribune
... “I suspect the herd is trying to recover from EHD, but our deer got hit hard by weather last winter and that had some impact,” said Chadwick. “The herd is nowhere near where it was before EHD, but I would have thought there would have been a better season than what we saw.”... Two severe winters have impacted Upper Peninsula deer severely...

DNR reports decrease for firearm deer harvest December 12, 2014 Michigan, The Times Herald
... “In St. Clair County, we have seen approximately 10 percent fewer deer checked during the firearm season ... Sanilac County is down 28 percent since 2013... a historic decrease in deer harvest in the Upper Peninsula ... preliminary numbers showing a 6 to 7 percent decrease through Nov. 30 in Michigan...

Ann Arbor residents ponder: to cull deer or not? December 11, 2014 Michigan, MLive 
... the city's community service administrator, pointed out that officials are still trying to even determine if there is a deer problem or not.  Among the groups interviewed who have said that deer don't really pose a major threat are the Ann Arbor Police Department and the city's parks department...
... A new online survey being circulated by the city of Ann Arbor seeks public input on options for managing the local deer population, including lethal and nonlethal methods... three of the survey questions start out by stating:  "Research concludes that lethal removal measures are most effective for managing a deer population," ...
     Ann Arbor deer management December 10, 2014 Michigan, DamnArbor.com
... Before we (The City, The County) undertake any deer management plans we need to know three things: a) The approximate size of the deer population; b) how the density of the deer population varies within the city; c) the approximate amount of damage the deer are causing. If we don’t have a baseline population estimation for the overall number of deer and the number of deer in specific areas of the city, we will not be able to evaluate the success of any management program....

...  compared to 2013, the harvest was down approximately 30 to 40 percent across the Upper Peninsula.  It decreased as much as 10 percent in the northern Lower Peninsula, and was down about 5 percent in the southern Lower Peninsula...

Deer harvest down during firearm season December 9, 2014 Michigan, DetroitNews.com
... 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...

Deer Carcasses Found In Meridian Twp. Field December 5, 2014 Michigan, WLNS
...  looked like a mass grave someone dumped an unknown number of deer carcasses ...  it looks like anywhere between a dozen to maybe 20 deer... police are continuing to investigate...

...  considering the possibility of a cull and are collecting information about residents' perceptions of deer in Ann Arbor ... an online public survey is available until Jan. 2 to gather broad community feedback via A2 Open City Hall.

... The deer was chased onto thin ice by coyotes, witnesses said, and she fell through the ice... For almost an hour he struggled to rescue the trapped deer, who was up to her neck in water and was unable to pull herself out onto the ice, ... 

Firearms hunt a tough go in 2014 December 4, 2014 Michigan, Outdoor News 
... The deer count of southbound vehicles at the Mackinac Bridge was just 1,741 on Nov. 24. That’s a 45-percent decline from last year’s total of 3,144 on the same date.  Rudolph said success in the Lower Peninsula was variable and also depended a lot on the weather...

With the disappointing deer season it was the prime opportunity for the DNR Sportsmen Coalition Meeting to take place and discussions to be had. For Marquette County the deer harvest was down an astonishing 59%. - December 3, 2014


Hunting With Drones Could Be Made Illegal in Michigan December 3, 2014 Headlines & Global News
... The bills, supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, have been created in response to the growing use of drones by hunters to make killing deer and other game animals easier ...

Disappointing firearm deer totals are coming out December 2, 2014 Michigan, ABC 10 News
... the deer harvest in the U.P. is down maybe 40% to 50% U.P.-wide,” DNR deputy public information officer Debbie Munson Badini said. “We’re down about 50% to 60% here in Marquette. It’s pretty much what we expected.” ...

Michigan may ban drones in hunting December 2, 2014 The Detroit News
... State lawmakers are moving quickly to pre-emptively block rapidly expanding drone technology from being used by hunters to gain an advantage over deer ... Alaska, Colorado, Montana and Canada's Saskatchewan province passed bans earlier this year...

Improving Deer Habitat Across the State December 2, 2014 Michigan, MDNR News
.... Several locations in Delta and Menominee counties will soon be a bit fruitier. Over 4,000 fruit-bearing trees were planted, providing a great food source for deer. A variety of trees were planted, including black cherry, elderberry, high bush cranberry and serviceberry, to name a few....

Decision Looms on Deer for Village of Ashwaubenon - December 2, 2014



DNR says deer numbers significantly lower than last year December 1, 2014 Michigan, Upper Michigans Source 
... in Marquette, the deer checks are down about 57 percent from last year.  In the last ten years, the DNR says numbers are down roughly 67-percent...

... "Everybody was saying that because of the diseases and everything that it'd be a down year, but we didn't really see it over there in Van Buren County," ...

 A 35-point wild deer? Possibly November 29, 2014 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
...  a 35-point buck. The photos were posted on Scott's Quik Stop in Marlette and a picture was on Michiganbuckpole.com. ...  a debate raged on the Internet. The accusation that it came from a game farm drew the ire of Scott's Quik Stop ...

Early snow wrecks U.P. deer hunt, brings other problems November 29, 2014 Michigan, Lansing State Journal 
... up to nearly 5 feet in parts of the Upper Peninsula thwarted the firearm deer hunt that is so economically vital to many small U.P. communities and could be the start of a third consecutive difficult winter for a deer population already significantly damaged by the past two brutal winters... "We ended up using snowshoes to hunt for the first time in years," ...

Man shot by deer hunter at Bald Mountain Recreation Area November 27, 2014 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
... A 34-year-old Oakland Township man walking with a friend was accidentally shot by a hunter ..  lost sight of a deer he'd seen running in the area and when he heard movement, discharged two rounds of buckshot ...

City of Ann Arbor Seeks Input Regarding Deer Management Plan November 25, 2014 Michigan
... The public is invited to attend a deer management public discussion meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10, at Huron High School, Media Center Room #5101, 2727 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor, at 7 p.m.  In addition to the public meeting, an online public survey is available until Jan. 2 to gather broad community feedback via A2 Open City Hall...This meeting will be taped for later broadcast on Community Television Network and also will be available online via video on demand ...
... A deer hunter in the area reported finding a dead elk and called DNR ... “Good old-fashioned police work by our officers brought this case to a successful end,” ...

DNR will allow supplemental deer feeding in U.P. November 24, 2014 Michigan, ABC 10 UP 
...  The DNR has decided to allow supplemental deer feeding, by permit, across the U.P. beginning on December 15th...



... In 2014, the state of Wisconsin banned deer baiting in 35 counties impacted by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) ...  potential to congregate animals in ways that increase the potential for disease transmission through food, feces and urine ... The deer bait market provides an outlet for this lower quality produce ...

.... The DNR Wildlife Division has created a clickable map that links to a report for each DMU in the state. Just click on a DMU number and you'll be taken to the biologist report, which provides the same background information that was delivered to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) with Department recommendations on public- and private-land antlerless license quotas and other regulations for each area ...

Family Fights to Keep Pet Deer: Michigan Law Prohibits Wild Animals in Home - November 23, 2014


Hunters find a robust Michigan deer herd November 21, 2014 Toledo Blade 
... John Niewoonder, an MDNR biologist in southwest Michigan, reported that the whitetail populations in that area looked strong, so he expected the firearm season would be a productive one. The deer herd in the region was hit with an outbreak of the often fatal Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) a couple of years ago, but Niewoonder said the whitetail population has apparently bounced back quickly...

Deer count numbers continue decline November 21, 2014 Michigan, Mining Journal 
...  the number of deer checked so far at the Marquette station is 60 percent below a 10-year average and 55 percent below 2013, at the same point in the season... As of 7 a.m. today, there have been 1,228 deer logged at the Mackinac Straits crossing, down from 2,374 at the same time last year, a drop of 48 percent...

... harvest rates recorded at deer check stations across the region in the first few days of firearm season were down significantly from previous years as Southwest Michigan's deer herd recovers from disease outbreaks that decimated the population in 2012... "In the U.P., before firearm season opened, deer were already migrating into warmer micro-climates ...

Heavy snow, below average temperatures and a smaller herd of bucks are keeping hunters out of the woods. - November 20, 2014


Earlier supplemental deer feeding to be allowed November 20, 2014 Michigan, Lansing State Journal 
... State wildlife officials say they will allow for earlier supplemental deer feeding in the Upper Peninsula amid snow that’s already deep... 

Bloomfield Hills nature center provides home for orphaned fawn November 20, 2014 Michigan, Hometownlife.com
... An orphaned fawn is being transported Friday to the Bloomfield Hills Schools E.L. Johnson Nature Center, a 40-acre habitat on Franklin Road ... For the past several months, Baby was being cared for by a group of neighbors in Pleasant Ridge after her mother was killed in June by a car ...

Improving Deer Habitat Across the State November 19, 2014 Michigan, DNR News
... Over 1,300 oak saplings were planted in western Mackinac County this spring to increase hard mast for deer.  The plantings were focused on areas that have been hit hard by beech bark disease (BBD), and also in deer wintering complexes.  BBD areas will see a large loss of beech nuts, and the oak acorns that are produced in the future will help to mitigate some of the loss from BBD... 

Bloomfield, Suspected deer poaching in Bloomfield Twp. has residents concerned November 19, 2014 Micigan, My Fox Detroit 
... At 14 Mile and Inkster in Bloomfield Township, several residents heard gunshots in a ravine Tuesday ... the Franklin River that runs behind their house is home to dozens of deer... state conservation officers say they have seen an increased demand for large antlered deer ...

Despite rough winter, deer populations weather throughq November 17, 2014 Michigan, Petoskey News-Review
... "It's really not about how bad the winter is," said Rudolph, "but how long the winter lasts. That's what affects the deer." ... DNR observations throughout the northern Lower Peninsula this spring shows a number of healthy fawns, even sightings of twins...

Deer poaching under investigation November 17, 2014 Michigan, The Morning Sung
... Two six-point bucks were shot in Isabella County over the weekend, and investigators from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are looking for the hunter who dumped the bodies in a ditch...  contact the DNR Report All Poaching hotline at 1-800-292-7800...

Wildlife Biologist Jeremiah Heise provides the current outlook on deer hunting in Michigan's Saginaw Bay area. - November 17, 2014


Wildlife Biologist John Niewoonder provides the current outlook on deer hunting in Michigan's southwest region - November 17, 2014



DNR wildlife chief: 2 bad winters hard on deer herd November 17, 2014 Michigan, Your Daily Globe.com
... As for the U.P ... Looking at the western end, deer have been hit by two hard winters in a row as well as a predator problem, specifically coyotes... A long-term predator study has been put in place for the Western U.P... Coyote populations are at an all time high in the state ...

Hunters divided on benefits of antler point restrictions November 17, 2014 Michigan, Cadillac News
... The Natural Resources Commission enacted antler point restrictions in 12 northwest Lower Peninsula counties ... hunters are required to ensure antlered deer have at least one antler with a minimum of three points, with each point at least 1 inch long. A total of 1,000 surveys were sent out in 2012 ... The survey returned with a 68.5 percent approval rate...

For all the hunters out there, Saturday marked the first day of firearm hunting season for deer in West Michigan. - November 17, 2014



Detroit suburb fawns over orphaned deer November 17, 2014 Michigan, MLive
... Her mother was killed by a car on Woodward last spring ... residents who tend to the orphan ... have left gourds, pumpkins in the grass and other food in a makeshift dish ...

...  at his nearby home, he would normally expect to hear 80 to 120 gunshots for deer on a given morning during firearm season. But yesterday, Melnyk said he didn't hear a single one... "They're pretty well bedded up," ... 

... while there are fewer people hunting deer in Michigan than there were 10 years ago, the amount of money that hunters spend in the state has skyrocketed... The majority of the spending increase came in non-firearms categories such as outdoor equipment like tents and hunting clothing, and equipment such as boats and vans, according to the federal survey...

DNR announces deer check station locations, new deer check locator for smartphones November 14, 2014 Michgan, DNR News
... As part of continued efforts to be mobile-friendly, the DNR now has made it easier to find locations to check deer. Smartphone users now can text “Deer Check” to 468311 and they will receive a text back with a link to the DNR'sinteractive deer check station locator map. Hunters can utilize their smartphone’s GPS function to find the deer-check location closest to them and then get turn-by-turn directions to that location to have their deer checked.  For questions on hunting and firearm rules and regulations, please contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

'Give us a brake' sign attached to dead deer in Oakland Twp. November 14, 2014 Michigan, KTVU Station
... homemade sign has recently appeared, attached to a dead deer by the side of the road. It reads, "Give us a brake."  In the past three years 347 deer have been killed on roads in the township ...

Wildlife officials studying effect of snow on deer November 14, 2014 Michigan, Petoskey News 
...  State wildlife officials say they could allow for earlier supplemental deer feeding in the Upper Peninsula if snow depths continue to quickly climb...

Standing corn factor in firearm deer opener November 14, 2014 Michigan, Sherman Publications Inc
...  the statewide harvest of corn is at only 21 percent—it should be at 51 percent this time of year ...  deer hang out more in the corn and just don't come out. It's hard to see deer moving and hard to get them out ...

Ottawa County parks, open spaces focus of hunters in firearm deer season November 13, 2014 Michigan, HollandSentinel.com
... Ottawa County allows firearm hunting in six parks and open space areas totaling 964 acres... Allegan County does not allow hunting in its nine parks, according to the county website. Hunting is permitted in the Allegan State Game Area... 

Deer baiting impacts Michigan farmers November 12, 2014, Petoskey News-Review
...  argument against deer baiting is its potential to congregate animals in ways that increase the potential for disease transmission through food, feces and urine. There is significant evidence that feeding deer can perpetuate diseases such as bovine tuberculosis (TB) and CWD. This led Michigan Farm Bureau to publicly oppose the lifting of Michigan’s baiting ban in 2011 ...

How to Recognize 5 Common, Lethal Michigan Deer Diseases November 11, 2014 Michigan-Sportsman.com
... common signs of EHD are lesions ... swelling and blood “leaking” out of the nose or mouth.. Bluetongue has the same symptoms as EHD, save for a high chance for animals to develop foot deformities... CWD ... Common symptoms include weight loss, excessive salivation... mange ... hair loss or the presence of mites or lice ... “deer warts ... grotesque and wartlike growths ...

A few less hunters November 11, 2014 Michigan, The Daily News
... those that hunted in our neck of the woods over the past few years report seeing fewer and fewer deer ...  deer hunting in Michigan is a tradition ... But I fear that if the over-hunting trend continues that tradition will be ending ...

Regular firearm deer hunting season starts this weekend, and the Michigan DNR is predicting a good hunt in our region. Effect of EHD. - November 10, 2014



...  Deer numbers are down across the state, and acorns are highly abundant in the Lower Peninsula... In the northern Lower Peninsula ... “It was the worst winter in the 15 years I’ve been up here ... We got some reports of dead deer and have not seen many twin fawns this year...

As season approaches, deer forecast a mixed bag November 9, 2014 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
... more than 160,000 crossbow users ... Last year ... was the first year less than half the antlered deer taken were yearlings ... In the 1980s ... it was more like 75%. ... decision to let them go and let them grow has been legislated into the regulations for 12 counties this year ...

Conserving multiple species at once November 9, 2014 Utah, Deseret News
... Mule deer continue to struggle across the West for a variety of reasons, but we’ve long known that addressing habitat management and enhancement on a landscape scale is critical to halting and reversing these negative trends... A recent study in Wyoming demonstrated that sage grouse conservation measures in the state overlapped and will benefit 60-70 percent of migration corridors used by the Green River mule deer herd ...

... DNR wildlife biologists are predicting a fairly typical season with one exception: the Upper Peninsula. In the U.P., hunters should be prepared to see and harvest fewer deer. “We had a very difficult winter this last year, the second harsh winter in a row, so our deer herd is down from where it has been,” said Upper Peninsula wildlife biologist Dave Jentoft ...

Hard winters may mean diminished deer November 5, 2014 Michigan,  Mining Journal ·
... the impacts of the rough conditions for deer over the past two winters in the U.P... 
"This has led to decreased deer numbers throughout the region with losses occurring most notably in this year's fawns and yearlings ... Biologists recommended closing all public land and all but three private land deer management units ...

... A third annual decline in the state's 638 wolves is expected when a 2015 survey is done ... "Our hardest winters in many years really took a toll on the deer herd," Roell said. "I fully expect the (wolf) numbers will be down again ... I doubt pup survival was very high." ...

Michigan data:  A significant population decline in 2013 and 2014 following harsh winters, most severe in the Upper Peninsula where there was an historic drop in the deer harvest in 2014, in part due to reduced licenses issued in an effort to boost the herd.  Harvest declines of 30 to 40 percent were reported by some regions in 2013, down about 25 percent in the Upper Peninsula overall and a further decline of 30 to 40 percent in 2014 with some regions reporting declines of about 60 percent.  Down about 10 percent in the northern Lower Peninsula and down about 5 percent in southern Lower Peninsula in 2014..  Total harvest down 8 percent in 2013, down 6 to 7 percent in 2014 based on preliminary numbers. To boost the herd, antlerless deer quotas were reduced to about 494,000 in 2014, down from about 550,000 in 2013.  Coyote predation has also been a factor in the reduced population, particularly in the western Upper Pennisula.  Michigan coyote populations are at an all time high.  
     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, down from about 1,200 in 2008  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.
    An estimated 638 wolves in 2014.

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: www.michigan.gov/cwd
Michigan Deer Information and History, DNR
- Clickable map providing information on Michigan Deer from MDNR
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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 managemeny