Michigan Deer Population:  An estimated 1.75 deer in 2016 and an estimated 1.5 million deer in 2015.   Based on harvest data about 1.4 million in 2014, 1.6 million in 2013 and 1.7 million in 2012.  Herd analysis at right.  Historical Michigan harvest data and news archive.

Michigan Deer News

Drummond Island, DNR to address bait for deer hunting on Drummond Island November 30, 2016 Michigan, Marquette Mining Journal
... The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a Dec. 6 public meeting to discuss the use of bait for deer hunting on Drummond Island...

Michigan's 2016 Deer Status and CWD November 28, 2016 ThinkingAfield.org
...The DNR has tested nearly 9,000 deer since the first free-ranging CWD-positive deer was found in May 2015; to date, eight cases of CWD have been confirmed...

Deer baiting in crosshairs as wasting disease remedy November 27, 2016 Michigan, The Detroit News
... The discovery this summer of another Michigan deer infected with chronic wasting disease, a fatal neurological disorder, has some state and wildlife experts concerned the widespread use of bait will bring too many deer into close quarters and accelerate the spread of the disease...

... It's critical that hunters have deer near this area checked.  A 1.5-year-old buck taken Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Clinton County’s Eagle Township is likely the ninth free-ranging deer in Michigan to test positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD).  A hunter took the animal within an area where deer check is mandatory and brought the deer to a Department of Natural Resources check station...

Chronic wasting disease found in two deer November 22, 2016 MIchigan, Post-Bulletin
... Two deer shot by hunters near Lanesboro ... the only deer to test positive from 2,493 samples collected Nov. 5-13 ...

Grand Haven,  Deer cull approved by Grand Haven city council November 22, 2016 Michigan, WZZM 13
... Council voted 3-2 Monday night to move forward with a deer cull in the city... Monetza questioned the data provided by city officials that was used as a basis for the cull plan, which included traffic crash and Lyme disease ...“No effort has been made to gather objective information since fall 2013,” ...
     City to consider deer management actions November 19, 2016 Michigan, Grand Haven Tribune
... “When they killed (deer) in 2009, there were families walking their dogs in the cemetery while armed men rode around in trucks shooting at deer ... This is an accident waiting to happen. Government's first responsibility is the safety of its citizens.” ...

... Hunters in the first two days mostly reported seeing does and fawns, or young bucks that don’t meet the current restrictions in most U.P. counties against harvesting “antlerless” deer ...  The U.P. deer herd still is depressed and recovering from three straight severe winters earlier this decade ...

Firearm deer season producing mixed results so far November 18, 2016 Michigan, fox17online.com
... Upper Peninsula hunters are seeing more young deer this year after three seasons of declines.  Last year’s mild winter is helping deep populations up north after three harsh winters...

Today is the second-worst day for car-deer crashes November 16, 2016 Michigan, Lansing State Journal
... Tuesday was opening day of the state's firearm hunting season, which is the year's second-worst day for car-deer crashes, according to a State Journal analysis of crash reports in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties dating back to 2006... Nov. 6 takes the crown ...

Antler Point Restrictions November 15, 2016 Michigan, 9&10 News
... antler point restrictions that cover several areas of Northern Michigan... A hunter can only take a buck with three points or more on each side... hey want to see older bucks on the landscape...

...  the CWD Core Zone has been expanded from 9 to 17 townships across Mid-Michigan, after deer with the disease were found in Clinton County ...

Kids win inspiration award for deer-car crash solution November 15, 2016 Michigan, Hometownlife.com
... The sensors, stationed along the road, would detect if a car was approaching and if a deer was near or in the street. It would relay the information to another sensor near the deer. The device would send out a strobe light and random sounds to scare the animal away...

As hunt begins, program protects future deer herds November 15, 2016 Michigan, Daily Mining Gazette
... According to the DNR, the U.P. experiences high snowfall that requires deer to seek conifer shelter to survive typical winters. Recent consecutive severe winters, declining deer numbers and concerns of winter shelter reductions are the focus of the Upper Peninsula Habitat Workgroup. This workgroup’s mission is to improve and conserve critical winter deer habitat...

... More than 506,000 licenses have been purchased, which is down 4.7% from last year ... By the close of the firearm season Nov. 30, hunters should harvest around 300,000 deer...

As firearm deer hunting season looms, state asks hunters to bring deer to check stations. Chronic wasting disease is affecting deer in the mid-Michigan area, and the Michigan DNR is requiring deer killed in certain areas to be tested. - November 15, 2016 Michigan


... Not surprising, 89 percent of deer license buyers were male and the average age of license buyers was 43 years. Despite all of our efforts to recruit youths into deer hunting only about 11 percent (74,600) of license buyers were younger than 17 years old and about 4 percent (23,942) were younger than 12 years old...

Ann Arbor, Deer cull plan in place for Ann Arbor November 15, 2016 Michigan, WXYZ
... The cull will cost the city about $55,000 to shoot 100 deer and another $77,000 to capture and sterilize 60 deer...
... The mayor said he doesn't deny that Ann Arbor has a problem with deer overabundance, but he doesn't think the proposed solution will effectively counteract the problem, and he said $250,000 is a lot of money... a substantial "cultural cost," as shooting deer in Ann Arbor parks and nature areas has heavily divided the community and negatively impacted many residents' view of their city...

Deer hunters prepare for firearm season November 14, 2016 Michigan, The Times Herald
... an estimated 607,113 people hunted deer in 2015. That was down 1 percent from 2014... "The number of deer we’ve seen coming through our check stations in all three zones (Upper Peninsula, Northern Lower Peninsula and Southern Lower Peninsula) is up from last year," ...

Ann Arbor,  City council discusses deer cull plan in Ann Arbor tonight November 14, 2016 Michigan, WXYZ
... The city says they need to reduce the number of deer inside city parks and nature areas. To do that, they want to kill 100 and sterilize another 60... 

Michigan firearm season opening November 13, 2016 Toledo Blade
... “I really believe that we are going to see more deer in the woods. After those three terrible winters, we did have a mild winter last year, so our fawn crop this year seems to be very good.” ... it will take a bit longer to fill in the older classes of animals in the herd... In the northern Lower Peninsula ... There also should be more mature bucks in the region as the continued use of antler point restrictions ...

Wildlife getting sicker; people the culprit November 11, 2016 Michigan, Great Lakes Echo
... researchers suspect chronic wasting disease ... arrived in Michigan when people transported infected deer. Heavy testing by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources did not find chronic wasting disease in the state prior to May 2015, Bill Porter ... at Michigan State University, wrote ... unlikely that an infected deer in the nearest affected areas could have walked to where Michigan’s outbreak originated ...

Graphic video: Have you ever wondered how deer are tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)? This short video walks you through the process. - November 10, 2016


Rochester Hills family says man shot deer in their backyard November 10, 2016 Michigan, WDIV Detroit
... "We've had him around for a couple of years,"  ...  buck made himself at home in the Avon Estates subdivision and especially liked hanging out at the Trudeau's home...  shot by a .22 caliber rifle ...

Chronic Wasting disease must be taken seriously November 6, 2016 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
... The rapid deterioration of the Wisconsin deer herd was inconceivable to most hunters at the onset of its discovery ... it likely started in sheep and went from there to elk to deer ... Monkeys dosed with CWD orally didn’t contract it right away ...After 13 years, most of those monkeys were fatally ill ...

     The discovery of an eighth free-ranging Michigan white-tailed deer with chronic wasting disease this summer was a disappointment to Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials... “DNA testing showed that the latest infected deer was related to four of the other previously identified infected deer,” Stewart said. “So far, all eight have been related to each other somehow, most very closely...

Deer hunters and DNR on watch for CWD November 3, 2016 Michigan, WLNS
... Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials say that hunters in Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Ionia and Shiawassee counties need to bring their kills to one of five DNR check areas in the five county area...

DNR releases 2016 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects report October 30, 2016 The Tri County Citizen - The Lapeer Area View
... The winter of 2015 was a relatively mild winter across the entire state. With snowfall levels staying low and temperatures staying above average, it made for good survival conditions for deer and leads into a great potential for this year’s fawns. Spring had relatively mild weather as well, which is a major factor in both deer fitness and fawn survival... read the report

Ann Arbor, New study evaluates deer damage in Ann Arbor's natural areas October 25, 2016 Michikgan, MLive.com
... study that included monitoring hundreds of newly planted red oak seedlings ... 54 percent of the unfenced seedlings were browsed by deer at least once, ... Courteau said installing tall fences around nature areas could work. She said that's what the University of Michigan does at the Edwin S. George Reserve and it's effective ...
... "We have pretty extensive data to date from eight different field research projects," he said [president of White Buffalo Inc] , suggesting Ann Arbor could see a 10-20 percent annual reduction in deer population through attrition in neighborhoods where sterilization is done...

Wolf management a back-and-forth battle October 24, 2016 Michigan, Midland Daily News
... Once Michigan natives, wolves had practically vanished by the early 1960s ... Reintroduction failed, but by the 1980s a few animals wandered into the Upper Peninsula from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario... December 2014 decision ... until wolves were deemed recovered throughout their entire historic range ... they could not be removed from national Endangered Species Act listing...

Ann Arbor releases plan to kill 100 more deer in the winter October 19, 2016 Michigan, The Michigan Daily
... At Monday evening's City Council meeting, the council also approved a first-read vote on two ordinances that would allow discharge of firearms on city land. Those ordinances will come back for a second read in front of the council on Nov. 14, where the council will also vote to approve a contract with White Buffalo, the vendor chosen to carry out both the lethal and non-lethal methods...
     What should Ann Arbor do about deer? Council to decide next month October 18, 2016 Michigan, MLive.com
... Mayor Christopher Taylor, who continues to oppose lethal measures, announced the special meeting as the council voted 8-2 on Monday night, Oct. 17, to give initial approval to firearms ordinance changes to allow the next cull.... "I believe that the discharge of lethal firearms in the parks is inconsistent with the community values," Taylor argued Monday night...

Harbor Springs, Future of Harbor Springs Deer Park up for vote October 16, 2016 Michigan, UpNorthLive.com
... The biggest factor in maintaining the park is limiting the herds population.
In 2011, a local resident saw two police officers shoot and kill two of the deer in the park, which had been the standard procedure for years... the city introduced a contraception plan as a more human alternative...

... the city hopes to sterilize between 40 and 60 deer if practical and cost effective, the memo indicates. Sharpshooters hired by the city killed 63 deer in 14 city parks and nature areas during the city's first annual cull in January and February... track the status and development of the plan at www.a2gov.org/deermanagement... Winter 2017 Deer Management Planning Efforts Memo [PDF]

Michigan Deer Forecast for 2016 October 11, 2016 Game & Fish
... another excellent year for fawn production during 2016 ... Due to excellent nutrition and the lack of snow in southern Michigan, whitetails in that part of the state are extremely productive... 

... The state has about 1.75 million deer ... November is easily the top month for deer crashes ...

...  A young bull elk recently has been spotted in several locations in mid-Michigan that are outside its home range... Michigan’s wild elk population is found in the northeast Lower Peninsula, the vast majority in the Pigeon River Country State Forest east of Vanderbilt. Michigan also has privately owned elk, within high-fence facilities ... “It may take several weeks to months for this to happen, so we appreciate any information on this elk and its whereabouts...

Online software helps citizen scientists solve real-world problems October 5, 2016 Michigan, MSU Today
... Wildlife biologists could team with hunters to help solve wolf- or deer-management issues ... Using Mental Modeler www.mentalmodeler.org, special online software pioneered at MSU, the group was able to come up with a sensible solution to reduce water pollution...

Rochester Hills, Deer campaign continues October 4, 2016 Michigan, C&G Newspapers
... Based on aerial counts taken last February, DeVoe estimates the city’s deer population to be between 1,200 and 1,800... residents concerned about deer eating their shrubbery should contact the advisory committee. ... a packet of information about how to manage deer in gardens... A campaign to increase drivers’ awareness of deer on the roads has helped lower the number of crashes ...

... The eradication of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, from cattle in many locations worldwide is complicated by endemic foci of the disease in free-ranging wildlife. Recent simulation modeling of the bTB outbreak in white-tailed deer (WTD) in Michigan, USA, suggests current management is unlikely to eradicate bTB from the core outbreak area (DMU 452) within the next three decades...

2016 Wildlife Habitat Grant recipients announced October 3, 2016 Michigan, MDNR News
... A total of $933,892 was awarded to various conservation organizations, units of government, landowners and nonprofit organizations for projects to be completed by Sept. 30, 2018.  Examples of funded projects include enhancement of large grassland complexes, winter deer complexes, mast-producing food sources, forest openings ...

Potentially fatal disease turns up in Michigan deer October 2, 2016 Michigan, Michigan Radio
... Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease ... killed more than 12,000 Michigan deer in 2012 ... its largest EHD outbreak ever ...

Teach good ethics to young sportsmen October 2, 2016 Michigan, The Daily Telegram
... I hear so-called hunters speak of taking head shots at deer and I cringe. I can’t imagine a scenario where a head shot would ever seem like a good idea to me and I consider myself to be an exceptional shot... This deer had her lower jaw blown off from an apparent bad hit during the previous hunting season...

... While the winter of 2015 was relatively mild, the three previous severe winters are still having an impact on deer numbers across the UP. Deer numbers are still quite low, and at least one more mild winter is needed in order to begin seeing deer numbers truly rebound... Apple production appears to be high this year, while acorn and beechnut production is spotty ...

Single Deer in Berrien County Tests Positive for EHD September 29, 2016 Michigan, MDNR News
... Deer deaths from EHD in Michigan have occurred sporadically since 2006. Prior to 2006, EHD outbreaks in Michigan occurred in 1955 and 1974... No cases of EHD were confirmed in the state in either 2014 or 2015...  ... “Due to the prolonged, dry, hot weather this year, we are not surprised to see EHD emerge,” ...

Ann Arbor council candidates disagree on big issues facing city September 28, 2016 MIchigan, Michigan Live
... Silkworth made it clear he opposes the City Council's move to hire sharpshooters to kill deer in city parks and nature areas ... "The city did not conduct any meaningful studies of the deer population within our borders before moving forward with the initial cull.   .... Warpehoski is a proponent of lethal culls... 

Michigan 2016 Deer Season Updates September 24, 2016 MDNR
  LInk to Youtube videos from the Michigan DNR providing audio updates for regions in the state from local wildlife biologists,..

Good deer season likely ahead September 15, 2016 MIchigan, Petoskey News-Review
... a mild winter, lush spring and decent summer helped local deer in terms of population and physical size.  “It does appear that across the Northern Lower (Peninsula) we’re going to have increased populations this year,” ... places like much of Otsego County that has more sandy soil does not typically have as many deer. These deer also tend to be slightly smaller ... 

Early Antlerless Season and The Liberty Hunt - September 14, 2016 Michigan DNR


8th local deer tests positive for wasting disease September 12, 2016 Michigan, Lansing State Journal
... shot about two weeks ago in the same area of Meridian Township ... More than 6,000 deer have been tested for CWD since the first case was discovered in a free-ranging deer in Meridian Township in early 2015 ...
    Possible 8th case of Chronic Wasting Disease September 12, 2016 MIchigan, WSYM-TV
A deer taken by sharpshooters in Meridian Township ... waiting for official confirmation. The deer was killed as part of the CWD management program... 
     Suspect deer for chronic wasting disease identified in Ingham County September 12, 2016 Michigan, MDNR News
     Since May 2015, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been actively conducting surveillance for chronic wasting disease (CWD). To date, more than 6,000 deer have been tested since the first positive was found, with seven cases of CWD confirmed.  However, a 3.5-year-old buck taken recently in Meridian Township is likely to be the eighth positive and the first discovered since March of this year...

MNRC members urged to ban feeding of deer September 9, 2016 MIchigan, Your Daily Globe.com
... as of now, people can feed only two gallons to the deer at one time, but they can keep replenishing the food... In the areas in the U.P. with moderate snow in the study, Mason said coyotes are the major killers of deer, with bobcats also also taking a big toll and black bears hitting the fawns hard...

... asked the Portage City Council to consider a request for $9,800 that would include a helicopter aerial survey of deer populations ... council voted instead to have the board work with the city administration to better define the proposed deer management study and funding request. The council added that the $600 request for the four exclosures fencing – that would be placed in city parks ...

Harbor Springs Deer Park Standoff August 18, 2016 Michigan, My North
... The deer park was started some 70 years ago, when sanctuaries for injured deer and abandoned fawns were common and less regulated... The city has long “thinned the herd” ... but the sniperesque hunting scene was witnessed by a horrified passerby. The outcry that followed led to a change in population tactics: deer birth control. The birth control plans didn’t work so hot and the herd got even bigger...

Ann Arbor, Another lawsuit over Ann Arbor's deer cull dismissed in Court of Claims August 10, 2016 Michigan, MLive.com
... claimed the DNR exceeded its authority by permitting the city to hire sharpshooters to kill deer in Ann Arbor parks and nature areas... Boonstra stated the Court of Claims lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims and dismissed the case...

Spatial quantification of white-tailed deer habitat of a wetland-dominated landscape in Central Lower Michigan.. The Free Library. 2016 Michigan Academy of Science Arts & Letters 07 Aug. 2016 
...  Moist soil units, lakeplain prairie, and bottomland hardwood forests demonstrated high habitat suitability for white-tailed deer but were not significantly different from one another. These wetland types did, however, have significantly higher deer habitat suitability than perennial marsh and agriculture vegetation types. Our results will help managers make better informed wildlife habitat management decisions by anticipating wetland areas that have the highest potential for deer habitat suitability, and impacts of deer herbivory...

Deer are fun to have around but destructive to ornamental gardens, shrubs and trees. The City of Royal Oak, with help from English Gardens presents safe alternatives to keep deer out of your gardens. - July 29, 2016


Ann Arbor voters have important City Council races to decide on Aug. 2 July 28, 2016 MIchigan, MLive.com
... Leeser said he has seen photographs of triplet fawns in Ann Arbor... QDMA [Quality Deer Management] states on its website that as many as 15 to 20 percent of does will bear triplets when deer numbers are in balance with high-quality habitat... if we see triplets and at the same time we're saying, 'Oh, we have to kill these deer because they're starving and we're overpopulated,' ...

...  in Michigan's Upper Peninsula ... Wildlife biologists say nearly every single fawn died after the harsh winters of 2012 and 2013, further hurting a struggling herd. In fact, the population has been on the decline since 1995...  the lack of high-quality deer wintering complexes seems to be the main factor in plummeting deer populations...

... "In this case, one of our benefits is agriculture and deer habitat. Deer grasses and maple saplings that deer feed on really benefit from having fire." ...

As hunting wanes, selling Michigan to a new outdoors generation July 19, 2016 Bridge Michigan
... From 2009 to 2015, the number of resident hunters in in Michigan dropped 10 percent, from 769,875 to 695,747... “The hunting and fishing generation was a lot about family, going away to deer camp together. The millennial generation is much more about weaving activities into their daily life.” ...

... The judge concluded the plaintiffs failed to state any claim for violation of federal law upon which relief could be granted...

Ann Arbor, Deer cull divides 5th Ward candidates for Ann Arbor City Council July 13, 2016 Michigan, MLive.com
... Leeser said he gives the city a D or a D-minus since 63 deer were killed and the goal was to kill 100. He doesn't think it was worth the time and effort the City Council put into the issue over the course of many months from 2014 through all of 2015 and into 2016. He said it became a divisive issue across the city...

     Private landowners interested in helping to maintain or improve Upper Peninsula deer wintering habitat can learn more about the subject and cost-share programs available to aid in those efforts at an upcoming meeting the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has scheduled for July 20...

New rules to affect deer hunters in mid-Michigan July 6, 2016 Lansing State Journal
... outbreak of chronic wasting disease ... hunters in eight more townships will have to submit their deer for testing this fall as it tries to assess the spread of the fatal neurological disease...

A Montcalm County woman was fined nearly $600 for taking four baby deer into her home from the wild and apparently trying to keep them as pets. - July 6, 2016 Michigan


...  expanded the Core Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Area to include 17 townships... “With the detection of CWD-positive deer in the southern part of Clinton County, we need to better understand the magnitude of the disease in those areas,” ...

Fatal deer disease impacts Ionia County July 5, 2016 Michigan, Sentinel-Standard
... seven deer in Michigan have tested positive for CWD. However, no deer found in Ionia County have tested positive for the disease. The reason for the expanded management zone is because three of the diseased deer were found in south Clinton County, which neighbors Ionia County...

DNR announces opportunity to comment on draft master plans for state game areas in Michigan's southwest region July 1, 2016 MDNR
     Michigan Department of Natural Resources state game area managers are seeking public input related to several area master plans in the southwest region of the state.  These plans are important in guiding habitat management, based on both the featured species selected for management at each state game area and use of the areas for recreation such as hunting and wildlife viewing... Draft master plans are available online via the links: Dansville State Game Area (Ingham County); Edmore State Game Area (Isabella and Montcalm counties); Haymarsh Lake State Game Area (Mecosta County) Middleville State Game Area (Barry County)

Farmington Hills includes deer survey in summer tax bills July1, 2016 Michigan,Observer & Eccentric Newspapers
... in their summer tax bills.  City officials have included a survey they hope will help determine if there is a deer problem in the city and, if so, what to do about it...

Royal Oak, City approves educational campaign to warn against feeding deer June 22, 2016 Michigan, C&G Newspapers
... “There is a reason that the deer are there. The reason is they were able to find an easy food source and if you don’t address that, you’re going to be facing the same problem over and over again.” ... Mayor Pro Tem Michael Fournier ... asked city administration to also look at attaching monetary fines to feeding...

Of wolves, deer, maples and wildflowers June 16, 2016 Michigan, Great Lakes Echo
... With the resurgence of wolves in the region, smart deer are learning to keep away from areas with many of the predators, meaning that wildflowers and young maples there have a better chance of survival, according to a recent study by scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR)...

... Royal Oak officials are ready to start an information campaign and possibly issue fines to stop residents and others from feeding the animals... The state Department of Natural Resources does not support relocation or sterilization of deer herds ...

... State game area managers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are seeking public input on several draft master plans for state game and wildlife areas located in the southeastern region of the state...

DNR seeks input on updated Michigan Deer Management Plan June 7, 2016 Michigan, Petoskey News-Review
... The draft updated plan is available on the DNR’s website at www.michigan.gov/deer. The plan will be available for review through July 8. Comments may be submitted to dnr-wildlife@michigan.gov or sent to DNR Wildlife Division, 525 West Allegan St., Lansing, MI 48909.

Ann Arbor, People in shooting zones posed a challenge during Ann Arbor deer cull  June 7, Michigan, MLive.com
...  "During every management visit, individuals were observed in closed parks at the same time deer were being observed and the operation had to be suspended,"  ...  people, including joggers, dog walkers and sledders, entering and exiting parks at times when the parks were closed for shooting, and people were unaware of the shooting taking place ... read the report

How to protect gardens from hungry deer: 'Deer Doctor' offers tips June 4, 2016 Michigan,  MLive
... Chemical repellents, Baker said, are typically the most effective as long as they are applied properly. Liquid Fence, which produces offensive scents, can be extremely effective, but Baker has seen that strategy backfire. She told a story of a friend who used Liquid Fence around her garden. It kept the deer out, but trapped a rabbit inside, giving it unfettered access to "the salad bar," ...

NRC expands chronic wasting disease zone June 2, 2016 Michigan, Outdoor News
... Mason [DNR Wildife Chief Russ Mason]  pointed out that every model done on CWD shows that it CWD is left unchecked it would lead to the elimination of all deer. It’s just a matter of how long will it take. Now models are wrong to some extent, but even if it’s half right that’s terrible...

DNR ready to help evaluate status of moose in Michigan June 2, 2016 Michigan, UPMatters.com
... the Fish and Wildlife Service found a petition filed by The Center for Biological DiversityA moose walks in a wetland along U.S. 41 in Marquette County near Michigamme in May. and Honor the Earth “provided substantial scientific or commercial information” that listing under the Endangered Species Act may be warranted...

     The connection between healthy forests and fire may be firmly established, understood by foresters and wildlife managers, and helpful to countless wildlife species.  However, not everyone outside those occupations has the same understanding... Native Americans used fire to manage forests and grasslands. Aspen forests, and the associated flora and fauna – including white-tailed deer and ruffed grouse – would have benefited from these fires...

... A mother deer, that recently gave birth to two fawns ... her legs were not working and she was bleeding... The two fawns will be cared for until they are ready to be sent back in wild...

Bovine TB – It takes a community May 24, 2016 Michigan, Michigan State University Extension
... What can a community do in the case of bTB? Here are a few things, but certainly not an exhaustive list.  Communicate the importance of agriculture and the need for protection against wildlife that may carry bTB to non-farming neighbors.  Collectively monitor changes in deer density and behavior...

Time is wasting to reap rewards of fall planting May 22, 2016 Michigan, Argus Press
...With the recent and predictable news of the expansion of the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management areas in southern Michigan, the handwriting is on the wall. The practice of deer baiting, as we’ve known it, is on the way out...

State expands management area for wasting disease in deer May 19, 2016 Michigan, Lansing State Journal
... expand the Core CWD Area from nine townships in three counties to 17 townships in four counties ... Successful hunters in the eight new townships will be required to take their deer to a DNR check station to be tested for the fatal neurological disease ...

... Baker presents deer-proofing seminars, educational programs and backyard consultations in her capacity as consultant to the Humane Society of the United States.... Traverwood Branch Library on Saturday, June 4 ...

Kivela CWD bill passes House May 17, 2016 Michigan, WNMU-FM
...  The state House has approved a bill that increases the penalties for illegally bringing a deer carcass into Michigan from another state that has chronic wasting disease... 

... The city plans to conduct a second annual cull next winter while continuing to explore other options and collecting more data on the city's deer population and the extent of damage being caused by deer...

...  grant proposal to purchase approximately 680-acres of the Crystal Waters, LLC property in London Township, Monroe County... would be managed for deer, turkey, small game and waterfowl habitat, along with hunting ...

CWD realities continue to spread May 5, 2016 Michigan, Port Huron Times Herald
... it has been a year since chronic wasting disease was found in a wild Michigan deer. Since May 20, 2015, six more deer have been found with the infectious, incurable disease that kills deer by destroying their brains. Each seems to have come from an area farther from that first sick deer found in Ingham County...

...  a recent online survey conducted by the city show a slim majority of respondents — 54.4 percent — support continuing lethal methods to reduce the deer population, while 45.3 percent are opposed.  A larger majority — 61.4 percent — support implementing nonlethal methods such as contraceptives or sterilization ...

... For the first few weeks of a white-tailed deer fawn’s life, its mother will cache or hide it in secluded locations. This behavior helps reduce the potential of predators finding the fawn.  A fawn’s spots are excellent camouflage ... are virtually odorless when they are young...

Ann Arbor, City Council unanimously passes 2017 budget May 3, 2016 Michigan, The Michigan Daily
... includes $35,000 to study non-lethal alternatives to the city’s controversial deer cull ... “Let Ann Arbor once more be a leader,” McGee said. “Let’s unite this community behind something positive, and let’s benchmark non-lethal methods for deer management in the state of Michigan.” ...

Lets Ditch the Big, Bad Wolf Clich April 29, 2016 Michigan, Daily Beast
... “Wolves provide a firewall against new diseases in deer,” Rolf Peterson told a Michigan Senate committee when the issue of wolf hunting was being debated. “A very obvious example may be chronic wasting disease.” Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a brain disease, like Mad Cow Disease, and it’s one of the major threats to deer populations, after it spread from deer farms and captive hunting facilities to free-ranging deer populations ...

UP wolf survey shows no significant change in population April 28, 2016 Michigan, UpperMichigansSource.com
... Currently, deer numbers in the U.P. are at lows not seen in decades and we wondered if there would be a decline in wolf numbers ... a minimum of 618 wolves ...  no significant change since 2014...

DNR steps up chronic wasting monitoring April 27, 2016 Michigan, Petoskey News-Review
... (DNR) wants to double the number of core areas monitored for deadly chronic wasting disease.  This expansion would include six new townships in Eaton County and two in Clinton County... The first case in the state was discovered at a deer farm in 2008 ... “You’ll see the damage maybe 40 years down the road. We’re trying to prevent that now.” ...

Natural Resources Commission approves year-round coyote hunting April 26, 2016 Michigan, UpperMichigansSource.com
...  an increase in complaints in both urban and rural areas. The DNR is also hoping this helps the deer population in the Upper Peninsula...

... a cattle herd in Oscoda County tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis...Now ... a free ranging white tail deer in Presque Isle County has tested positive ... 

Why Plus/Minus is Good Enough for Deer Management April 20, 2016 Michigan, Michigan United Conservation Clubs
... More states are heading in the direction of using estimates to manage deer herds based on trends year to year, but like Michigan, also taking other factors such as deer damage, and road kill into account as well. No, Michigan does not know an EXACT number, but they are confident in a LIKELY number, and more importantly, how the deer population is trending....

Portage, Deer forum in Portage draws large crowd April 15, 2016 Michigan, WNWN-FM
... DNR Deer Specialist Chad Stevens told Portage residents last night that getting rid of them can be expensive, controversial and never-ending, because deer generally do better in suburban settings than they do in the wild...

Michigan data:   An estimated 1.75 deer in 2016 and an estimated 1.5 million deer in 2015.  Hunting Forecast for 2016.  Based on harvest data about 1.4 in 2014, 1.6 in 2013 and 1.7 in 2012. The last official estimate of 1.73 from 2011. 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. The population was thought to be down by as much as 40 percent.  Still down in 2015, a milder but hard winter, lowest in 30 years.  Population steady in southeast of state.  An estimated 607,113 deer hunters in 2015 took 334,612 deer.  In 2014 an estimated 614,593 hunters took 329,000 deer for a success rate of 41 percent. 
     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 14.5 percent in 2014. To boost the herd, antlerless deer quotas were reduced to about 494,000 in 2014, down from about 550,000 in 2013. In 2015 antlerless permits were eliminated for archery in the Upper Peninsula. 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.  In the 1990's the state had about two million deer.  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.  About eight million acres of public hunting land.
     Chronic Wasting disease was first detected in 2015, likely from infected deer brought into the state.  Testing confirmed eight cases through 2016.
     Deer were abundant prior to the settlement of Michigan, a deer hunting season was set in 1859 but by 1870 most of the deer in the south were gone from over hunting and habitat destruction.  Deer management began in 1895 with a license requirement and bag limit.  About 45,000 deer in 1914, up to 1.125 million deer in 1937, and 1.5 million by 1949.  Over hunting and habitat destruction again resulted in a population decline during the 1960s, about 800,000 in 1965, and into 1972 with the population down to about 500,000.  Revenue from hunting fees was used to improve habitat and the population rose to about 2 million in 1989.  More History.  Michigan has 8 million acres of public hunting land.
    Elk  An estimated 1,371 in early 2016, 668 based on the 2014 winter survey, down from about  1,040 in 2012 and1,200 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. The population was above management goals in recent years, but populations are lower in 2015 so fewer licenses will be issued.   Elk and deer have different diets during the spring, summer and fall.
     Moose  An estimated 323 based on the 2015 biennual survey - down from 451 in 2013.  Most of the moose are in Baraga, Iron and Marquette counties, but there is a herd of about 100 in the eastern Upper Peninsula.  Ticks and weather are suspected as contributors to the decline.  Moose may not survive into the future for Michigan.  In 1985 30 Canadian moose were relocated to the U.P.
     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.  Deer hunting generated about $2.3 billion a year in 2014.  From 1934 to 1937, 71 moose were live trapped on Isle Royale and released on the mainland in a largely unsucessful effort to establish a population.
    Wolves  An estimated 636 in 2014 and 2015 in the Upper Peninsula.  Hunting bounties related to the decline of deer resulted in the elimination of wolves in Michigan, except for Isle Royale, by the early 1960s.  Listed an an endangered species, a few wolves by the early 1980s, more than 100 by 1994.

Other useful links:
Information about deer management, and links to additional resources such as a list of deer check stations. www.michigan.gov/deer   - Michigan Predator to Prey Study-Facebook
-  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
Tweet on this timeline using #Michigan #Deer

Tweets about Deer in Michgan


Tweets about MIchigan Wildlife

Tweets about Wildlife from DNR


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