Michigan Deer:  An estimated population of 1.75 million deer in 2016 through 2018, up from an estimated 1.58 million deer in 2015. The Michigan Peninsula 2019 Deer Forecast observes more deer and fawns seen across the state.  Based on harvest data about 1.4 million deer in 2014, 1.6 million in 2013 and 1.7 million in 2012.  The herd declined following harsh winters of 2013-2014 with the Upper Peninsula hit hardest .   2018 Deer Harvest Report.  Herd analysis at right. Historical Michigan hunting data and news archive.

Michigan Deer News

PFAS session focuses on wildlife October 17, 2019 Michigan, Ehextra
...  Michigan has reported PFAS [ per- and polyflouroalkyl substances] results on about 150 deer with 100 of those sampling from PFAS contaminated sites.   “Only one deer (of those 100) had PFAS levels that warranted an advisory,”  ...

... Michigan had 53,464 accidents involving deer in 2018, up 5% from 50,949 in 2017 and 14% from 46,870 deer-vehicle accidents in 2016... deer herd ... is continuing to recover from  harsh winters in 2013-15 that knocked down their numbers, especially in the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula ..,

Deer season outlook similar to 2018 October 10, 2019, Michigan, Escanaba Daily Press
... “For some areas in the U.P., there was likely a lower fawn recruitment,” Sexton said.  This is largely due to the deep snow levels seen in some parts of the region during the winter of 2018-19...  should not impact the south central U.P..,

...  the deer were found in a farm field in mid-September... The path of the lightning strike could be seen traveling through the fur of the deer ...

Baiting deer for hunting is illegal in Lower Peninsula October 4, 2019 Michigan, Fenton Tri County Times
... no baiting or feeding deer is allowed in the Lower Peninsula... due to the dangers posed by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) ... a minimum fine of at least $50 to a maximum fine of $500, court costs and state fees, and the loss of hunting privileges ...

Grosse Ile, Residents say Grosse Ile has a deer problem, and township isn't solving it  Octobeer 4, 2019 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
... From 2009 to 2018, the island had an annual deer cull. Four permitted hunters would cull an allotted amount of deer ... “We don’t know how many deer are on the island,” ... anecdotal reports from people who claim they’re seeing more deer.” ...

CDC case study finds deer with tuberculosis can transmit bacteria to people September 25, 2019 Michigan, WZTV
... The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning hunters that deer with tuberculosis can transmit the bacteria to humans. The report stems from a case in Michigan in 2017 ... The CDC is advising hunters to wear protective equipment while field-dressing deer ...

... In an effort to halt the spread of chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, the National Resources Commission last year voted to ban baiting and feeding deer across the entire Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula... The Michigan Farm Bureau supports the ban. So does the Michigan United Conservation Clubs ...

Michigan lawmakers push for moose hunt in national park September 20, 2019 Spartan Newsroom
...  estimate of 2,060 moose on the remote island in Lake Superior, up from 515 in 2011. The number grew so fast because the population of their only natural predator, the wolf, had dropped to only two by last year.  In 2018, the Park Service launched a five-year plan to rebuild wolf numbers by relocating animals ...

At the September 17 Meridian Township Board Meeting, Parks and Land Management Coordinator Jane Greenway and Park Naturalist and Stewardship Coordinator Kelsey Dillon presented the plan for the 2019 Deer Management Program.


... It has allowed people to feed it and has walked easily among beach goers ...the biggest concern now is any behavioral changes that come with the deer breeding season ...

... First the deer checked out the couple from behind a fence. Then it climbed over the fence and began pulling individual roses from the bride’s bouquet...

Michigan Peninsula 2019 Deer Forecast September 3, 2019 DNR News
...  Despite some areas that saw record-breaking snow levels, overall the winter of 2018-2019 was considered average for the U.P. ... a mild to average winter for the northern Lower Peninsula, which allowed deer populations to continue to increase across much of the region... in the southern Lower Peninsula, and this past winter was no exception. Deer numbers appear to be similar or higher than last year ..,

DNR confirms cougar report from Gogebic County August 12, 2019 Michigan,
UpperMichigansSource.com
... the state’s 39th cougar report since 2008 ... photographed July 7 in daylight hours northwest of Ironwood, in the far western portion of the Upper Peninsula...

Operation Deer Watch is underway, offering citizen-scientists the opportunity to participate in crucial deer research with the Wisconsin DNR August 6, 2019 Michigan, DNR News
... an annual citizen-science survey that collects information on Wisconsin's white-tailed deer, gives residents an engaging opportunity to assist with deer herd management efforts.  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources researchers ask participants to report their deer sightings via an easy-to-use online form..,

When ugly is beautiful August 2, 2019 Michigan, Petoskey News-Review
... a lack of adequate tree regeneration due to deer browsing. High slash piles may help protect those vulnerable seedlings and saplings... One approach is to flood an area with so much regeneration that enough desired trees make it to the overstory. The other approach is to use logging tops as barriers that restrict deer access...

An update from the DNR before Deer Season July 31, 2019 Michigan, UPMatters.com
... The doe population in the Upper Peninsula hasn’t changed much since last season... The population is remaining stable...

Osceola 'deer farm' operator fined for several facility violations July 31, 2019 Michigan, Cadillac Evening News
...  pleaded no contest to four counts, including failure to maintain facility standard fencing, failure to submit annual inventories, failure to comply with individual animal identification and operating an unregistered facility... 

... DNA results supported the evidence that the bovine TB found in both herds was similar to bovine TB in infected deer found in Presque Isle County in 2014 and 2015...

Councilman wants a deer cull 'compromise' for Grand Haven July 22, 2019 Michigan, Grand Haven Tribune
... nearly $10,000 in damages to Central Park landscaping this year ... adopted a deer management plan in 2008 and conducted its first cull the following year, and in 2017 ... plan entails determining the number of deer to cull on an annual basis along U.S. National Parks Service guidelines of maintaining about 15-30 deer per square mile...

Lawmakers unhappy with deer baiting ban July 13, 2019 Michigan, Iron Mountain Daily News
... The ban, effective immediately, drew sharp criticism from state Rep. Beau LaFave of Iron Mountain, who said of the move, “It’s clear that these people are unaware of the impact these policies have on our freedoms and our economy.”...

... Continue a ban on baiting and feeding in the entire Lower Peninsula that took effect at the end of January 2019... Allow baiting and feeding in the Upper Peninsula except for a ban, effective immediately, in the Core CWD Surveillance Area... in the Upper Peninsula, eliminate antler point restrictions in the Core CWD Surveillance Area ...

...  spokesperson for the DNR says because the deer has been exposed to humans the worry is that it could become dangerous. In the meantime its being monitored. If his behavior does change, the DNR is considering tranquilizing it for relocation... [link to deer's twitter account]
... although no decision has been made, is to shoot the deer with a tranquilizer and relocate it away from the popular beach at Saugatuck Dunes State Park...
... you see the deer stand at the edge of the lake with waves crashing around his hooves before taking a few sips from the water...

... Landowners should have at least 40 acres of land with some wildlife habitat (forest, brush, etc.) within a chronic wasting disease or bovine tuberculosis priority county ...

Isle Royale study looks at predation, pack formation June 22, 2019 Michigan, Daily Mining Gazette
... The National Park Service is bringing 20 to 30 wolves to the island over a three- to five-year period... Wolf survival numbers are on par to those in the wild in the Upper Peninsula, about 75% per year ...

... bills would reduce the price on fishing and hunting licenses to qualified residents who either own land in Michigan, previously lived in the state and had a Michigan resident hunting license, or completed hunter safety training in Michigan...

In this first part of a two-part show, I talk with Chad Stewart and Kelly Straka of the Michigan DNR about wildlife management in the beautiful state of Michigan. Their jobs are challenged by the diversity of habitats in the state as well as the threats of chronic wasting disease and bovine tuberculosis. - June 11, 2019


... About half (49 to 53 percent) of 3+ year residents city-wide said they considered a decline in native animal species, damage to landscape and garden plants, and transmission of diseases to humans or animals to be at least a “minor problem,” with 19 to 26 percent calling each a “serious problem.”  ...

Deer run with man jogging through metro Detroit, following him for half mile June 2, 2019 Michigan, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
... He sent the video to a local news station, telling WXYZ-TV that the deer kept up with him for at least a half mile...

  Rare black deer spotted in northern Michigan May 30, 2019 MIchigan, WBTV
... Black deer, also known as melanistic, are considered the “rarest of rare,” according to the North American Whitetail website...

... City Council voted against an amendment overnight that would have put a stop to deer culling ...
     Ann Arbor council to vote on ending deer cull ... May 20, 2019 Michigan, MLive.com
... “Activities surrounding deer culling operations remain controversial to large segments of the community who oppose these operations based on cost, denial of access to public parks, use of firearms within city limits and in proximity to residential dwellings, and other moral dilemmas presented by the act,” states a proposal from Council Member Jeff Hayner, D-1st Ward...

Discussion regarding permit for deer baiting continues May 15, 2019 Michigan, UpperMichigansSource.com
... "Bait in my opinion contributes heavily to survival rates of U.P. deer, because October through January, they have an additional food supplement ... " [banned in Lower Peninsula] due to increased risk of CWD, or chronic wasting disease...

Fawns that appear abandoned rarely are May 10, 2019 Michigan, DNR News
... While fawns may seem abandoned, they rarely are. All wild white-tailed deer begin life this way.  A fawn’s spots are excellent camouflage and will help it stay hidden from predators... hidden by its mother ... they are virtually odorless when they are young..,

Low esteem for DNR's actions with deer May 4, 2019 Michigan, Alpena News-9 hours ago
... saw a doe along the side of the road dead and a newborn fawn alive beside her. They picked it up and got goat’s milk to feed it until it could eat on its own.  The deer was never penned and was always free-ranging... Michigan Department of Natural Resources was on the way to the farm to euthanize the deer...

Potential high-risk areas established around TB-positive deer May 1, 2019 Michigan, Ogemaw County Herald
... The designation is a result of a free-ranging white-tailed deer in Alcona County testing positive for bovine TB, as confirmed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources...

DNR recommends deer baiting ban for parts of Upper Peninsula April 30, 2019 Michigan, The Iron Mountain Daily News
...  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will seek public comment over the next three months on a recommendation to ban baiting and feeding deer in the Upper Peninsula’s core chronic wasting disease surveillance area for the upcoming fall hunting seasons...

... recommendations range from a baiting and feeding ban proposed for the Core Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Area in the Upper Peninsula and a moderate increase in U.P. antlerless deer licenses, to redefining bait to exclude natural or synthetic food ... [opportunities for public comment]

... May 9, 2019: Public Comment to the Michigan Natural Resource Commission: Meeting at Lansing Community College, Gannon Bld., 422 N. Washington Square, Lansing. To sign up in advance for public comment at any NRC meeting, contact Cheryl Nelson, assistant to the Natural Resources Commission, by phone at 517-284-6237 or by email at NelsonC@michigan.gov..,

... Planting annual or perennial food plots can provide a good source of supplementary nutrition and, depending on what you plant, may also serve as cover. Food plots are an agricultural practice, so managing a food plot will likely include management activities such as testing your soil, cleaning your seedbed, applying fertilizer and removing weeds. Learn more about grain plot planting...

Chronic Wasting Disease, New DNR grants target deer disease — before disease targets us April 22, 2019 Michigan, The Detroit News
... DNR will parcel out up to $4.7 million in new grants to help protect the state's deer, elk and moose... If the deer population becomes decimated, he said, so will the DNR budget ...

  Rare albino deer stops traffic at Kensington Metropark April 22, 2019 Michigan, clickondetroit.com9h
...  it was illegal to hunt the Albino Deer, but that law changed in 2008, that’s because hunters claim it is difficult to determine if a deer is all white, Albino or Pie Bald from a distance...

... a free-ranging white-tailed deer in Alcona County, Mich., testing positive for bovine TB ... Anytime a positive deer is identified, all cattle and bison herds located within a 15-mile radius of the deer must be tested for bovine TB within six months ...

... Forty-eight Kentucky elk made the 14-hour overnight ride from Kentucky ... will join more than 200 elk that make up Wisconsin’s northern elk herd ... the final chapter in our translocation efforts,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole...

... agencies also are seeking proposals for research on CWD prion behavior and persistence in the environment; development of new detection and testing methods, such as rapid tests and field and live animal tests; development and delivery of innovative educational materials ...
... counter-arguing the baiting and feeding ban supported down in the Lower Peninsula, which was created due to increased risk of CWD, or chronic wasting disease...

Video shows behavior of a deer with Chronic Wasting Disease - April 3, 2019 Michigan

... In Montcalm County, 83 CWD-positive free-ranging deer have been identified...

... The state ban on baiting went into effect in January. Lawmakers passed it in an effort to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease. State senator Curt VanderWall introduced legislation in the senate to overturn the ban, which he says may not actually stop the spread of the disease in deer...

DNR awards $100,000 in Upper Peninsula Deer Habitat Improvement grants March 25, 2019 Michigan, UpNorthLive
... The DNR said the Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative is a competitive grant program designed to enhance deer habitat on non-state lands in the Upper Peninsula... One of the requirements for the projects is a 25 percent match...

State on the lookout for infected deer on area farms March 21, 2019 Michigan, Alpena News
... In an effort to reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in Northeast Michigan, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has begun a program of regularly scheduled visits to area cattle farms to assess and reduce the number of deer coming into contact with local herds...

... Algoma Fish and Game Club (AFGC) is carrying out a grassroots, volunteer effort to stave off the potential starvation of deer in the Algoma District following a long winter of excessive snowfall... shipped to the Algoma District from Rack Stacker, a feed company based in Tweed, Ont. ...

... After this winter’s moose survey, wildlife biologists said the western Upper Peninsula moose population is growing at a long-term average of about 2 percent each year, with an estimated 509 animals living in that part of the state..,

DNR issuing supplemental deer feeding permits in southern UP counties March 8, 2019 Michigan, UpperMichigansSource.com
... The action comes with average U.P. snow depths measured across the region nearly double that of a 15-year average for late February and March... when conditions suggest the potential exists for significant winter deer mortality, regulated supplemental feeding is authorized by the DNR ...

Winter Might Wipe Out 40% of Region’s Deer Herd March 4, 2019 MIchigan, DeerandDeerHunting.com
... with upwards of 200 inches of snow already on the ground (and in some areas even more) ... “We can expect to write off 30 to 40 percent of our deer herd if this doesn’t break soon,” said John Ozoga, a retired deer research biologist ...

Dickinson deer fitted with GPS collars February 23, 2019 Michigan, The Iron Mountain Daily News
... Crews were able to capture 38 deer in wooden box traps at 13 different sites on private land in Waucedah Township, easily meeting the goal of fitting 30 with GPS collars that twice a day will record the deer’s location ... study of seasonal deer movement in the western Upper Peninsula...

... Our population goal for elk is between 500 and 900 animals ... Most of the elk population can be found within or adjacent to the elk range in the northeast Lower Peninsula... Approximately 1,196 elk, with a confidence interval of plus or minus 266  ..,

Greetings from the UP, where winter is just a state of mind February 18, 2019 Michigan, Lansing State Journal
... "you go to the local pub, order a pizza and sit in the back and watch the deer ...There's a donation canister to buy food for the deer." ...

... In the late 1990’s, almost 800,000 people were hunting deer in the state. Twenty years later, that number has dropped by around 25 percent... On January 31, a ban on deer baiting went into effect all across Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It’s meant to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease ..,

DNR explains deer kill at Gratiot nature area February 13, 2019 Michigan, The Morning Sun
... An attempt to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease ... In November, the DNR confirmed a 4-year-old buck shot in Gratiot County's Pine River Township tested positive for CWD ...

100 years ago, private deer hunt a flop on Rock Island February 9, 2019 Michigan, Green Bay Press Gazette
... only two deer being killed. The hunt had been permitted by the state conservation commission to exterminate the deer. The hunt was strongly resented by the residents of Washington Island  ... They volunteered to go to Rock Island ... owner of the island, objected on the grounds they would be trespassing...

Tecumseh City Council approves lethal deer cull funding February 6, 2019 Michigan, The Daily Telegram
...  the city contracted with the USDA to conduct a trail survey of the city’s deer population, which revealed an estimated deer population of 194 deer per square mile — an amount considered on the high side compared to similar areas...

... One of the most widely discussed and “controversial” issues in Michigan deer management ... Antler Point Restrictions (APR), a proposal that requires harvested deer to have at least four antler points on one side ...

RESD allows DNR to kill deer at nature area January  January 31, 2019 Michigan, The Morning Sun 
... In November, the DNR confirmed a 4-year-old buck shot in Gratiot County's Pine River Township tested positive for CWD... not as many hunters submitted their deer for CWD testing as anticipated and participation was below this year's goal.  That's why agency officials believe additional deer need to be taken...

... “Do Not Eat” advisory in place for deer taken within approximately five miles of Clark’s Marsh in Oscoda Township ... elevated levels of PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) in muscle tissue...

Hunters leaving Michigan to find 'trophy deer' January 26, 2019 WZZM13.com
...“I’m going to Nebraska,” says hunter Bryan Crots. “I want the big rack. I’m tired of shooting the little ones. I want the big ones.” ... Hunters traveling to other states and Canada say there aren’t enough older males with big antler racks in Michigan ...

Ann Arbor, City ends 4th annual deer cull early, parks reopen January 24, 2019 Michigan, The Michigan Daily
... A total of 386 deer have been killed and 78 surgically sterilized as a result of the program, which has been the subject of long-running debate in the community and cost the city upwards of half a million dollars...

Ann Arbor, 2019 Deer Management Program Safely Completed and Parks Have Been Reopened January 21, 2019 Michigan, City of Ann Arbor
... Sterilization (non-lethal) ... Success within these areas is achieved by the capture and sterilization of more than 95% of female deer identified in the target zones. To date, White Buffalo has sterilized 78 female deer in these zones. The permit allowed for up to 80 to be sterilized..,

... Firearm deer-hunting licenses sold to Michiganders has dropped more than 20 percent in two decades, down to 621,000 in 2017 from a peak of 785,000 in 1998, according to a recent demographic analysis from Michigan Technological University...

... After a recent warning from University of Michigan police that yelling could land them in jail, Ann Arbor deer cull opponents taped their mouths shut at their latest protest...
     Ann Arbor, Yelling could land deer cull protesters behind bars, police warn January 12, 2019 Michigan, Mlive
... One officer said that, under a Michigan statute, they could face 93 days in jail for their actions ... he said to me, 'If I see you again, you will be cited,'" said Shapiro...a leader of anti-cull group FAAWN ...

Manistee, City likely to proceed with deer cull January 10, 2019 Michigan, Manistee News Advocate
... council approved a cull with up to 50 permits issued by the DNR for the taking of deer by local law enforcement. However ... The USDA and the Michigan Municipal League advised the city to not proceed with the cull, within city limits due to safety reasons... “I would recommend using a firearm,” said city manager Thad Taylor. “With a bow they are going to run and last thing you want is them laying on someone’s front porch.” ...

Ann Arbor, Controversy abounds as Ann Arbor undergoes another deer cull January 10, 2019 MIchigan, The Michigan Daily
... Estimates of the size of Ann Arbor’s deer population vary due to methodological difficulties in getting an accurate count. A 2017 count indicated a 50 percent increase in the number of deer spotted from the previous year, but White Buffalo admitted in March 2018 it had significantly overestimated the size of the local population...

... the city gave no public indication there would be any firing of rifles in Ward 3 as part of this month’s deer cull... the city isn’t disclosing individual private properties where city-hired sharpshooters are firing guns...

... anti-cull activists have demonstrated in recent days at multiple sites where city-hired sharpshooters are killing deer ... City Council voted 6-5 Monday night, Jan. 7, to reject a proposal by Council Member Jane Lumm, who believes protesters are violating state law by interfering with the cull...

Ann Arbor, 10 things to know about the Ann Arbor deer cull starting today January 2, 2019 Michigan, MLive.com
... Using a roughly 80 percent detection rate, White Buffalo estimated there were 216 deer in wards 1 and 2, including 78 in sterilization zones, and it predicted an additional 70 fawns by fall 2018, raising the population in those two wards to about 300...

Science, field investigation in action December 28, 2018 Michigan, The Mining Journal
... White-tailed deer and beavers are prey animals of wolves, but ... a pack of wolves in Minnesota’s Voyageurs National Park that hunts fish as a seasonal food source... "berries (mostly blueberries) were an important part of the diet of one of the other wolf packs for several weeks during the summer" ...

Ann Arbor announces park closures for deer cull December 26, 2018 Michigan, MLive
... The city’s fourth-annual deer cull ... Sharpshooters have killed 274 deer in Ann Arbor over the last few years, using rifles to shoot deer mostly in city parks and nature areas... continues to draw protest ...

... would freeze the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' ability to issue permits for the sterilization of game animals until 2022... House Bill 5321 ...

  Deer rescued from frozen Michigan lake December 19, 2018 WNEM-TV 
...  authorities urged people not to attempt to rescue ... A doe and her babies ... two friends ... just wanted to help...

Ann Arbor, Sharpshooters Permitted To Kill Up To 150 Deer In Ann Arbor Next Month December 18, 2018 WWJ Newsradio 950 
...  sharpshooting will not occur from a moving vehicle, but may occur from a parked vehicle... Residents living adjacent to designated parks or nature areas will be informed of closures via postcard...

Michigan data:   An estimated 1.75 million deer in 2016 through 2018, although the 2017 deer harvest was up by about 14 percent.  Several mild winters into 2018 and an uptrend into 2019 as the herd recovers from the sever winters of 2013-15.  The 2019 deer population in the Upper Peninsula was about the same or lower as in 2018 with low fawn survival as a result of deep snow in the winter of 2018-9.  DNR 2019 Peninsula Forecast.  The Michigan 2018 Deer Forecast observes more deer and fawns seen across the state with an average but lingering 2017-18 winter and a mild spring.   Higher deer populations in the Upper Peninsula, a continuing rebound from the hard winter of 2013-14.  Also higher for the Lower Peninsula.  An estimated 1.5 million deer in 2015.  
     The Michigan 2017 Deer Forecast indicated an increase in the population as a result of low snowfall and a mild spring. The winters of 2015-16 and 2016-17 were mild, allowing populations to recover from three harsh winters for 2012-13 through 2014-15.  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.  Nearly 800,000 hunters in the late 1990s.
     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 were 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.  Deer hunting licenses fell from a high of 785,000 in 1998 to 621,000 for 2017
     Chronic Wasting Disease was first identified in 2008 in a fenced, northern Kent County breeding facility; first detected in the wild herd in 2015.  Testing confirmed eight cases through 2016.  The 10th wild deer infected was confirmed in 2017, 31 in total for the year.  As of January 2018, a total of 60 confirmed.
     Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD):  Outbreaks in 1955 and 1974 and sporadically since 2006, including 2017, with an estimated mortality from 50 to 1,000.  The highest mortality was in 2012, about 15,000 deer.
     Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) first discovered in a fawn in Hillsdale county, 2017.
     Bovine TB  With 34 positive cases in 2015, Michigan is the only place in North America with TB still established in the deer herd.  Nearly 900 in 2017.  First discovered in wild deer in 1994.
     History:  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 HistorySome history.  Michigan has 8 million acres of public hunting land.       
     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.  
    Elk  Approximately 1,196 elk, with a confidence interval of plus or minus 266 in early 2019. An estimated 1,158 in early 2017.  In early 2016 an estimated 1,371.  The 2014 winter survey found 668, down from about  1,040 in 2012 and 1,200 in 2008. Michigan restarted its elk population with just seven animals in 1918, relocated to Wolverine, Michigan, from the western United States. after the herd was hunted to extinction around 1875.  Elk and deer have different diets during the spring, summer and fall.
     Moose   A  total western U.P. population estimate of between 420 and 470 animals in 2017.   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.  
      Changes in habitat and over hunting eradicated the Michigan moose population.  The first attempt to restore the herd was around 1935.  That effort failed because logging allowed the deer population to move into moose habitat in the north.  Some deer carry brainworm to which the deer are immune, but fatal to moose.  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  Less than 650 in 2018.  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 the lower Pennisula by 1935, about six in the state by 1973.The wolf issue in Michigan July 25, 2018  Listed an an endangered species, a few wolves by the early 1980s, more than 100 by 1994.
     Cougar  Once native but hunted to extinction by the early 1900s, there have been 38 confirmed sightings from 2008 into 2018.  Genetic tests indicate these are males dispering from South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska, no breeding populations.


Michigan Deer Harvest from 2018 Report