Michigan Deer:  An estimated population of 1.75 deer in 2016 and 2017, up from an estimated 1.5 million deer in 2015. Michigan 2017 Deer Forecast.  Based on harvest data about 1.4 million in 2014, 1.6 million in 2013 and 1.7 million in 2012.  The herd declined following harsh winters of 2013 and 2014 with the Upper Peninsula hit hardest .  2017 Michigan Deer Season updates from biologists across the state.  Herd analysis at right. Historical Michigan hunting data and news archive.

Michigan Deer News

...  Tom Crawford and Derek Delacourt from the city's administration deserve credit for going to Lansing last month and testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee, making the city's case for sterilization as a way to complement lethal methods... an effort in Lansing to ban the sterilization of deer in Michigan...

... A total of 115 deer in Ann Arbor were killed by city-hired sharpshooters ... than half the city's goal, which was to kill up to 250 deer... Anti-cull protesters sought out locations where sharpshooters were working this past month and made noise nearby, chanting: "Stop the shoot! Save the deer!" ...

... a number of lawmakers want the DNR to prohibit any sterilization programs and employ hunters to do the job of managing the state’s deer population, even in densely populated urban areas... “In a lot of neighborhoods, there is only 10-feet between homes and that’s just not a suitable environment for shooting firearms.” [Tom Crawford, chief financial officer for Ann Arbor] ...

Ann Arbor cutting down trees to kill deer to save trees January 24, 2018 Michigan, MLive.com
... Deer are causing too much damage to native vegetation such as oak seedlings with their eating habits, city officials argue...   acknowledged this week the city is cutting down trees to clear areas to shoot deer...  unfenced seedling mortality ranged from 30 percent to 56 percent by site, and from zero to 35 percent by site for fenced seedlings, except at Fritz Park where both fenced and unfenced seedlings had a mortality rate of 70 percent...

... The House Natural Resources Committee will appoint a special committee to consider a bill that would ban deer sterilization programs like Ann Arbor's, Chairman Rep. Gary Howell, R-North Branch, announced on Wednesday...

...  five recommendations include:   Pursuing the help of an outside marketing agency to develop messaging for Michigan’s vision for CWD surveillance and management... Forming a consortium of states and provinces to seek federal, state and private funding to share research on CWD surveillance methods, diagnostic tools, transmission pathways and management practices..,

Wildlife cooperatives boost conservation and habitat January 19, 2018 Michigan, Spartan Newsroom
... A wildlife cooperative gathers private landowners, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts to enhance their local wildlife and habitat... Michigan has 120 wildlife cooperatives, a number that has been increasing since 1991, according to the MUCC... Deer cooperatives and pheasant cooperatives are two of the major types in Michigan...

Celebrating 100 years of wild Michigan elk January January 19, 2018 Michigan Department of Natural Resources
... Michigan’s native herd of elk ... had disappeared from the state by about 1875... During a January 2017 elk survey, approximately 1,100 elk were estimated to be in Michigan’s elk range, which includes the Pigeon River Country State Forest..,

$100,000 available in UP Deer Habitat Improvement grants January 17, 2018 Michigan, UPMatters.com
... a March 1 deadline to apply for a total of $100,000 in deer habitat improvement grant funding in the Upper Peninsula...Groups eligible for these grants include organizations with a formal mission to promote wildlife conservation and/or hunting ...
Controlling white-tailed deer in soybeans January 16, 2018 Michigan, Morning Ag Clips
...  research by Rogerson et al. in 2014, mild to moderate damage has been shown to increase soybean yield in some cases by stimulating additional branching and pod set. Deer damage is more likely in small fields with a high proportion of forested edge, according to Braun in a 1996 study...

Michigan DNR Doing Elk Count January 11, 2018News/Talk 94.9 WSJM
... “Elk had been known to be across Michigan in the late 1800s, but they had all disappeared due to over-harvest and a lack of habitat,” Keen said. “In 1918, there were seven elk brought from the western United States to Wolverine, Michigan. It took some years for that population to grow.” ..,

Jackson, No deer cull for city of Jackson again in 2018 January 9, 2018 Michigan,MLive.com
... For the second year in a row, the city of Jackson will not hire sharpshooters to cut down the deer population,  ... The city and Summit Township paid a combined $7,000 in 2016 to get rid of 45 deer at Ella Sharp Park and the Cascades Golf Course... 

Ann Arbor, Homeless man found living in deer shooting zone in Ann Arbor January 9, 2018 Michigan, MLive.com
... Opponents of Ann Arbor's deer cull have discovered a homeless man camping in a nature area that's designated as one of the shooting zones and they're raising concerns about it...
  Ann Arbor protesters spell 'Save The Deer' in lights outside city hall January 8, 2018 Michigan, MLive.com
... The protest coincided with the start of the city's third-annual deer cull ... City Council designated the Bird Hills Nature Area as a wildlife sanctuary in 1974, specifically prohibiting hunting and trapping of animals at Bird Hills...
     19 deer in Ann Arbor sterilized after week of ovary removals January 7, 2018 Michigan, MLive.com
... A total of 54 ovariectomies were completed last winter and the goal was to do up to 26 more, working in three zones ... White Buffalo, which has conducted sterilization experiments in several communities across the United States, argues it can be effective and Ann Arbor could see a 10-20 percent annual reduction in deer population...

Female deer are brought into a makeshift operating room in a shed at the Huron Hills Golf Course in Ann Arbor for ovary removal on Jan. 3, 2018. The surgical sterilizations are being done as part of the city's deer management program.


Wasting disease shifted in Michigan's deer herd January 3, 2018 Michigan, The Detroit News
... In all, 50 cases have now been identified in Michigan since the first emaciated, confused deer was killed by police east of Lansing in 2015. Three others were found from two penned deer farms or ranches in Mecosta County...  numbers appear to indicate we have a new epicenter ..,

... the study will provide DNR wildlife managers with valuable information needed if chronic wasting disease ... “Limiting the spread of CWD is difficult, but even more so here in the U.P. where winter severity results in increased deer movements and yarding behavior that concentrates animals,” ..,

 ... The goal is to sterilize up to 26 more deer ... the prospect of subzero overnight temperatures is a concern and those helping with the recovery side of the operation are going to be very careful with the deer when returning them to the wild, laying down mats for them in the cold snow until they're able to stand up and walk away on their own...
      Mayor Christopher Taylor offers look ahead to 2018 in Ann Arbor January 1, 2018 Michigan, MLive.com
... I voted against the cull, but I honor the fact that residents believe we have too many deer in our city. I, however, think the hundreds of thousands of dollars that we’re spending is more cost than we get benefit. Further, I think that shooting and killing in our parks and our residential areas is inconsistent with the values of our city ultimately and it does harm to people’s sense of home...

A look at the top outdoor issues of the year December 29, 2017 Michigan, Escanaba Daily Press
... Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is isolated to the Lower Peninsula (L.P.), however the core area is expanding.  ... a migration monitoring study underway this winter to identify whether or not deer are moving across state lines between Michigan’s U.P. and Wisconsin. There are two counties in Wisconsin verified to have CWD, each with infected deer within 30 miles of the border...

MDARD to Hold Five Public Meetings Regarding Changes to Bovine December 20, 2017 Michigan, Tuberculosis Zoning Order
EIN News 
... meetings will cover pending changes to Michigan’s bovine tuberculosis zoning order and include presentations on the requirements of the proposed new zoning order, the Enhanced Wildlife Biosecurity Program, and the current status of the deer herd in these counties...

DNR seeks landowners' help in deer study December 14, 2017 Michigan, Post-Bulletin
...  to examine how deer move across the landscape around the chronic wasting disease management area... also designed to collect deer survival data, which will contribute to the population model...

...  first case of a Mecosta County CWD positive farmed deer since January 2017, when a different farmer submitted two positive samples ... As of Dec. 6, 30 cases of CWD have been suspected or confirmed in deer from Clinton, Ingham, Kent and Montcalm counties ..,

Lawmaker wants hunters, not sterilization, to control deer population December 10, 2017 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
... State Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona, introduced a bill last week to prohibit the already rare practice of sterilizing deer as a way to keep the number of deer down across the state...

Joseph, Man who shot deer ordered to pay fine, costs December 9, 2017 Michigan, Herald Palladium
... Some people called for harsh punishments for the man who did it, and others mourned the loss of the white-tailed deer that had been wandering the area for several weeks...

State Seeks to Avoid TB 'Nuclear Option' December 8, 2017 Michigan, The National Law Review
... It is debated who is infecting whom, but the farming community thinks it’s clear that deer continue to infect cattle with TB... "The USDA's options would reinstate testing ...

Ann Arbor's plan to shoot deer in neighborhoods has some residents in fear December 7, 2017 Michigan, MLive.com
... The fatal shooting of a woman who was reportedly mistaken for a deer in western New York, an incident that recently made national headlines, has some Ann Arborites fearing a similar tragedy could happen here during the city's upcoming deer cull...

     With the firearm deer season complete, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has now identified a total of 30 free-ranging white-tailed deer that are confirmed or suspected to have chronic wasting disease... Since May 2015 when the first CWD deer was found, the DNR has tested approximately 23,000 deer. Of those tested, 30 cases of CWD have been suspected or confirmed ..,

  Deer swims 1 mile in frigid waters and visits Mackinac Island December 5, 2017 Michigan, MLive.com
... "When he was swimming across the channel he was right in the path where the boats go," ... But they went by and I saw his head again ...

... will complete sterilizations by darting up to 26 female deer in up to three zones and surgically removing their ovaries... This will be the city's third-annual cull and perhaps its biggest yet. A total of 156 deer were killed during the two previous culls...

... a national shortage ... “The DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory staff has been processing over 1,000 deer heads per day for disease testing,” ...

... In 2002, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel identified two Minnesota men who developed Creutzfeldt-Jakob, the human mad cow variant, after years of eating wild game from CWD-contaminated regions. The medical community can’t prove it’s related ... A third friend was said to have died of Pick's disease, a more common brain disorder, though it's possible his diagnosis was an error...

Deer season shows improvement November 24, 2017 Michigan, Escanaba Daily Press
... The devastating winters of 2013-14 and 2014-15 took a toll on the vast Upper Peninsula (UP) whitetail deer population. One area of the deep snowfall zone saw 80% doe mortality and 100% fawn mortality in the Keweenaw to Gogebic range... Upper Peninsula has experienced two relatively mild winters the last two years ..,

... "it is considered a suspect animal at this point." ...

Man fined thousands for poaching in Oscoda County November 21, 2017 Michigan, UpNorthLive.com
... He was fined $14,220, sentenced to 45 days in jail or community service and had his hunting license privileges revoked for five years. $12,000 of the fine is restitution to the state for the deer that were taken ...

Michigan deer hunter films black bear stealing his kill November 21, 2017 MLive.com
...  After walking 20 yards or so I realized that the bear was heading to my deer. Several times I tried shouting, whistling, breaking brush. She would not leave."  [video included] ...

Ann Arbor, Residents still fawn over their dear deer November 20, 2017 Michigan, The Michigan Daily
... The Ann Arbor community is divided on the issue of the cull, with over 1,500 residents signing a petition as of this month that urges the city to stop the practice. At the University of Michigan, critics are also speaking out. The Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife in Nature, an animal rights group formed to oppose the cull ...

...  the 1.5-year-old buck, harvested last month in Sidney Township (Montcalm County), was confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. This is the 11th case of CWD to be confirmed in a free-ranging deer in Michigan..,

More than 1500 sign petition urging Ann Arbor to stop killing deer November 17, 2017 MIchigan, MLive.com
... A petition urging the city to "Stop the Killing of Hundreds of Deer!" has more than 1,500 signatures on Change.org. Additionally, new yard signs opposed to the cull are sprouting...

... The average individual hunter spends around $2,237 ...

Considerations for meat processors accepting venison to prevent spreading Chronic Wasting Disease November 14, 2017 Michigan, Michigan State University Extension
... When accepting and handling deer, especially from the CWD core area and management zones, core area DMU 333 as well as DMU 359, wear rubber or latex gloves... If you suspect the deer was taken from a CWD surveillance area but the hunter is not being forthcoming about this information, refuse to accept the deer and require it to go to a DNR checkpoint prior to accepting it...

Wasting disease threatens Michigan deer herd November 10, 2017 The Detroit News
... Michigan’s first case was identified in a fenced, northern Kent County breeding facility in 2008. The first infected free-ranging deer was found in 2015 wandering a subdivision in Ingham County’s Meridian Township, about 10 miles from the state Capitol...  “The long-term impact is that it leads to population declines that are essentially irreversible.” ..,

Buck forecast: How will hunters fare? November 10, 2017 Michigan, Petoskey News-Review
...  the forecast is predicting similar to slightly more deer available in all regions of the state compared to 2016. This projection includes the Upper Peninsula, which has seen lower numbers tied to harsh winter weather more than two years ago..,

Petoskey, City defers on deer discussions November 9, 2017 Michigan, Petoskey News-Review
...  car-deer crash statistics in the city going back to 2003 don't show any pattern of increasing numbers of crashes...  City manager Michael Cain said ..."I'm very leery with regards to encouraging any sort of hunting in the city ... Having open hunting in our community scares me significantly." ...

... Michigan's deer harvest has been on a generally downward trend since the 1990s... Michigan has about 1.75 million... anticipating a 2017 harvest equal to or "slightly" exceeding last year's numbers ... Michigan's deer harvest surged in in the late 1980s as a series of mild winters and feeding of deer by the public grew the state's deer population to 2 million ..,
Ann Arbor, Local animal rights group launches online petition to end lethal deer cull program November 5, 2017 Michigan, The Michigan Daily
... The petition, which was started by the Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife and Nature, argues City Council mismanaged municipal funds to support a program that, in FAAWN’s perspective, was unnecessarily cruel and had limited success in controlling Ann Arbor’s deer population...

Signs point to more deer this season November 4, 2017 Michigan, Escanaba Daily Press
... recovery is due in large part to the area’s relatively mild winters of 2015-16 and 2016-17. During the winter of 2016-17, two significant thaws in January and February and below-average snow depths helped deer survive...  the area’s deer population is still recovering from the winters of 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15..,

Thirty dead deer found in area October 27, 2017 Michigan, Fenton Tri County Times
... pulled 11 dead deer from the Shiawassee River ...  died of EHD, or epizootic hemorrhagic disease ... The most deer that died from EHD was 15,000 in 2012 ..,

... More than 400 people showed up for a town hall meeting about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This comes after the DNR's announcement that a second deer in that area is suspected of having it...

Another Montcalm County deer suspected to have CWD October 24, 2017 Michigan, DNR News
...  a second hunter-harvested deer in Montcalm County is suspected positive for chronic wasting disease. A sample has been sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation. If confirmed positive, the 1.5-year-old buck, harvested in Sidney Township, would be the 11th free-ranging deer in Michigan found to have CWD..,

Hillsdale deer tests positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis October 20, 2017 Michigan, The Daily Telegram
... a fawn in Hillsdale County ... first deer in the state found with the virus transmitted by mosquitos...  agency warns hunters not to handle or consume any deer they believe may be infected with the virus ..,

...  Increased penalties include up to 90 days in prison or fines ranging from $500.00 minimum or $2,000.00 maximum, or both. It is now Public Act 124 of 2017...

... a 3 1/2-year-old female deer taken during Michigan’s youth deer hunting hunt in September has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.  This makes it the 10th free-ranging deer in the state ..,

Harbor Springs, Future of Harbor Springs Deer Park up for vote October 16, 2017 Michigan. Up North Live
... Council has officially placed a proposal on the November 8th ballot that would prohibit wild animal enclosures in their community... The deer park has been a part of the Harbor Springs community since 1946 ..,

... killing possibly hundreds of deer while doing fewer non-lethal sterilizations... 250-350 deer need to be shot and killed ...  already paid sharpshooters to kill 159 deer ... 

9 things to know about deer-vehicle crashes in Michigan October 16, 2017 MIchigan, MLive.com
...  The state has about 1.75 million deer.  ... Michigan had 46,870 vehicle accidents involving deer in 2016... Almost two-thirds of deer-vehicle crashes -- 63% -- occurred on county or local roads, while 21% are on state roads, 10% on U.S. routes and 5% are on interstates...

... penalties for illegally importing a full carcass or specified parts of a carcass of deer, elk or moose from another state or province. Increased penalties include up to 90 days in prison or fines ranging from $500.00 minimum or $2,000.00 maximum, or both... Public Act 124 of 2017.

Genesee County deer tests positive for EHD October 11, 2017 Michigan, 
... Deer deaths from EHD in Michigan have occurred sporadically since 2006... outbreaks in ...1955 and 1974... estimated mortality has varied from 50 to 1,000 ... largest die-off occurred in 2012, with an estimated loss of more than 12,000 deer..,

... a 3 1/2-year-old female deer taken during Michigan’s youth deer hunting season in September has tested positive for chronic wasting disease.  The animal, harvested in Montcalm Township in Montcalm County, is the 10th free-ranging deer in Michigan found to have chronic wasting disease ..,

... likely to be the 10th free-ranging deer in the state found to have chronic wasting disease. The animal was harvested in Montcalm Township in Montcalm County, and preliminary tests indicate the animal may be positive for CWD...

... 2017 Michigan Deer Season updates from biologists across the state. Reports from additional biologists representing counties and DMUs throughout the state will be posted here as they become available...

Michigan 2017 Deer Forecast September, 2017 DNR 
... The winter of 2016 was relatively mild across the entire state. Low snowfall levels and above-average temperatures made for good deer survival conditions and 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. Due to these circumstances, this year both the overall number of fawns seen and the number of twins and triplets across the state has increased.  In addition to an increase in the number of fawns being reported, the overall number of  deer being observed appears to be up as well...

Fishermen rescue deer found swimming miles from Lake Erie shore September 22, 2017 Michigan, cottagelife.com
... “It was on the verge of going under,”  ...  towing it to shore in a painstaking trip that took an hour and 10 minutes...

2017 Michigan Deer Forecast September 19, 2017 Game & Fish
... The last two winters have been mild, according to Stewart, allowing deer populations to increase statewide. As a result of increased deer numbers, more areas will be open to antlerless hunting and permit quotas will increase..,

... A free ranging, white-tailed deer in Genesee County died due to complications from epizootic hemorrhagic disease ... More than 12,000 deer died from the disease in 2012 ...

Grand Haven OKs agreement for fall deer cull September 19, 2017 Michigan, WZZM
... City Council approved a $6,460 contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to conduct the cull on behalf of the city by a 3-2 vote Monday night...

Ann Arbor,   Ann Arbor deer cull now part of national high school ethics debate September 13, 2017 Michigan, MLive
... Students across the country will be debating the pros and cons of Ann Arbor's deer cull after a Huron High School student's ethics case on the topic was picked up by the regional High School Ethics Bowl...

Lake Erie fishermen rope in a lost deer August 28, 2017 Michigan, Monroe Evening News
... The 3-point buck was rescued Sunday about 3 miles offshore ... video clips his wife posted on her Facebook page ...

Did I just see an elk? August 25, 2017 Michigan, Cadillac News 
... Michigan’s native elk disappeared around 1875. Today’s elk herd dates back to 1918 when seven western animals were released near Wolverine..,

Be aware of NEW cervid importation regulations August 25, 2017 Michigan, DNR News
... “Hunters need to realize that the new importation regulations apply to any location they hunt outside Michigan, not just those states and provinces that have chronic wasting disease,” said Chad Stewart, Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer and elk specialist. “These changes have been put in place in hopes of keeping potential cases of CWD from unintentionally being brought into Michigan.” ...

Meridian Township, Archers, sharpshooters will hunt at some Ingham County parks  August 23, 2017 Michigan, Lansing State Journal
... Meridian Township's deer management program — now in its seventh year ... the program started prior to the discovery of chronic wasting disease in Meridian Township deer.  “It’s more of a habitat protection vehicle, because we had over-browsing on these properties causing detriment to the flora,”  ...

Wild game processors now need free permit from DNR August 13, 2017 Michigan, UPMatters.com
...  “As we work to manage white-tailed deer diseases in Michigan, we need to be able to contact processors who might be able to assist us in processing donated deer," ... free permit is to determine how many game processors are in the state ...

Hillsdale,  Species reduction hunts on agenda August 7, 2017 Michigan, The Hillsdale Daily News
... The hunt began in 2010... approval of the annual bow hunt within the city limits ...

More than 100 plan to hunt elk in Northern Michigan August 3, 2017 Michigan, Petoskey News-Review
... the DNR’s goal is to keep the elk population between 500 and 900 elk, but the population is currently estimated to be around 1,158 based on the latest aerial elk population survey from January 2017..,

$1 million set aside for CWD research August 2, 2017 MIchigan, Midwest Communication
... Legislators have set aside $1 million in Michigan's 2018 budget to study chronic wasting disease in the state's deer population...

DNR conservation officers seek tips on Tuscola County deer poaching incident August 3, 2017 Michigan, DNR News
...  Conservation officers last night (Aug. 1) found the remains of two bucks – an 8-point and a 9-point – in a ditch near the intersection of M-25 and Clark Road in Akron Township. ... Citizens asked to share any information ...

... Demboski attributed plummeting Upper Peninsula whitetail deer populations to wolf depredation, though researchers point to multiple harsh winters in a row a few years ago, as well as coyotes and bobcats also preying on the deer...

... [only in the north]  from a random sample of hunters in the northwest 12 region and found a 77 percent approval rating for the restrictions...

Protecting farm feed from deer July 13, 2017 Michigan, Michigan State University Extension
... The most important step in protecting cattle from getting tuberculosis (TB) is to protect feed intended for cattle from deer... Deer that graze pastures, and are subsequently grazed by cattle, can be a transmission point ... 

... Michigan's Natural Resource Commission did not add statewide APRs, or any substantial APR additions to deer hunting seasons in the state during their monthly ...

... Deer hunting will be in focus this week as the Michigan Natural Resources Commission considers antlerless hunting license quotas, antler-point restrictions and deer management assistance permits at the commission's next regular meeting Thursday, July 13 ...

... In 1997 the state's first APR restrictions came to be with hunters only allowed a second buck with at least four antler points on one side... in 1986 ... 226,970 hunters participated in the archery deer season, 702,070 took part in the firearm season, and an additional 60,280 participated in the muzzleloading season...

... State officials want hunters to shoot more deer in northeastern Lower Michigan ... Infected deer in this area spread a disease called bovine tuberculosis. It can kill cows ...
   Bovine tuberculosis – a disease still worth fighting July 6, 2017 Michigan, UPMatters.com
... “We are the only state in nation that has bTB established in wild deer.” ... Severely infected animals can struggle to even breathe,” Straka said. “By not eradicating this in the herd, we risk the spread of the disease to new areas of Michigan and into our wild elk herd...

Ann Arbor approves $481K to continue deer management efforts July 6, 2017 Michigan, MLive.com
... continuation of surgical sterilization and sharpshooting services at a cost of up to $170,000 per year, or $340,000 over two years... White Buffalo killed another 96 deer in Ann Arbor's parks and nature areas during the second cull earlier this year, while also sterilizing 54 female deer ...

... State officials want hunters to shoot more deer in northeastern lower Michigan... to thin the deer herd ... There are folks up there that are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars on their properties for deer hunting... 

Antler Point Restrictions,  Deer hunting management strategy successful up north, statewide expansion eyed June 20, 2017 Michigan, Harbor Light
... "Even people who were against the APRs to start because they didn't like the idea of the government regulating what deer they can harvest have really done a 180-degree change and are now supportive, because the positive impact it has had on area hunting and on local herds is that incredible." ...

... In crafting these master plans, the DNR also takes into consideration how management of the state game and wildlife areas affects local economies through activities like timber sales, agricultural production and wildlife-based tourism.  Draft master plans are available online [link above] ... 

Michigan 2016 Deer Harvest Survey June, 2017 Michigan DNR
... About 347,219 deer were harvested statewide in 2016, which was not significantly different than in 2015 ... Although statewide harvest was similar between years, harvest in the NLP increased significantly by 10% in 2016. Statewide harvest of
antlerless and antlered deer in 2016 for all seasons combined was not significantly different from 2015. However, harvest of antlerless deer increased by 12% in the NLP and harvest of antlered deer increased by 17% and 9% in the UP and NLP ...

Farmington Hills approves ban on feeding deer June 13, 2017 Michigan, The Oakland Press
... an effort to control the deer population ... The ordinance does not apply to food placed for purposes of trapping or otherwise taking deer under a permit issued by the MDNR...

... The percentage of calves in the moose population was 22 percent in 2013, 17 percent in 2015 and 19 percent this year.  “We will continue to monitor the percentage of calves in the population as this is an important indicator of the viability of the moose population over the long-term,” Beyer said.  Researchers think the survey this year, if completed, would have yielded a total western U.P. population estimate of between 420 and 470 animals...

... the moose population declined as settlers began over-hunting the animal and damaging its habitat... 1935 brought the first attempt to bring moose back ... a parasite called brain worm that doesn’t cause a problem in the deer, but when it gets into the moose, it will kill them ... As they cleared the forest up north, the deer population was able to increase, and that adversely affected the moose population..,

Fawn killed by Metroparks' mower horrifies Facebook fans June 2, 2017 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
... A photo zipping around the internet of a fawn run down by a tractor at Stony Creek Metropark triggered a rash of protest comments on Facebook and charges of wildlife abuse ...

... . A gaggle of geese in the water nearby swam towards the deer as it struggled on the shore. “They kept squawking at it and scaring it or encouraging it ... Either way, the deer eventually made its way up the rocks and onto a nearby walking path. “If it wasn’t for [the geese] I don’t know if the deer would have made it up the bank ...

I went down to the lake. What I came across was shocking, a deer in the lake without an easy escape.


... crew members from the Manistee station were doing routine training Wednesday morning when they saw the deer struggling to free itself...

Will Michigan's efforts save deer from deadly disease? May 25, 2017 Lansing State Journal
... Unchecked, chronic wasting disease has the potential to wipe out half or more of Michigan’s deer herd in heavily infected areas ...  Sharpshooters have thinned local herds and will continue to do so this fall...

... House Bill 4424 would increase the penalties for illegally bringing a deer carcass into Michigan to a fine between $500 and $2,000. The bill would exempt the hides, deboned meat, finished taxidermy products, cleaned teeth, antlers or antlers attached to a skullcap cleaned of brain and muscle tissue from this penalty...

... More than 50 hunters from a variety of organizations spoke in favor of APRs during the Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting ... The DNR is proposing to expand APRs to their tuberculosis management area ... not proposing to expand APRs statewide...

DNR proposes deer regulations to Natural Resource Commission, antler restrictions May 12, 2017 MIchigan, UpNorthLive.com
... “The three-point antler restriction was put in place and we were at the point where we have done the re-survey of that area and it achieved 76 percent survey approval," said Autenrieth. "So we are moving forward to recommend that that be permanently in place." ...


Michigan data:   An estimated 1.75 deer in 2016 and 2017.  An estimated 1.5 million deer in 2015.  The Michigan 2017 Deer Forecast indicates an increase in the population as a result of low snowfall and a mild spring.  2017 Deer Season Biologist Updates.  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. 
     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.
     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.  
     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.  More 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  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  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




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, source Michigan DNR