Michigan Deer Population: About 1.7 million deer in 2020. An estimated population of 1.75 million deer in 2016 through 2018, up from an estimated 1.58 million deer in 2015. 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. Peak Population in the 1990s.
Deer culls will continue at Kensington Metropark, issuing a report calling it best option January 19, 2022 Michigan, Detroit Free Press
... Huron-Clinton Metroparks officials recently released a 68-page report in which they determined that sharpshooters remain the best strategy for controlling overpopulation of deer herds... [non-lethal options]
Humane Society invites experts to make case against resuming Ann Arbor deer cull January 13, 2022 Michigan, MLive
... hosting a free webinar to make an ecological case for peaceful co-existence with urban deer...Council voted 6-5 last May to defund the program for a second year, freeing up $120,000 in the annual budget to reallocate other initiatives, including preliminary design work for a new downtown park and civic commons...
East Lansing wildlife rehabilitator is proposing a humane alternative to the city's deer cull January 3, 2022 Michigan, WSYM-TV
... "You leave tracts of land that are open and green, that can bring them out of the city and encourage them to come into these big open areas." ... Green corridors got their beginnings in Europe and are being implemented across the United States...
Wildlife rehabilitator expresses concern over East Lansing's deer culling plans January 1, 2022 Michigan, WSYM-TV
... “To come in and start to cull deer that are located a half a mile from where I am required to release my fawns here. For them to come in a kill deer a half a mile from where they are released just doesn’t make any sense,” ..,
All Cougars Confirmed in Michigan Have Been Male: Why we Don't see Females, Kittens ... December 31, 2021 Michigan, The Chronicle
... 11 sightings of cougars in the U.P. so far this year ... researchers have only confirmed lone male cougars in Michigan ... Young male cougars often leave groups when they are out-competed...
East Lansing, Up to 300 deer to be killed during culls in East Lansing, Meridian Township December 29, 2021 Michigan, WKAR
... In Meridian, township police will kill up to 200 deer ...
License sales in 2021 means Michigan interest in outdoors remains high December 28, 2021 Monroe Evening News
... Hunting license purchases were up 1.6% from 631,138 bought in 2019... 641,588 people purchased hunting licenses ..,
Deer Habitat Improvement Program grant application period open December 16, 2021 Michigan DNR News
... Landowners with property in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties are eligible to apply for the grant... To learn more about the Deer Habitat Improvement Program grant, visit AlpenaMontCD.org.
Michigan data: An estimate of 1.7 million deer in 2020. 2021 Forecast. A mild 2020-21 winter and abundant mast in the Upper Peninsula supported deer populations. An estimated 1.75 million deer in 2016 through 2018, although the 2017 deer harvest was up by about 14 percent. More hunters in 2020 and 2021, a result of the pandemic. A mild winter in 2020-21 and abundant acorns in 2021 have supported the deer population. 2020 Forecast.
Several mild winters into 2018 and an uptrend into 2019 as the herd recovers from the severe winters of 2013-15. 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 Low
er 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, peak population. 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. For the 2019 season there were 65 CWD positives confirmed. Six deer farms confirmed by 2021.
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. Some cases reported in 2021.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) first discovered in a fawn in Hillsdale county, 2017.
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. One state source puts the number at up to 1.125 million deer in 1937, but the 1937 deer census puts the number 1,172.975. Estimated at 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. Some 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 by 2014, 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 Yellowstone national park. after the herd was hunted to extinction around 1875. Elk and deer have different diets during the spring, summer and fall. 2006 to 2019 elk population estimates.
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. Moose in the Upper Pennisula were wiped out in the late 1880s by brainworm.
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. 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 and 75 in total by the end of 2021. Genetic tests indicate these are males dispering from South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska, no breeding populations.