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DNR gives Upper Peninsula firearm deer hunting season update

MARQUETTE — Wildlife biologists with the Michigan DNR are reporting an initial drop in the number of deer checked at stations across the Upper Peninsula since opening day, compared to the same time period in 2018.
“All of these figures, which are through Sunday (Nov. 17), are preliminary, and numerous factors – such as snow depth, hunter participation, day of the week of opening day and temperatures, among others – can affect comparisons between given years,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “When compared to the 10-year average, some check stations were up from last year.”
     Norway had registered 52 deer through Nov. 17, which appears to be down a little from 2018 as well.
“On average, we appear to be down about 14 percent from the same time in 2018,” said DNR wildlife biologist David Jentoft, describing the region-wide results. “However, this is just a quick snapshot. This will likely change as the season moves on.”
Wildlife biologist observations include:
• A majority of deer checked at U.P. DNR check stations have been bucks.
• Deer have had good body condition and about average antler development.
• Staff report seeing quite a few 2.5-year-old, and older, bucks coming in and not as many younger bucks so far.
• Many hunters are reporting seeing good deer numbers, including bucks, and hunter attitudes have generally been good.
• Hunting conditions were a little tough on opening day in some areas with strong winds and snow in some places. Temperatures started in the upper 20s but dropped through the day.

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