DNR updates deer season in U.P.
The U.P. received significant snow in the past weeks, which likely affected check station numbers at least at some Michigan Department of Natural Resource locations. (Kevin Zini photo)
MARQUETTE— Wildlife biologists with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said preliminary results from deer check stations across the Upper Peninsula show the harvest for this year’s firearm deer hunting season was down roughly 5 percent compared to 2018 and a 10-year average.
The results were compiled as of the end of the day Monday, Dec. 2.
“As with all of these season comparisons, various factors can play a role in affecting the totals,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “Timing of the opening day, the date of Thanksgiving, deer activity, snowfall and other weather conditions are just some of these circumstances.”
David Jentoft, a DNR wildlife biologist at Sault Ste. Marie, speculated a couple of specific factors may have influenced reports this year.
“The U.P. received significant snow within the past week, which likely affected check station numbers, at least at some locations,” Jentoft said. “The conditions may have discouraged, or even prevented, some hunters from getting out, and likely discouraged hunters from bringing their deer into a check station.”
At the check station in Sault Ste. Marie, two years of road construction ended just prior to firearm season but may have affected the deer check totals. The largest drops in check station totals compared to 2018 and the 10-year average were recorded there.
Overall, it appears the number of bucks and the number of deer checked at seven U.P. DNR check stations during firearm season was down 5-10 percent from 2018. It appears these would be about 5 percent down from the past 10-year average. (This figure does not include the Norway station.)