2011 Michigan Deer Harvest Results

Gearing up for hunting season? The 2011 deer season’s results have been published by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, giving hunters insight to what they can expect this upcoming season and how Michigan deer hunters fared last season.

The 2011 season included several slight changes in hunting trends, possibly to be continued this season.  In total, Michigan had 691,218 people who purchased a deer hunting license in 2011. Overall the number of people buying a deer hunting license declined slightly, by about 1% overall since last year, continuing a 14% slide in the last 10 years. However, archery license purchases saw an increase of 3% since last year. Antlerless licenses purchased dropped by almost 20,000 from 2010. Hunter numbers during regular firearm season have been decreasing since 2005, whereas numbers during the antlerless seasons and archery increased since last year.

Despite slight decreases in hunting participation, deer harvest has gone up in recent years. The 2011 season ended with just over 422,000 deer harvested, including both bucks and does, which is about a 1% increase over 2010. Statewide, 45% of hunters were successful in harvesting at least one deer; the most success was during archery and regular firearm while the early youth antlerless and muzzleloader seasons had the lowest success rates.

Regionally, the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula saw relatively equal success rates. The Southern Lower Peninsula still had the highest, with 46% hunter success. Statewide, the 2011 season saw relatively high success rates, fewer hunters purchasing licenses, stable harvest numbers and an increase in archers using crossbows.

This information from the 2011 season was taken into consideration for the Natural Resource Commission’s 2012 antlerless quota changes. 2012 antlerless license applications are on sale now until August 15th for $4. There will be 708,650 antlerless licenses available this year, down from 756,200 last year. The statewide limit on antlerless licenses is five, excluding DMUs 486 and 487 which offer a 10-license limit.

The NRC increased the number of antlerless licenses available in the Upper Peninsula, which now offers antlerless licenses in 11 DMUs, up from 7 last year. New open DMU’s include 22, 31, 36, 55, 117, 121, 122, 152, 155, 252 and 255.

In the Northern Lower Peninsula, antlerless permits have been decreased, with fewer licenses available on public and private land. However, all DMUs will offer at least private land antlerless permits this year. DMU 487, which includes Alpena, Alcona, Iosco, Montmorency, Presque Isle, and Oscoda counties, will offer private land permits that can be used throughout the whole DMU.

Permits have decreased in the Southern Lower Peninsula as well. DMU 486, which includes all but four counties (St. Clair, Macomb, Wayne, and Monroe) in southern Michigan, offers private land permits available to use throughout the entire DMU.

The DNR’s full 2011 report is available here and those interested can find the list of antlerless license quotas online by DMU at www.michigan.gov/deer.

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