DNR finds 2012 firearm deer season successful—Do You Agree?
The 2012 firearm deer season wrapped up late last week while muzzleloading season begins today. The Department of Natural Resources announced that hunter reports from around the state have been mostly positive, but MUCC wants to know what you think?
The DNR reports that within the first few days of the firearm season, the number of individuals that purchased a deer license was up 2 percent compared to the same point in 2011. Firearm season check station activity also increased this year in the Upper Peninsula and southern Lower Peninsula, but was about the same in the northern Lower Peninsula. The Mackinac Bridge count indicated it was up about 13%. Check station data indicated deer were in good condition, with improvements to key measurements compared to 2011.
While the DNR makes estimates shortly after the deer season closes, they will give a more scientifically-based assessment of harvest and participation over all deer seasons by using an annual hunter mail survey. If you did not receive one of these surveys, you can complete it online here. (Note—if you still plan to hunt deer in December, wait to take this survey after you are done!)
The 2012 firearm deer season harvest appears similar or up slightly compared to the 2011 season. Experiences can differ widely within regions. DNR biologists estimate the harvest, compared to 2011, was up perhaps as much as 10 percent across the Upper Peninsula and very similar to last year in the northern Lower Peninsula.
Hunters across the southern Lower Peninsula had mixed results. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) – which killed a minimum of 13,000 deer and likely many more than that across much of southern Michigan – impacted deer numbers significantly in localized areas, but hunters in the rest of Zone 3 may have had an average year for success. Informal reports show hunters saw significally fewer deer in some areas, but there were also some very large bucks taken. Check out our video page to see these lucky hunters.
What do you have to report on your deer season so far? Still have tags left that you want to fill? Share your thoughts below.