Michigan Deer Huntng
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Michigan Hunting

continues to provide exceptional opportunities for many species throughout the State. If weather permits, the 2006 deer harvest is expected to exceed 500,000 deer, or about the size of our entire deer herd of 1970. There will be more than eleven million days of deer hunting recreation during archery, firearms, and muzzle loading seasons combined.  This is more deer hunting than is provided in any other state or Canadian province.

The expected antlerless harvest of 261,000 is lower than the 2005 antlerless harvest of 279,000. Many deer hunters participate in more than one season. About 781,000 different individuals are expected to hunt deer in 2006. Biologists estimate the fall 2004 deer population to be approximately 5 percent less than in 2003. There are fewer deer in the southern farm country and in the northern Lower Peninsula (LP) than last year.

The Upper Peninsula (UP) population is slightly higher than last year. Statewide, hunters can expect to see more fawns and fewer antlered bucks than last year. With the very mild winter of last year, 1-year-old bucks are expected to have larger antlers and more antler points. Our goal is to maintain a quality herd that is in balance with its habitat to yield healthy bucks. Deer in the UP experienced a moderate winter. Because of this, fawn production was good resulting in a population increase of about 8 percent.

The deer herd in the northern LP is about 7 percent smaller than it was in 2005. As in the UP, favorable winter conditions for deer enhanced over winter survival of adults and increased fawn survival. Antler development will be good in 1-year-olds, and deer weights should be good this fall. Because of the intentional reduction in the population last year, about 8 percent fewer bucks are expected to be taken this fall. The herd in this part of the state was intentionally reduced from a peak in 1989.

The southern Michigan deer herd is down about 5 percent from 1999. Deer hunters should see a good number of deer this year. With the intentional reduction of the population in southern Michigan during the past three years, about 14 percent fewer antlered bucks are expected to be taken this fall. However, it appears that the 2006 herd remains above the desired level, with the number of deer in southern Michigan exceeding public tolerance for damage. The Department is responding to concerns of too many deer in this part of the state with significant numbers of antlerless deer hunting on private lands. Michigan Hunting should produce some of the best white-tailed deer hunting in the nation for both antlered and antlerless deer.

The Truth about Rompola's Buck
Do you think that Rompola's Buck was legitimately & legally killed?