Michigan hunters don’t need more deer, The Bridge, Nov 15, 2017By any rational metric, the number of deer in Michigan is far too high. However, there is one irrational measure of deer numbers which says that we need more deer. This is the metric used almost exclusively by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources when managing for deer. Michigan averages almost 50,000 car-deer crashes every year, including over 1,200 injuries and 14 deaths. This makes deer the most dangerous animal in the state.
Deer cause millions of dollars in crop damage every year in Michigan, making deer the most expensive farm pest in the state. Some crops can lose up to 10 percent to deer annually. In the winter, deer eat many forest species in damaging amounts. As a result, Michigan is no longer regenerating major components of our forests in any meaningful amount. Yet, in the Michigan Forest Health Report, the DNR describes a number of pests which are hampering forest regeneration in Michigan. Deer are simply ignored, and not even listed, even though deer demonstrably cause more forest mortality and loss of regeneration than any of the pests listed.
DNR releases 2016 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects report, MI DNR News, Sept 29, 2016The winter of 2015 was a relatively mild winter across the entire state. With snowfall levels staying low and temperatures staying above average, it made for good survival conditions for deer and leads into a great potential for this year’s fawns. Spring had relatively mild weather as well, which is a major factor in both deer fitness and fawn survival. Due to these circumstances, field reports this year have indicated a high overall number of fawns seen, with plenty of twins and triplets across the state. In addition to the high number of fawns being reported, deer condition in terms of body weight and antler growth on bucks appears to be better than last year.
2016 Deer Season Biologist Updates, mich.gov/deer, SE Michigan hunting opportunities, Sept 23, 2016DMUs 341, 361 – Deer Season Biologist Update (Week Ending 9/24)
Hunting Season is here. What are you waiting for?, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Bulletin, 09/21/2016
First Look: Michigan 2015 Firearm Deer Season up in Lower Peninsula, Down in Upper Peninsula, WideOpenSpace, Dec 15, 2015“Fortunately, the Lower Peninsula hasn’t had a drastic drop in deer numbers over the last few years,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer management specialist. “That, coupled with good wild apple and acorn production over the last two years, has made for good conditions for the deer herds in these areas.”
U.P. Focus: U.P. deer harvest in line with DNR forecast, MI DNR Press Release, Nov 23, 2015Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists said today the firearm deer hunting season in the Upper Peninsula is moving ahead according to forecast, with many hunters seeing fewer deer, while others are harvesting some fantastic older bucks.
After three consecutive severe winters in the region, DNR biologists predicted hunters this firearm deer season should expect to see fewer deer in the U.P., especially in the 1 ½- and 2 ½-year-old age classes.
Deer Management/Status Overview, Washtenaw County, Michigan Department of Natural Resources,2014It does appear that deer herd condition declined in the Washtenaw DMU from 2003 – 12
This county, especially on the west side of the county, experienced whitetail die-offs as a result of the EHD outbreak in 2012. In addition, the record-setting snow and low temperatures of the 2013-2014 winter have undoubtedly caused winter stress, rare for the SLP deer herd. The estimated deer population remains over goal
The Ann Arbor area is experiencing increased frustration with urban deer
“You call this deer management?”, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Nov 21, 2014The DNR Wildlife Division has created a clickable map that links to a report for each DMU in the state. Just click on a DMU number and you’ll be taken to the biologist report, which provides the same background information that was delivered to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) with Department recommendations on public- and private-land antlerless license quotas and other regulations for each area.
Michigan hunters can help fill food bank freezers with Sportsmen Against Hunger program, Michigan Department Natural Resources, Nov 14, 2014Since 1991, Sportsmen Against Hunger has helped connect wild game processors with hunters by providing a list of the processors that participate in the program. Hunters can simply drop off their deer at one of the facilities and the program will reimburse the processors $1 per pound for the venison that goes into the program.
Michigan ANTLERLESS DEER DIGEST, 2014Deer populations that grow too high will eat themselves out of house and home. Deer numbers crash when this occurs, and habitat for other wildlife species is damaged as well. The DNR strives to sustain healthy deer populations compatible with healthy wildlife habitat and ample hunting opportunity.
Do Not Feed Deer This Winter, Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Outdoors, MI DNR websitewinter coat, fat storage, reduced metabolism, thermal cover, and sedentary behavior, help deer survive severe winters. Even with all the food they want, deer use their fat reserves and lose weight over winter. Deer in relatively good condition can fast for several weeks without harmful effects.
Hunting Access Program, Michigan Dept Natural ResourcesMichigan’s Hunting Access Program (HAP) was created in 1977 to increase public hunting opportunities in southern Michigan where 97 percent of the land base is privately owned. This program is now one of the oldest dedicated private lands public access programs in the nation.
MI DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, HUNTING, WASHTENAW COUNTY
WORKSHEET FOR ESTABLISHING DEER POPULATION GOALS – DMU 081 2006- 2010 , DRAFT, MI Department of Natural Resources, 2006?