LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports that hunters in the Lower Peninsula did really well during firearm deer season in 2015.
In the Upper Peninsula, not so good.
“We anticipated a poor harvest in the U.P. due to the drastically low deer population throughout much of the U.P. over the past couple of years,” said Ashley Autenrieth, DNR deer program biologist in a press release. “However, we’ve seen uncharacteristically high temperatures and low snowfall levels so far this fall, and if this continues, we hope the herd will begin rebounding.”
The DNR reports that compared to 2014, the deer harvest was up perhaps as much as 17% in the Lower Peninsula. The harvest declined in the U.P. by about 19%.
The DNR says that warmer than average temperatures made for a more challenging hunt early in the season since deer don’t tend to be as active in warmer temperatures. However, many hunters may have stayed out longer to enjoy the weather, which may have helped the harvest.
Biologists also say they saw excellent body condition and antler development on many of the bucks that were registered at check stations.
Hunters can expect a survey coming their way in the mail from the DNR. It will be mailed out in early January to randomly selected hunters. If you don’t want to receive a survey but do want to share your hunting information, go to www.michigan.gov/deer and select the “Complete A Harvest Survey Online” link. Hunters should provide information only once they have completed all of their 2015 hunting activities, including seasons that are open as late as Jan. 1, 2016.