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Michigan hunters prep for beginning of firearm season as COVID-19 cases rise

Posted at 11:38 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 23:38:39-05

(WXYZ) — With the number of COVID-19 cases soaring, some are now turning their attention to hunting season here in Michigan. Firearm season starts on Sunday.

"I think everybody’s going to have to make their own individual choice on what they’re going to do when they do go in groups," Ron Tinsley said.

Tinsley has been hunting for more than 30 years. He says this hunting season is going to be different than others, especially with COVID-19 and the surging numbers

"I know that there are a lot of people concerned about it, especially with the rise in numbers that we are experiencing," he said.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also weighed in on the importance of following social distancing and health guidelines for hunters

"If you’re outside and you’re spread apart, you can be safe and do that," she said. "But, if you’re out hoping in a car to drive out to camp in a small place where you spend the night, you've got to count up how many households are there and you’ll see the risk is very high if there is more than one household present."

Tinsley hunts by himself, but says plenty of people go to deer camps to hunt for the weekend.

Licenses for this hunting season are also up compared to last year. Tinsley says ammunition is hard to come by

"If you don’t have your ammunition now you’re going to be hard-pressed to find it, because I’ve been to six or seven different stores and everybody is out of it," Tinsley said.

The state is reminding hunters that you can go hunting this fall and still enjoy outdoor activities as long as you continue to follow health guidelines especially if you are headed to a deer camp.

Be sure to maintain at a distance of at least 6 feet from people outside of your immediate family. Wear a mask if you are indoors. Sleep in separate rooms, tents or trailers if possible. Be sure to wash your hands frequently, if water isn’t available at the camp, use hand sanitizer, and serve meals individually instead of buffet style, and be sure to use disposable dinnerware.

Tinsley says he expects more hunters out this year and everyone needs to be safe

"I think people want to get out," he said. "But I do think a lot of people want to get out and get outside and enjoy the outdoors."