Less hunters than years past in Dickinson County

DNR wildlife technician, Ryan McGillviray, says the deer that have come in to the Norway check station have had poor antler development.
McGillviray checks a deer head, at the Norway check station.
McGillviray checks a deer head, at the Norway check station.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 3:23 PM EST
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) -Deer hunting season is something many Yoopers wait all year for. But according to Ryan McGillviray, a wildlife technician for the Michigan DNR, this year has been slower than normal.

“It’s starting to pick-up now, most of our check-stations, because of restrictions in place are closed in the U.P. but Escanaba and Norway will remain open in November,” he said.

McGillviray says the deer that have come in to the Norway check station, have not been up to par.

“We’ve seen a little bit poorer antler development, for the deer that are coming in. We kind of expected that after a deep snow winter last year,” he added.

He says over the past day, traffic is beginning to increase.

“They tend to even out, it seems, as the season goes. It started a little slower, but this time of the week we usually see a slowdown, and we’re seeing a pick-up,” said McGillviray.

The Randville Bar and Grill, off M-95, is also seeing a decrease in hunters, as the business can only offer carry-out at this time.

“Oh, a little sad, hoping to be busy,” said Paul Puccci, the Randville Bar and Grill owner.

He says ever since he can remember, the business has been packed for hunting season.

“It was busy, we had wall to wall people, it was a fun time, business was great,” he added.

But as restrictions for bars and restaurants started on Wednesday, he says profit is down about 50%, but some hunters are still getting takeout.

“Wednesday night, we served quite a few takeout meals. Yesterday was very slow during the day,” sayd Pucci.

Pucci hopes next year is back to business as usual.

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