Firearm Deer Hunting Season moves forward

Deer check numbers throughout the first four days were lower than those in 2019.
Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:51 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Firearm Deer Hunting Season continues across the Upper Peninsula. However, things did not get off to the start that people had hoped.

Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Brian Roell says the deer check numbers throughout the firearm season’s first four days decreased compared to the first four days of last season.

“In Marquette, we were down about 11% from the first four days of the 2019 season,” Roell stated. “I don’t read a whole lot of stock into that because we don’t really know what’s going on.”

He believes, though, that COVID-19 has played a role in the decline.

“I have heard, anecdotally, through hunters saying not as many people are traveling to the U.P.,” he said. “They didn’t have the same number of guys in camp because they just didn’t feel comfortable.”

Roell urges hunters to answer a mailed survey so DNR could understand if the number of deer checks had dropped because of COVID or due to a low amount of deer out in the open.

About 12 days ago, Roell said most deer check stations across the U.P. would only be open for the first four days of the season. Today, he says two remain open.

“There’s only two stations that are currently open in Escanaba and Norway,” he said, “and they are open because of deer disease concerns, so we can get our Chronic Wasting Disease samples.”

Roell again says the chances of CWD spreading to a human are low.

“So far, so good,” he mentioned. “We have not had any positive cases in the Upper Peninsula.”

The Marquette DNR office will be open to hunters, by appointment only, to have their deer’s lymph nodes checked for CWD.

Firearm Hunting Season concludes on Monday, November 30th.

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