UP Firearm Deer Hunting Season update provided

12-year-old TJ Katona shot his first buck, a nice 6 point, on November 17 while hunting with his father, Rob, near Palmer. (Photo submitted by Rob Katona)

UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WLUC) - Preliminary results from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources shows the harvest for this year’s firearm deer hunting season was down roughly 5 percent compared to 2018 and a 10-year average.

The results were compiled as of the end of the day Monday, Dec. 2.

Firearm Deer Season Summary by DNR Check Station:

Station - Deer Checked in 2019 - Compared to 2018
Baraga - 133 - 13% down
Crystal Falls - 169 - 9% down
Escanaba - 569 - 2% up
Marquette - 323 - 13% down
Newberry - 89 - 26% down
Norway - 242 - 16% down
Sault Ste. Marie - 22 - 39% down

Station - Deer Checked in 2019 - Compared to 10-year Average
Baraga - 133 - 11% down
Crystal Falls - 169 - 1% up
Escanaba - 569 - 5% down
Marquette - 323 - 2% up
Newberry - 89 - 5% up
Norway - 242 - N/A
Sault Ste. Marie - 22 - 51% down

Staffers at DNR check stations reported that most deer checked were in good condition. Most buck were 2.5 years old or older. Antler development on bucks seemed to be average to below average particularly on older bucks, but did vary.

Many hunters mentioned seeing multiple deer, including bucks, while hunting. Many hunters at stations in, or near, the Core Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Area (portions of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties) submitted samples for testing, particularly at the Crystal Falls and Norway stations.

Deer check numbers thus far appear lower than the last couple of years but it’s still too early to determine if they will remain that way through the rest of the season.

Though check station numbers are down, many hunters we’ve spoken with have reported seeing good numbers of deer, especially bucks. Most hunters are extremely compliant with testing requests where appropriate and many are interested in learning about possible disease concerns in their hunting areas.

For a list of DNR check stations, including hours of operation and directions to the locations, visit Michigan.gov/DeerCheck. For more information on chronic wasting disease see Michigan.gov/CWD.

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