BIG RAPIDS - DNR wildlife biologists like Pete Kailing from the Paris field office found themselves busy in December as the 2019 deer season officially came to a close.

"We had a good season overall," Kailing said. "We have preliminary numbers which showed us the harvest in the northern Lower Peninsula was similar to last year. We won't have our final numbers in until the summer mailout survey. The weather was hit and miss the whole fall, from October to November to even December.

"All our deer are healthy. We checked over 1,000 in Mecosta County for (chronic waste disease) and all tested negative. Some good bucks were taken. People stepped up and we had a good job on the antlerless take. We had a lot of harvest off of state land. It was a success benefitting from our recent timber sales. The farmers did get some corn off before the muzzleloader season."

Even though rifle hunters could hunt during muzzleloader season, Kailing didn't see much increased activity from that.

"We check deer all the way up to Jan. 2 or 3," Kailing said. "We're done checking deer for the year. Bobcat hunting and trapping was in December. There was a lot of success there. Bobcat hunting goes until Jan. 1. Beaver and otter training season is open. Fur prices are still quite low."