Deer hunting may remain favorable in December

PARIS — Kyle Randall wasn’t overly impressed with early-season deer hunting reports in the area.

But the Paris resident and host of The Wilderness Journal TV program likes prospects for the diehard hunters, who continue to stay out in December.

Muzzleloading season started Dec. 2 and goes to the middle of the month. Bow season lasts until Jan. 1.

“It hasn’t been very good from what I’ve been told,” Randall said of the overall Nov. 15-30 firearm season. “We were there for opening day and it was foggy. It was difficult to see let alone to hunt.”

Randall was out of town briefly following opening day.

“I don’t know how it was after that but I know the opening days were very poor,” he said. “I think it was pretty good for Thanksgiving weekend. I talked to people that actually harvested a deer in the last few days. There were quite a few deer around. Some people got out and took advantage of it.”

The firearm season has ended, but not deer hunting in general.

“I still think there’s going to be deer for the start of the muzzleloader,” Randall said. “Some people are still seeing them. That tells me there’s still quite a bit of opportunity out there. The weather is not horrid and there’s still a lot of deer being seen.”

Randall acknowledged good-sized deer have been shot.

“Southern Mecosta County has coughed up some nice deer,” he said. “Other places across the state, of the deer being taken, there’s some nice deer being harvested this year, I’d say better than average.”

While the focus has been on hunting, Randall said fishing remains favorable.

“We went out salmon fishing, believe it or not, in Lake Michigan at Manistee on Black Friday and had a tremendous trip,” Randall said. “They’re still catching fish. You have to be very cognizant of the weather. The big lake can put you in a bad spot real fast in November. Right now there’s a lot of 2 and 3-year-old kings and lake trout and steelhead piled up on the Lake Michigan rivers.”