Deer hunting season has mixed success

REED CITY — Another deer hunting season is in the books and Department of Natural Resources officials such as northern Michigan wildlife technician Katie Keen are trying to make an early assessment.

But like always, it will have to wait until the DNR receives official feedback from hunters.

“It’s kind of antidotal on what we’re hearing,” Keen said. “It’s crazy on how consistent some locations can be. It can be down 10 or 15 deer there and 10 to 15 deer here. It’s usually not a big difference. So right now, the survey period is open. The hard mailings will go out in the next week or so. There’s been kind of a delay in the online mailing and hard mailing.

“The folks who were successful may be those who were emailing or calling us not happy about the regulations or something like that. It can vary, depending on if people are successful or not.”

There is information regarding hunter numbers based on license sales.

“There were about (20,000) licenses less this year to last,” Keen said. “This year we had 634,000 people buy licenses. Last year, we had 654,000. So we do have a reduction in the amount of people buying licenses. National trends indicated it that way in most states.”

Other hunting seasons are continuing including squirrels and rabbits. Crow season starts Feb. 1.

The application period for turkey licenses the first two seasons is open from Jan. 1 to Feb. 1. The application periods are for the early season hunts.

“If they’re looking for an early hunt, they should apply,” Keen said. “But everyone can get a 234 license over the counter. It’s a long season (in May). You don’t have to apply.”

Keen reminds hunters to go into the DNR’s website for survey forms.

“Right now is the time here you fill out for small game, deer, turkey, bear, and all of those seasons’ reports are up for people to tell us how it went,” Keen said.