Wildlife holding its own

BIG RAPIDS - Winter has passed, and DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing reports turkey and deer, plus other wildlife, are basically staying close to home and waiting to warm up.

Kailing also commented on how new deer hunting regulations adopted by the DNR might impact local hunters.

Many of the changes deal with the Upper Peninsula. One change of possible local impact is Deer Management Unit-specific antlerless deer licenses have been replaced with a universal antlerless license that can be used across multiple DMUs.

According to published media reports, antlerless licenses may now be purchased without an application in the Lower Peninsula and portions of the south-central Upper Peninsula that have DMUs open to antlerless deer hunting. Licenses may be used on public or private land, according to reports.

"We're trying to make our (regulations) easier," Kailing said. "You can buy an antlerless license in the Lower Peninsula that can be used on public or private land. You can buy it over counter."

Baiting bans remain in effect, Kailing said.

Application deadlines for turkey licenses first two seasons have passed. The third season in May, hunt 234, is one where licenses went sale March 15.

Kailing said deer are trying to gain thermal cover.

"Where our timber sales are going on, there are probably deer munching on the tops," he said. "We have a lot of active timber sales ongoing at Haymarsh.

"The cutting will go on all winter."