Michigan Department of Natural Resources

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources says firearm deer hunting numbers declined from last year. 

Preliminary results from deer check stations across the u-p indicate this year’s harvest was down roughly 5 percent compared to 2018 and the 10-year average.

The results were compiled at the end of the day Monday.

DNR wildlife biologist David Jentoft says significant snow within the past week likely affected check station numbers. Conditions may have discouraged some hunters from going out or bringing their deer into a check station.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

MARQUETTE, MI--   Sometimes a lot of snow can be too much, even for snowmobiling.

The Department of Natural Resources says recent storms have blocked trails with heavy snow and downed trees across the U.P. and in some parts of the northern Lower Peninsula. DNR-contracted snowmobile clubs are clearing trees and limbs and grooming trails to ready them for snowmobilers.

Michigan’s snowmobiling season kicked off December 1.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

MARQUETTE, MI--   Ten days into the firearm deer season, Department of Natural Resources deer check stations in the U.P. are seeing an average 12 percent increase in numbers over last year.

Preliminary results as of the end of the day Saturday also indicate a 2 percent increase over the ten-year average.

Officials say about 90 percent of the deer checked have been bucks. About 85 percent of those are 2.5 years or older.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

MARQUETTE, MI--   Initial numbers indicate the number of deer coming through U.P. check stations is down a bit from the same time last year.

Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist David Jentoft says on average, check stations are down about 14 percent from 2018. DNR spokesman John Pepin says a number of factors—such as snow depth, the day of the week of opening day, and temperatures—can affect comparisons between given years. When compared with the 10-year average, some deer check stations were up.

TRAVERSE CITY, MI (AP)--   Thousands of hunters will trek into Michigan woods and fields Friday as firearms deer season opens. 

The season runs through Nov. 30.

The Department of Natural Resources’ annual forecast says overall deer numbers are low in the Upper Peninsula and buck sightings have been limited.

Buck numbers appear on the upswing in the northern Lower Peninsula. They are abundant in many parts of southern Michigan, where bachelor herds have been spotted.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

BIG BAY, MI--   Registration for this winter’s Becoming an Outdoors Woman program is now open.

Sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources, the weekend event lets women improve their outdoor skills in a relaxed, noncompetitive atmosphere. Instruction will be offered in more than two dozen activities, including cross-country skiing, archery, winter camping and shelter building, fly tying, and wilderness first aid.

BOW participants stay and take their classes at Bay Cliff Health Camp near Big Bay. Food, lodging and most materials are included.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI--   Hunting wildlife has long been ingrained in Michigan's culture, but it is currently on a decline across the state. 

The decline is partly due to more baby boomers aging out. Young adults, urbanites and others are also far less likely to participate in hunting.

Michigan had as many as 1.2 million hunters in the 1970s, '80s and into the '90s. But MLive.com reported Sunday that by 2018, less than 675,000 people had at least one hunting license in the state.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed another cougar sighting, this time in Ontonagon County.

Officials say a photo of the animal was captured on a trail camera September 6 northeast of Bergland. It’s about 40 miles from where a trail camera snapped a picture of a cougar in Baraga County on July 7.

The DNR confirmed the September 6th sighting on Tuesday.

Officials have now confirmed 44 cougar reports in the U.P. since 2008. Six of them were confirmed this year alone.

Michael Hilliard

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says two more trail camera photos of a cougar have been confirmed in the Upper Peninsula over the past couple of months. 

One was taken in northern Delta County on September 18 and the other in southern Marquette County on October 6. The cameras are located about 14 miles apart.

ROCK, MI--   A Delta County man died Saturday from injuries sustained in an ATV accident near Rock. 

Around 2:45 p.m. two conservation officers from the Department of Natural Resources heard a report of the accident over their police radios and responded to the scene.

They say Charles Dedic, 84, had been riding his side-by-side ATV alone on his property when he lost control of the machine. It rolled over, ejected Dedic, and pinned him underneath, face-down in a water hole.