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Michigan board approves antlerless deer quotas

From Michigan Department of Natural Resources

-- A total of 708,650 antlerless deer licenses will be available to hunters this fall following the Natural Resources Commission action.

Of the total approved, 70,750 are public-land antlerless deer licenses, and 637,900 are for private land antlerless deer licenses. This is a decrease of 47,550 licenses from 2011; however the numbers represent an increase of 450 private-land licenses and an increase of 1,900 public-land licenses available in the Upper Peninsula.

Deer numbers in the region are continuing a short-term increasing trend following mild conditions for three straight winters. The department recommended increased quotas to provide additional recreational opportunity, not to reduce deer numbers in the areas where licenses were added.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, the number of private-land licenses available has been decreased by 23,500, while public-land licenses have been decreased by 1,300.

Recent trends in deer populations have been variable across the region, but the decreases are primarily intended to match quotas more closely with past demand for antlerless licenses. Though this means fewer leftover licenses ultimately may be available in the region, all northern Lower Peninsula deer management units will offer at least some licenses this year. Six DMUs in the region did not offer any antlerless licenses in 2011.

In the southern Lower Peninsula, 4,150 fewer private land antlerless licenses will be available in 2012, and the total public-land quota was decreased by 2,350. Deer populations remain above goal throughout much of the region, though numbers do appear to be approaching desired levels in some areas.

Additional information regarding deer hunting regulations, results of the 2011 deer harvest survey and Michigan’s deer management plan are available at www.michigan.gov/deer.

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