MI DNR check stations ready for firearm deer hunting season in the Upper Peninsula

DNR wildlife technician ages an 8-point buckThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer check stations are ready for the start of the upcoming firearm deer hunting season in the Upper Peninsula.

If the archery season is any indicator, there likely will be some great bucks harvested in the weeks to come.

“We’ve had some really nice deer checked here in Marquette over the past few weeks,” said DNR deputy public information officer John Pepin. “Some hunters think last winter’s big snowfall just before the start of the firearm deer hunting season may have been a blessing in disguise.”

Up to 4 feet of snow fell in some parts of the U.P., which made it difficult, if not impossible, for many hunters afield.

“With those hunters not being able to reach their camps, hunters think some of the older bucks that might have been harvested last year weren’t,” Pepin said.

There are 15 check stations across the U.P. where hunters may voluntarily bring their harvested deer. Biologists check the age of the deer and take note of the health of the animals.

Successful Hunter – Deer Management Cooperator patchBiologists also record which county and township the deer was harvested in.

Hunters checking their deer with the DNR are rewarded with a Successful Hunter – Deer Management Cooperator patch.

A deer head (antlers must still be attached on bucks) or entire carcass must be presented to receive a patch. Patches are not available by mail.

The DNR has an online map pinpointing the locations of deer check stations throughout the state and hours of operation. Hunters also are urged to call ahead whenever possible to confirm hours and days of operation.

DNR check stations also will have information available for hunters on keeping chronic wasting disease from reaching the U.P. The DNR kicked off an information campaign this week and has a great deal of educational materials available online at www.michigan.gov/cwd.

For more information on deer hunting, including rules and regulations, a hunting prospects report and other information, visit www.michigan.gov/deer.