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Fair start to Michigan's deer season: ``Sitting outdoors''

Not sure all hunters in Michigan for firearm deer season, which opened Sunday, would want to hear this description of the first few days from the Michigan DNR, but here it is: “Good weather — a lack of snow and little rain, warm temperatures and generally light winds – created excellent conditions for sitting outdoors.” Bagging deer in those conditions have been fairly typical.

Some 3,000 people from Illinois, mainly from the Chicago area, hunt deer in Michigan.

Here’s the early report from the Michigan DNR:

Early Reports of 2009 Firearm Deer Season Typical to Recent Years

The 2009 firearms deer season is underway and the first few days have

been typical of recent years, the Department of Natural Resources said.

Good weather — a lack of snow and little rain, warm temperatures and

generally light winds – created excellent conditions for sitting

outdoors. Hunter numbers are about the same as last year, though Upper

Peninsula personnel report a slight decrease in hunter numbers,

especially in the west end. Hunter attitude seems good statewide.

Hunter success is similar to last year statewide, though a reduction in

the number of DNR deer check stations makes it difficult to gauge. Deer

are in good to very good body condition, though antler development is

sub-par in the northern two-thirds of the state.

Here’s a look at the first few days on a regional basis:

Upper Peninsula – Hunters have brought in a large number of two and

one-half year-old bucks, though a number of them have been spikes or

small fork-antlered deer. The number of deer checked is down. Some

hunters have complained of low deer numbers. License agents report high

sales of firearms licenses compared to combination licenses.

Northern Lower Peninsula – Most deer checked do not appear to have a

lot of body fat, which was not unexpected after last winter. More older

bucks are coming to check stations, though antler development is below

par. Overall harvest appears to be down somewhat. Some hunters expressed

concern about low deer numbers.

Southern Michigan – Hunter success appears to be a little bit better

than last year with more older bucks being harvested. Hunting pressure

appears to be up significantly on public land over last year. Both body

condition and antler development of deer are good. The slow corn harvest

is a major subject of discussion among hunters, though many report

seeing good numbers of deer. Conservation officers are busy with

increased complaints of illegal baiting.

Firearms deer season continues through Nov. 30 with archery season

resuming Dec. 1. For more information about hunting opportunities in

Michigan, go online to www.michigan.gov/dnrhunting.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management,

accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources for

current and future generations.