HUNTING REMINDERS ENSURE SAFE, SUCCESSFUL SEASON|
LANSING--With Michigan's 2001 firearm deer hunting season starting Thursday, the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters of a few considerations and precautions when heading into the woods this year.
Hunters must completely identify their targets before they shoot. Accidents and injuries most often occur when hunters do not thoroughly identify targets prior to shooting.
Hunter cooperation also remains a critical success factor in efforts to eradicate bovine tuberculosis from the state's free-ranging deer herd. Hunters are encouraged to bring their harvested deer to a DNR check station where the head can be removed for a free TB examination. Quotas have been established for each county. Successful hunters in Deer Management Unit 452 are required by law to submit deer heads for testing. Hunters are further asked to submit the heads of deer they process at home.
In the Upper Peninsula, moose are a protected species that are becoming more numerous throughout their range. Although moose most often favor habitat that is not completely compatible with the needs of white-tailed deer, there are some areas occupied by both species. Hunters are reminded to carefully make the distinction before shooting.
The U.P. moratorium on harvesting coyote during the firearm deer hunting season remains in effect this year. No coyotes can be taken Nov. 15-30, in an effort to protect the gray wolf, an endangered species. Those who see a wolf are asked to report the sighting to the DNR. There are approximately 250 wolves inhabiting the Upper Peninsula. There have been no confirmed wolf sightings in the Lower Peninsula.
For several years, DNR biologists and volunteers throughout Michigan have trapped and tagged deer with colorful ear markings. Tagged deer are legal to harvest, in accordance with laws and harvest guidelines pertinent to specific areas. Hunters are asked to report any tagged deer they see. These tags enable wildlife managers to track the migration and dispersal patterns of white-tailed deer. Tag colors are specific to the wintering area where the animals were captured. Each tag has a unique number or letter code that allows biologists to track individual animals. Those who observe a tagged deer are asked to record the color of the tag and the number or letter on that tag, which is printed in bold black. The date and location of the observation, including township, range and section, and the status of the deer (dead or alive) also is important information.
Several areas of the state are included in a Quality Deer Management initiative. Certain private lands within Marquette, Dickinson, Delta, Alger, Menominee and Clare counties have special regulations that restrict the buck harvest. Hunters in DMUs 118, 122, 152, 155 and 252 are permitted to take only an antlered deer with three or more antler points on one side, each at least one or more inches in length. An archery license or combination license, when used as an archery tag, is still valid for taking an antlerless deer in these units. Please check the 2001 Hunting and Trapping Guide for additional information.
The DNR wishes all Michigan hunters a safe, successful and rewarding season afield.