MARQUETTE — Firearm deer season officially opens Saturday, which means hunters will be making their way out of the woods with their prized harvest.
For those that do bag a buck, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has set up deer check stations across the Upper Peninsula to not only help inform hunters, but help with conservation efforts.
“We have those because it’s a way for us to interact with hunters, get their reports from the field, see the deer that they harvested,” DNR deputy public information officer Debbie Munson Badini said. “We like to get biological data from those deer. We age them. We measure antler racks. We also look at the body condition of the deer. Really this year the important part is to bring the deer in so we can see the body condition of the deer that made it through the last two winters.”
Bringing deer to a check station is voluntary, but those who do visit will get a successful hunter patch.
The various deer check stations throughout the U.P. will be open seven days a week during firearm deer season, except for Thanksgiving weekend. Due to budget cuts, there aren’t as many stations as there used to be, but most hunters should be able to find one within an hour or so of their hunting grounds.
Head to michigan.gov/dnr to find the nearest one.