Deer numbers surprise DNR officials during firearm season

MARQUETTE — Michigan’s firearm deer season wrapped up Monday night at sunset.

Looking at the early numbers, DNR Biologist Brian Roell says that firearm season was very poor when they compared it to the last ten seasons. The Marquette DNR Check Station was the only U.P. check station that saw more deer this year than last year.

Wildlife officials are noticing something unique with the bucks that are being brought in for inspection.

“What we didn’t expect, or at least what I didn’t expect was the number of older age bucks that we’re checking,” said Roell. “We’re seeing a lot of really nice bucks, which is kind of unique. I’m a little alarmed by that because of what it might be doing to the age structure of the deer in the area, but we’ll see how this plays out and what more our sampling tells us in the end before we get too alarmed.”

Hunters still have time to bag a buck. Muzzleloading season runs from December 4th-13th here in the U.P. Archery season continues through January 1st.