MARQUETTE COUNTY — Friday, November 15 was the first day of regular firearm season, a day hunters all over the U.P. have been eagerly awaiting.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says that they’ve seen a great turnout for opening day of the season. Conditions were great for hunting on Friday, and hunters are already off to a successful season.
“We’re actually doing quite well for opening day of the season,” said Brian Roell, Michigan DNR Wildlife Biologist. “Temperatures are nice, people have tracking snow, and we’re actually ahead of where we typically are. We’ve checked 11 deer so far. Typically on opening day we don’t see a lot of deer come in, but we’ve seen some really nice quality bucks and multiple antler points. We’ve had 8 pointers and a couple 10 pointers.”
The DNR is encouraging hunters to stop by if they want to get their deer tested for chronic wasting disease.
If you’re looking to get your deer mounted, the DNR can give you a tag to take to the taxidermist, or they can remove the lymph nodes themselves. If you’d like to mount just the antlers, the DNR will remove those for you as well.
If you choose to get your deer checked at the Department of Natural Resources, you’ll receive a collectible patch for the 2019 season.
“It is voluntary,” said Roell. “So if you want to get your deer checked you can come on down, we’ll age the deer for you, we’ll collect a little bit of biological data, and we’ll give you a deer patch. We’ve got a new patch for 2019. They’ve been doing the patch system since 1972, so it’s quite the collector’s item.”
With the great turnout they’ve already seen just on the first day, the DNR is looking forward to a great season.