Deer hunting forecast – northern Lower Peninsula

Numbers: It was a mild to average winter for the northern Lower Peninsula, which allowed deer populations to continue to increase across much of the region. Fawning conditions appear to have been average, with observations being similar to last year.

Food: Growing conditions have been very good across the region, with good rainfall during the early summer months. Thus far, it appears to be an average year for production of both acorns and wild apples. Scouting to find these areas will be crucial.

Bucks: Observations of bucks have been similar to last year across the entire northern Lower Peninsula. With the average winter this year and previous winters not taking a major toll on the herd, deer numbers have been increasing. Nutrition has been good, leading to healthy deer body conditions and good numbers of bucks.

Tips for a successful deer hunting season

Take time to scout

Scouting probably has the biggest impact on hunting success. Keen observation and an understanding of how and why deer move on the landscape are important. Watch for signs like deer trails, bedding and feeding areas, and rubs and scrapes. See more detailed tips on how to prepare for the upcoming hunting season.

Review the current regulations

In an effort to combat chronic wasting disease, there are some evolving regulatory changes that may be in effect where you hunt. Be sure to check the latest hunting regulations in your area.

In the Lower Peninsula, a deer baiting and feeding ban went into effect Jan. 31 of this year in an effort to reduce the risk of spreading CWD. This ban applies to both public and private land. Bear baiting is still allowed, as long as the bait is inaccessible to deer.

In the Upper Peninsula, deer baiting and feeding are banned in the Core CWD Surveillance Area. The rest of the peninsula remains open to deer baiting and feeding.

 

 

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