Biologist: Potential for bountiful deer harvest
“We’ve had no or few antlerless deer permits in Roscommon County in the last few years, and a couple of mild winters,” said Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Mark Boersen, “and there’s a good acorn crop in most places, surprisingly good considering the hot, dry weather this year.”
Boersen said these and other factors make the 2012 firearms deer season look very promising in the Roscommon County area. “We’re seeing a lot of deer, good numbers in Roscommon County,” said Boersen, including “some quality bucks.”
He said that with a Thursday opener, the department is expecting a heavy turnout by downstate hunters, many of whom will probably make it a four-day weekend. “Some of the best turnouts (historically) have been on Thursday openers,” said Boersen, “it works into people’s schedules.”
Deer check stations will be open at DNR offices in Roscommon, Gladwin, Standish, Mio, West Branch and Hale, among others, and Boersen said they provide biologists with data which can aide in the management of the deer herd. In addition to screening for bovine tuberculosis and EHD, a viral disease that has been seen in deer from southern areas of the state, he said the stations age the animals and that antler size is measured.
Boersen said knowing the general area where deer were taken also helps when herd management decisions are being made. He said each hunter who brings in a deer will receive a free 2012 “successful hunter” patch.
Hunters who are looking for an opportunity to share the bounty of the season can do so by donating their venison to the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store of Prudenville. The organization works with families in need in the Roscommon County area, and is accepting whole deer carcasses as well as venison that has been professionally processed and packaged. To donate venison, call 366-7613.