2017-11-09 / Front Page

Mild winters add up to more, healthier deer for opener

By Thomas Reznich

Hunters during this year’s fire­arm deer season will probably see more and better deer than during the past few seasons.

That’s the prediction of Depart­ment of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Mark Boersen, who said a couple of relatively mild winters have led to a strong deer herd in Roscommon County.

Boersen said that winter survival rate among whitetails has been good in the county, and that in fact, he has not seen winter kill in the last couple of years. He said production of fawns has also been good, with many sets of twins and triplets be­ing born.

Boersen also said that the deer check station at the Roscommon Ser­vice Center has seen many healthy deer come in during bow season, in­cluding a number of 10 and 11-point bucks. He said the number of antler­less deer permits issued for public land in the county this season is 600, up from 400 last season. The number of antlerless permits on private land remains at 1,000.

Due to an acorn crop which Boersen characterized as “pretty lousy” and “close to failed,” he said that finding a spot that has acorns will be “a good place to sit” for hunters. He said that deer movement should also be up and that hunters in the area “should see more deer than average.”

Boersen encourages successful hunters to bring their deer in to the deer check station at the Roscom­mon Service Center at 8717 North Roscommon Rd. (M-18). Hunters will receive a free patch for doing so, and will also provide the DNR’s deer management personnel with valuable information on the herd, including the age and condition of the individual deer. He said deer can also be tested for disease.

The deer check station will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the firearm deer season, except during the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 23-26.

National Weather Service Me­teorologist Jim Keysor of the Gay­lord office said that the outlook for opening day (Nov. 15) in Roscom­mon County does not seem to hold the tracking snow for which hunters pray. Instead, he predicted a mainly cloudy day with temperatures in the 40s and scattered rain showers.

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