2018-08-02 / Outdoors

Antlerless quotas unchanged; sign up now for deer permit

A DOE and fawn graze in Solon Township. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has made available the same number of antlerless deer permits as in 2017. A DOE and fawn graze in Solon Township. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has made available the same number of antlerless deer permits as in 2017. Seeing double.

Omena hunter Eric Hallett has been seeing multiple groups of fawns with their moms around the county. Hallett is on his stand from sun up to 11 a.m., then back out at 1 p.m.

“I don’t believe we are being over run by the deer,” Hallett said. “Last year I saw maybe a dozen deer in my stand. A lot of deer around the area are year and a half olds and they have put some weight on now.”

Hallett has seen two little bucks around his home, and can’t wait for the winter hunting season in November.

“Last winter was pretty mild, so the deer were able to get around,” Hallett said. “A few of them looked really thin, so I tried to feed them hay.”

Hallett said he talked to a DNR officer about feeding hay to the deer around the county. The DNR told Hallett that hay is bad for the deer, but when they are very thin, they need to eat anything.

“I threw a bale of hay out and they ate it up,” Hallett said. “They can also get into the cedar branches and gnaw on them during the milder parts of the winter.”

Last year, Hallett said he saw a few month-old deer under 60 pounds, and they may have not survived the tough winters. There has also been a few groups of twin fawns around, and Hallett said people won’t normally see this.

“We will see how this all plays out this winter,” Hallett said.

The number of antlerless permits available to county hunters will remain about the same as recent years.

Antlerless licenses for deer are now on sale for Leelanau County.

The early antlerless firearm hunting season will take place from September 22 to September 23 this year.

There are three places in Leelanau County that are open to all hunt types this year. Leland township is home to two of the three pieces of land that are home to open hunting this year. The third open hunting is by the south side of Maple City. All three sites are open for all types.

“The quotas didn’t change from last year,” DNR member Jacob Trowbridge said. “All the people that applied were scooped up, and the applications are still coming in.”

According to Trowbridge, there are 296 public applicants for the antlerless licenses in the county. There are also 900 private applicants that have all been successful in signing their licenses. This number is on a incline, as there were only 707 licenses last year altogether signed up.

There are 200 acres of public land, and 1,600 acres of private land for the hunters of Leelanau County.

“We have a deer problem in the fields,” Steve Grant said. “With the amount of deer we have already seen, we are starting to fence off our orchards.”

According to Grant, deer eat up the cherry trees on the farm, and they don’t enjoy fencing in their orchards.

“Anytime it rains, we have to reapply our trees with deer-away,” Grant said. “It’s a lot of money to have to invest in fencing in our orchards because of the deer.”

Hunters may apply for one license in any open Deer Management Unit statewide; a nonrefundable $5 fee is charged at the time of application. Hunters may choose to apply for either one private-land or one public-land license online at E-License or at any authorized license agent or DNR Customer Service Center.

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