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DNR launching new initiative amid deer management challenges

Posted at 3:01 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 17:49:12-05

Amid a decline in hunters in Michigan and deer management challenges across the state, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is looking to launch a new deer management initiative.

In partnership with the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, the new initiative "seeks to develop recommendations to address these challenges and ensure the sustainable and healthy management of deer populations and their habitats across the state."

According to the DNR, they are facing "significant" hurdles in managing the deer populations in the Lower Peninsula due to declining hunter numbers and several other areas.

In the Upper Peninsula, the DNR said changing weather patterns and an array of predators present different challenges to deer management.

The department with work with stakeholders from various natural resources organizations and tribal partners to develop recommendations that both acknowledge the challenges and work toward deer management.

The DNR is also looking to involve individuals throughout the state who share concerns about deer management.

"The Deer Management Initiative process is poised to guide recommendations and lay a framework for future deer management changes. We are looking forward to working with our traditional stakeholder organizations and partners, while also welcoming creative, new voices. It’s important that none of us are tethered to a single idea, that we are all willing to explore novel and diverse solutions to enhance our deer herd and effectively address the challenges ahead," said DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart.

“We’ll be developing two separate groups, one for each peninsula, since the challenges in each area are unique. Our focus with each group will be to pull together people with different perspectives and experiences but a common passion for improving Michigan's deer herd for future generations," Stewart added.

People can apply at the DNR website through Jan. 31.