The state of Michigan is known for many things.  Beautiful lakes, avid football fans, and a booming dairy industry are just a few of the things that make Michigan so special.  Something you may not know, however, is that the state is also famous for it’s high population of deer.

Types of Deer and Deer Habits in Michigan

White-tailed deer are the most popular types of deer that reside in Michigan, with roughly 1.75 million deer living in the state between 2016 and 2018.  The habitat for most deer changes with each season, with summer and winter being the two most different. During the summer months, deer tend to seek shelter under aspen and northern hardwood trees, as well as spruce-fir and white pine trees.  During these months, deer tend to feed on beech nuts and acorns, the latter of which has been shown to contribute to the physical condition of deer, as well as antler development.

During the winter months, deer tend to seek shelter under cedar and hemlock trees, as these kinds of trees provide better protection from the harsh winter conditions.  Winter is the most challenging season for deer, as snow can last anywhere from November to April in many parts of the state, and the depth and duration of snowfall can make it difficult for many deer to survive.  The deer who do survive the winter often experience diminished physical condition, and low fawn birth weights is also a common factor. Deer with easy access to early spring vegetation tend to recover better and more quickly from the harsh winter, however, these deer are typically considered lucky, as adequate shelter during the winter can be scarce.        

Number of Deer in Michigan

As mentioned earlier, there were approximately 1.75 million deer living in Michigan between 2016 and 2018.  This number has been rapidly declining over the last several years following a series of harsh winters, especially in the upper peninsula of the state.  In 2017, an estimated 376,000 deer were harvested, showing an increase compared to the year prior. However, the estimated number of hunters had dropped by 2 percent.  This could be due to the fact that the baby boomer generation, who had been driving the sport for the past several decades, have aged out and stopped hunting. This could be bad news for the state, as an overpopulation of deer could lead to an increase in animal-related diseases and car accidents involving deer.  The number of hunting licenses sold during the state’s firearm hunting season has also gone down by nearly 21 percent in the last 20 years, a shocking statistic that only seems to be growing. According to recent reports, the younger generation simply isn’t hunting as much as generations of the past, which could mean bad news for Michigan’s economy, as hunting supports more than 34,000 jobs in the state, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Tips for Hunting in Michigan

For those looking forward to this year’s Michigan hunting season, there are several things you should take into consideration before heading out into the woods.  Early anterless firearm hunting season in Michigan starts on September 21st this year, with archery season starting on October 1st. Where you choose to hunt can also have a significant effect on the outcome of your hunting excursion, so be sure to put a lot of thought into this step.

If you’re an avid hunter and plan on spending a lot of time in the woods this season, purchasing your own piece of hunting property in Michigan will let you get you closer to the action.  Something else to consider is whether or not you’ll be hunting solo or with friends.  As a general rule of thumb, it is almost always safer to hunt with other people rather than by yourself, so long as everyone is aware of their surroundings and taking the necessary precautions.

It is also imperative that you are aware of the different regulations and tags when going out into the woods.  Doing some research and finding out the local laws and regulations where you plan to hunt will save you the hassle of being unprepared, so make sure you get all of this sorted out before heading out for the day.

Michigan is a beautiful state with prime hunting opportunities for hunters, and purchasing a piece of land will allow you to take full advantage of the hunting season.  This year, take your hunting experience to the next level and check out the incredible land Michigan Whitetail Properties has to offer!