Hunters prepare to hit the woods for firearms deer season

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FILE – In this Nov. 17, 2011 file photo, a mature white-tailed deer buck stands alertly in a suburban neighborhood in Moreland Hills, Ohio. An Ohio legislative panel on Wednesday signed off on new deer hunting regulations that cut the number of animals that hunters can kill statewide. The rules also eliminate hunting zone areas and set per-county caps on bag limits. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Thousands of hunters will trek into Michigan woods and fields Friday as firearms deer season opens.

The season runs through Nov. 30.

The Department of Natural Resources’ annual forecast says overall deer numbers are low in the Upper Peninsula and buck sightings have been limited.

Buck numbers appear on the upswing in the northern Lower Peninsula. They are abundant in many parts of southern Michigan, where bachelor herds have been spotted.

Baiting and feeding deer remain illegal in the Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula, a policy meant to prevent spread of chronic wasting disease.

The Legislature has approved bills to lift the ban but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has not signed them.

More than 550,000 people hunted for deer in Michigan last year.

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