U.P. firearm deer hunting season update

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN)- Wildlife biologists with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources are reporting an initial drop in the number of deer checked at stations across the Upper Peninsula since Friday’s opening day, compared to the same time period in 2018.

Caleb Eckloff, a wildlife technician at the DNR deer check station in Marquette says that while it is down, it’s not by much. It’s 4% down compared to this time last year.

“We’ve registered as of yesterday evening, we’ve registered 68 deer, said Eckloff. “We’re pretty consistent from last year to this year as well. So far this year, we’ve seen quite a few 2.5, 3.5 and older deer. Not so many yearlings, which is unusual actually. So we’re really curious to see what the rest of the season brings.”

In a 10-year comparison study though the count is 24% up in Marquette. Compared to last year, the Baraga station is down 23%, Crystal Falls is 13%, Escanaba is down 9% and Newberry is 18% down.

When hunters register their deer, the DNR just requires enough of it to measure the antlers and check the jaw to see how old it is.

Hunters also have the option to test their deer head for Chronic Wasting Disease. Last year, a deer with CWD was found near Norway. All heads that have been registered at the Norway station have been tested for CWD.

Eckloff showed Local 3 the process to testing a deer for CWD which requires extracting the lymph nodes. WARNING: This video contains graphic images of a deer head being processed to test for CWD.

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