Monday, November 15, 2010

Deer Season Then and Now

With the firearms deer season nigh, it's interesting to compare a few snippets of a November 9, 1922 article on the subject to today's regulations.

"The Michigan deer season will open tomorrow [Friday, November 10] and several hunting parties from here have already left for the Northern Woods while others are planning to leave later." Of course today the firearms season begins on the 15th, with some special September and October restricted seasons for disabled hunters and youth hunters. As today, the 1922 firearm season ended on November 30.

"Hunters from here started early in the week although there can be no shooting until Friday. The trains from Detroit and Chicago are carrying their quotas of roughly dressed men, with guns in cases, and other camp paraphenelia. Many go in automobiles."
I can't imagine anyone traveling up North to hunt by train these days. And the vehicle of choice I imagine is not one of Ford's Model Ts, then the most popular car, but a pickup.

"Each hunter with a license is permitted to shoot one buck whose horns are at least three inches long. Does and fawns are protected to prevent the animals from becoming extinct. Each party of at least four hunters may also shoot an extra deer for camp use." Today's firearms license is similar, with the exception that only ONE horn has to be more than three inches. It is no longer permitted to take another deer for camp use.

The regular license is also valid for taking an antlerless deer in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 487--the deer management regions system is also something that didn't exist in 1922. Also, today there is a combination license which should be called the COMPLICATED license which basically allows you to bag two deer, one buck and one antlerless. In addition, there is an antlerless deer license and a youth antlerless license. So basically there are 4 license choices today instead of apparently just one in the past. Also, hunters in the southern Lower Peninsula can buy as many licenses as they like, also in the tuberculosis region, DMU 487. GOT ALL THAT?

"Last year the state issued 27,000 deer licenses, about 1000 fewer than the year previous." In 2008, about 550,000 firearm licenses were issued--not counting archery, muzzleloader, and youth permits. The Michigan Sportsman forum says there are roughly 2 million deer in the state.


Diane said...

Living in the northern, deer hunting, area of Michigan, I can tell you life is a little different this week! We have more people all over. We actually have traffic!! Gun shots are going off constantly; no walking in the woods now. The area school was closed on Monday, first day of hunting season.

Dusty D said...

Diane: Wow, I had no idea school closed! That's a shame that walking in the woods is out now. I hope the season is prosperous for your community; thanks for reading from northern Michigan!

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