he one millionth deer checked into the Michigan DNR represents 50 years of data collection.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is thanking hunters for their cooperation as they checked in their one millionth deer this season.
The million deer milestone is the result of the DNR collecting deer data for the last 50 years, and data on individual deer since 1987, from voluntary deer check stations.
“Checking one million deer in this time frame shows the department’s commitment to collecting data from our deer herd to support science-based management, but also shows the level of cooperation by our hunters throughout the years,” DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart said in the official press release.
The DNR says they use gathered information on deer ages, sex, and harvest locations to monitor things like regulation changes and their effects on the herd, as well as collect important documentation about deer diseases. Hunters receive a patch once their deer are checked in, serving as a small piece of incentive and a commemorative symbol of a successful hunting season.
Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is probably the biggest concern in Michigan at the moment as the DNR confirmed a handful of cases in free-roaming deer this year. The DNR required CWD testing in Alaiedon, Delhi, Meridian, Williamstown, Wheatfield, Bath and Woodhull townships this year due to CWD concerns. The state confirmed the fourth positively tested deer in the state this year, and a fifth tested positive in initial testing.
The DNR is thanking hunters for their continued participation in deer check efforts this year. “Having one million individual deer records in our dataset is impressive and something both the department and hunters should be proud of,” DNR wildlife statistician Sarah Mayhew said.