Michigan hunting season begins

IRON MOUNTAIN – Tens of thousands of hunters were expected to take to the field today for the first day of Michigan’s rifle deer hunting season.

The firearm season runs from Nov. 15-30.

Once a deer has been harvested, Department of Natural Resources officials encourage hunters to get their deer “checked” at a local DNR office.

Local deer check stations include:

– Crystal Falls Field Office in Crystal Falls, 1420 Highway U.S. 2 West. Open dates include Nov. 15-22 & Nov 25-27, & Dec. 2, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

– Escanaba Field Office in Escanaba, 6833 Hwy. 2, 41, and M-35, Gladstone. Open dates include Nov. 15-22, Nov. 25-27, & Dec. 2, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

– Island Resort & Casino in Harris, W-399 Highway 2 & 41. Open date is Nov. 17, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

– Marquette Operations Service Center in Marquette, 1990 U.S. 41 South. Open dates include Nov. 15-22 & Nov. 25-27, & Dec. 2, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Dec. 3-Dec. 30, Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

– Baraga Operations Service Center in Baraga, 427 U.S. 41 North. Open dates include Nov.15-22, Nov 25-27, & Dec. 2, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Dec.3 to Dec.30, Mon-Fri, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At DNR check stations, DNR staff members record the harvest location and date, gender and antler measurements.

Data and TB samples collected at check stations help to assess the biological health of the herd and assist with future population management recommendations, DNR officials said.

Hunters still looking for places to hunt on public land can visit www.michigan.gov/mihunt to search by county.

Also, Verso Paper Corp. in Quinnesec is reminding all hunters and sportsmen and women that hunting and trespassing are not permitted on the Quinnesec mill property located in Breitung and Norway townships.

Verso employees, along with a number of local contractors are working throughout the area and bow hunters and hunters with firearms could endanger property and life.

“We are concerned about the safety of our employees and for citizens living in the area. The use of archery and firearms equipment presents too great a risk for their well-being,” said Mark Pontti, communications manager. “We have confidence hunters will cooperate with this request.”

Violators of this policy will be reported to area law enforcement agencies for prosecution under Michigan’s trespassing ordinances.

Besides deer, hunting season is now open for wolf in Michigan.

This is the state’s first wolf hunt since the animal was placed on the endangered species list nearly 40 years ago.

There are 1,200 people licensed to participate in the wolf hunt. Michigan is the sixth state to authorize wolf hunting following the removal of federal protections. The season runs through December, unless the maximum kill of 43 is reached beforehand.