A down year for deer hunters...that's what the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is saying about the 2013 hunting season.
The DNR said low numbers of year-and-a-half-old bucks and poor antler growth are being reported at check stations across the Upper Peninsula.
They said last winter had a huge impact on the fawns' development and their survival. The numbers do improve in parts of the southern U.P. and along the Michigan-Wisconsin border.
"Certainly the year-and-a-half-old age class buck is certainly down, probably down roughly 18 to 15 percent, typically that makes up roughly about 40 percent of our harvest. Certainly the hunter on the ground is going to see that effect," said Brian Roell, DNR biologist.
Roell also said the DNR continues to check deer until January, and that could affect the deer harvest numbers. He added that low snow totals this winter could improve conditions for deer in the Upper Peninsula.