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      DNR rep talks about deer biology

      Deer hunting is obviously a staple of Upper Peninsula living, but some hunters raised concerns as to the current state of the deer population. Over time, the most concentrated areas of deer wintering has shifted from the northern U.P. to the southern U.P.

      "The general deer numbers were down. I've spent some time out in the woods this year so far, and I'm not getting a real rosy picture this year, and I'm not getting big rosy feedback from a lot of people either, said one hunter.

      The apparent decline of deer could be due to predation. Coyotes have always been preying on deer, however, now there's a new threat in the mix. Wolves are a relatively new species to the U.P. Their current population is estimated to be at about 700. Each individual wolf is said to consume about 20 deer per season. In total, that leaves about 14,000 less deer for hunters.

      The picture is not all that grim, however. The deer population in the U.P. is holding strong at about 200,000.

      Sometimes not finding any comes down to plain bad luck.

      "I have a rule: if you don't have any weapon with you, you will see the animal you're hunting. And if you do have a weapon, there's nothing to be seen anywhere," said William Belding.

      So get ready for another U.P. deer season. Only time will tell what this year will bring.

      Good hunting everyone.