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Michigan DNR pleased with participation in new deer harvest reporting

Whitetail deer photo

As deer hunting season in Michigan comes to a close on Jan.1, the Department of Natural Resources says its new harvest reporting system has been a success.

This year, all hunters were required to enter their harvests onlinewithin 72 hours. Reporting was previously done by a select number of hunters through a post-season survey.

Chad Stewart is the Deer, Elk and Moose Management Specialist with the DNR. He said he’s pleased with the number of responses received this year. He adds word of mouth among hunters played a key role in increased participation.

He adds ease of use may have been another contributing factor in boosting turnout.

 “I think [hunters] can realize that, you know, ‘wow this isn’t really that big of a deal it took me less than five minutes to report my harvest so go ahead and do it, it doesn’t take that long.’ And I think that in of itself can help build up support and even participation,” Stewart said.

QR codes leading to the reporting website were printed on hunting licenses and tags this year, making it easier to access and fill out.

“82% of our reports were completed in under five minutes. I believe that for hunters who reported more than one deer their second deer was on average somewhere in the range of two to three minutes,” Stewart said.

Stewart estimates about 300,000 deer will have been reported by the end of December.

“If you would have said going into this season that we were going to have 300,000 deer reported in our first year through this system, I think everybody in the department would have taken that,” he said. “Because that means it was adopted at what we think of as a fairly high rate.”

Final results from this season’s turnout will be ready in the summer.

Melorie Begay is WKAR-FM's weekend host and a general assignment reporter.
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