Numbers up locally as firearm deer season comes to an end this weekend

BALDWIN — Deer hunting season ends Saturday for rifle hunters.

But Johnny Matson of the Meat Shack, south of Baldwin, has been having some good business in recent days.

So far during the deer season, including the bow season starting Oct. 1, his business has had 404 deer brought in. Last year the figure was 351.

“We’re up in numbers from last year which was a 20-year average for us,” Matson said. “This year we’re up a few more that. It’s a little bit of a surprise because of the new 3-point (antler) restrictions in Lake County. We do a lot of our deer from the north.

“I was little bit surprised but it was a good horn year too. We had good acorns last year which promotes the horn growth for this year. I think a lot of those nice horn bucks came in from what we had before. This year might be tough on them because there’s no acorns. It’s looking like a solid winter. It fluctuates.”

Matson said his business processed 200 deer during bow season and the other half since the rifle hunt started Nov. 15.

“We still have this weekend to go which is typically a pretty good weekend,” Matson said. “They’re calling for more mild temperatures. I’m hoping for one more good weekend. It was basically one and done. This year we took in 150 deer from the opener and about 50 more until now. Hopefully we’ll get a few more deer.”

Doug Loomis of Ed’s Sports Shop in Baldwin indicated activity in his area has been slow. The wintry like weather has put a cramp into area activity, he said.

DNR UPDATE

The DNR has issued the following statement:

“ As successful deer, elk and moose hunters return from trips in Michigan and beyond, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters that there are regulations regarding the importation of carcasses from certain other states and provinces.

“For free-ranging deer, elk or moose taken in Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North and South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Alberta and Saskatchewan, restrictions exist on parts of these animals that may be brought into Michigan.

“The above states and provinces have detected chronic wasting disease (CWD) in free-ranging animals. Only the following parts of a deer, elk or moose carcass may be brought into Michigan: deboned meat, antlers, antlers attached to a skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue, hides, upper canine teeth or a finished taxidermy mount.

“If you are notified by another state or province that a deer, elk or moose you brought into Michigan tested positive for CWD, you must contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab within two business days (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 517-336-5030 and provide details.

“The DNR appreciates the full cooperation of Michigan residents returning from out-of-state hunting trips in complying with these rules,’” said Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian. “We want these hunters to be able to enjoy their success while helping us to protect the health of the deer, elk and moose of our state.’”

“This list of states and provinces with CWD in free-ranging deer, elk and moose herds changes frequently. Any changes to importation regulations will be posted at www.michigan.gov/cwd. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may have regulations on importation from Canada. Hunters may contact the USDA at 301-734-3277.”

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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