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Opening up the deer hunting season

Many hunters prefer to take a buck.
(Photo by Scott Bauer - USDA)
Michigan conservation officials hope to expand the number of female deer killed in this year's hunt, but many hunters would much rather shoot bucks. Antlers are the big prize.

Last year in Michigan, there were more than 60,000 car accidents caused by deer. Farmers say they can lose a lot of money when deer eat their crops. And there are deer munching on backyard gardens and even running down sidewalks.

Wildlife managers say there are just too many deer in the state. And they want hunters to help. This fall the Natural Resources Commission is increasing the number of does hunters can kill in certain parts of the state. Especially in southern lower Michigan where there are lots of deer. They hope that by reducing the number of does in the fall, there’ll be fewer fawns born in the spring... and eventually the deer population will swing back into balance. 

We talked with a Department of Natural Resources and Environment biologist and several hunters at Cabela's to see how they felt about the new regulations.  Listen to the story here.

Learn how to avoid hitting a deer with your car.

Zoe Clark is Michigan Public's Political Director. In this role, Clark guides coverage of the state Capitol, elections, and policy debates.