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Beginning today, Michigan bow hunters will see how deer population has recovered from 2012 outbreak


This is a big day for thousands of Michigan deer hunters. It’s the beginning of bow season.

Hunters should expect to see more deer in southern Michigan this fall.

Last year, nearly 15 thousand deer died of Epizootic hemorrhagic disease or EHD.

The disease is spread to deer by small insects. It was the largest EHD outbreak in Michigan history.

Brent Rudolph is the Deer and Elk program leader for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.    He says hunters noticed that some parts of southern Michigan suffered a big drop in deer population last fall.

He says last year’s outbreak was highly localized.

“Some hunters saw quite a few less deer. But even a few miles away you might notice no impacts at all if you didn’t happen to be right around those outbreak areas,” says Rudolph, “That’s going to continue to be the case but even lessened a little bit by the fact that some deer will have moved into those locations or we’ll have another crop of fawns. You’ll begin to see a slow bit of recovery in some of those bad outbreak areas.”

This year, only about two dozen deer in Michigan have been reported with EHD.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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