DETROIT (WWJ) – More than 550,000 deer hunters are hitting the fields of Michigan in search of white-tailed deer.

The annual firearms season for deer opens Tuesday, Nov. 15 in Michigan. The DNR estimates more than 90 percent of Michigan hunters will pursue deer this year, with hunters spending an average of 7 days afield during the firearm season.

Just how big is deer hunting in the state? “In Michigan alone, it actually generates $2.3 billion in terms of an economic impact, that includes food and lodging — and then actually $1.3 million is spent on equipment,” Michigan DNR deer program biologist Ashley Autenrieth told WWJ’s Beth Fisher.

The season wraps up November 30.

Helpful reminders for Michigan’s firearm deer season
• Don’t forget to wear hunter orange.
• A deer or deer combo license can be purchased at a license agent or online at E-License.
• There are public- and private-land antlerless deer licenses still available.
• Be aware of any antler point restrictions that may be in effect where you are hunting and understand deer license types.
• Be aware of the baiting and feeding rules and restrictions for deer in Michigan.
• Don’t forget to bring your deer to a DNR check station and pick up one of the DNR’s deer cooperator patches.
• Bovine tuberculosis is still a major concern in the northeastern Lower Peninsula deer herd, so be sure to bring your deer to a check station if you hunt in DMU 487.
• Don’t forget, due to finding chronic wasting disease, there is mandatory deer registration in the Core CWD Area, which includes 17 townships in the southern Lower Peninsula. Learn more about chronic wasting disease and how you can help by visiting mi.gov/cwd.

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