Department of Natural Resources: deer hunting on the rise

The 2012 firearm deer season opened almost a week ago and the Department of Natural Resources says hunting is on the rise.

According to the DNR, deer license sales were about 2 percent higher than at the same time last year. A total of 640,000 hunters had purchased one or more Michigan deer licenses.

The increase in license sales may be resulting in an increase in hunter numbers in northern regions of the state, particularly on public land in the northern Lower Peninsula. In the eastern and southern portions of this region in particular, the DNR says hunter numbers appeared higher than they were last year.

The number of deer checked compared to last year has varied, though in some cases lower numbers may be due to cool temperatures allowing hunters to hang deer for several days.

Hunters have seen a good number of deer, the DNR reports, and bucks appear to be in excellent condition.