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Wolf hunting licenses selling out as hunters prepare for deer season
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Wolf licenses in Michigan appear to be a hot seller. The licenses for the first wolf hunt in Michigan went on sale Saturday. The Department of Natural Resources says they sold more than 1,000 licenses by the end of the day.
On Sunday morning, there were just 100 left. The Natural Resources Commission is allowing 43 wolves to be killed in seven Upper Peninsula counties.
This has been a controversial topic. Right now, opponents are collecting petitions hoping to stop future hunts. The hunt starts Nov. 15 and runs through the end of the year.
Meanwhile, bow hunting season kicks off this Tuesday. Will West Michigan sportsmen be able to bring home the venison after last year's EHD outbreak?
The Department of Natural Resources has some changes to hunting regulations and the best places to put up deer stands this season.
"We're going scouting tonight, go see if there's any activity." That's 18-year-old Austin Edick with his younger brother Billy at D&R sports Center Sunday, both so excited to get ready to go hunting early Tuesday morning.
Edick says his plan is to "shoot a big deer. That's the big goal for everyone, shoot a big dear with big antlers."
Last season, Edick says he was disappointed: "I only shot one and that's about one of the only deer I saw all year."
The good news is the DNR is predicting a better hunting season than last year. The cooler, wetter weather this summer was not supportive of the bugs that caused the disease.
"I'm hearing a lot of reports from folks seeing does with multiple births so that's a good sign, we are also hearing of folks seeing plenty of bucks," DNR wildlife supervisor Steve Chadwick says.
Although many areas in West Michigan are still recovering after EHD plagued the deer population. The DNR says the outbreak helped seal the deal with changing hunting guidelines this fall, especially in Cass and Berrien counties.
"We reduced the quota in some areas, hunters will still find plenty of tags to purchase. They may not be able to purchase the multiple tags they're used to getting for antlerless licenses," Chadwick says.
The DNR tells Newschannel 3 the best counties to track deer this season are Allegan and Van Buren because they weren't hit as hard by EHD. Edick says he'll keep that in mind as he and his brother head out next week.
"As long as there is meat in the freezer, I'm pretty happy," Edick says.
The DNR says there was an outbreak over Labor Day weekend near Muskegon. Nearly 50 deer were reported with EHD, but since then there have been no new reports.