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A Look at the 2022 Firearm Deer Hunting Season

11 15 20 Mancelona Buck Pole Sot

Mancelona once again hosted their annual buck pole, and they say it was a “stellar year.”

An overwhelming number of hunters came out this year, making the buck pole in Mancelona one to remember.

Joanie Moore, the Director of the Mancelona Chamber of Commerce shares that “it’s been 20 years since we’ve had 52 deer, which is what we had this year. And we pulled out some old records to compare how the deer this year were compared to the ones 20 years ago. We noticed that overall, overall, on the average that the weights were up and then the points was up about one and a half points.”

They say all these entries were quite surprising for them, after the antler point restriction went into effect 10 years ago.

Moore adds “10 years ago when the antler point restriction went into effect. So when that went into effect, we did have a sharp decrease in the number of entries that we had. But over the course of the past ten years, we’ve noticed that number come up sharply. So this is the best year that we have had in 20 years.”

This decrease in hunting population has caused some DNR deer check locations to close.

Steve Griffith, a Wildlife Habitat Biologist with the DNR states he’s “surprised we haven’t seen a few more people showing up thinking that we were a check station, just like we have been for, you know, for quite a while.”

Hunters who may have struggled finding a check station this year, can look forward to next hunting season with some locations reopening.

“So next year, we are going to be sampling in the Northwest Lower peninsula for disease purposes, hopefully to make sure it’s not in the area that we don’t have chronic wasting disease or tuberculosis in the area. But we’re doing that for the whole state instead of just asking for all every deer head from all over the state,” Griffith says.