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March 01, 2009
New Hunting & Fishing Licenses on Sale March 1

New Michigan hunting and fishing licenses for the 2009 seasons, which begin April 1, will be available for sale online, at local retailers and at DNR offices across the state starting on Sunday, March 1. License prices remain the same as 2008.

Persons wishing to purchase a license from a retailer or DNR office can find a list of places to purchase a license online at www.michigan.gov/dnr under the Hunting & Trapping menu.

The online site accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover Card. A valid Michigan driver's license, Michigan identification card or MDNR Sportcard is required to purchase a license.

DNR officials also remind hunters and anglers there is a 15 percent discount when four or more licenses are purchased at the same time. Also, when purchasing a license for a minor who does not yet have a Michigan driver's license, you are required to purchase an MDNR Sportcard for $1.

Deer Poaching Investigation in Emmet County

Two Emmet County youths have been charged with deer poaching and related misdemeanors as part of an ongoing investigation by Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.

Two high school students, a 17 year-old, and a 16 year-old minor were both arrested last week and charged with taking an over limit of whitetailed deer, taking game from a motor vehicle, making use of an artificial light to take game and using a .22 caliber rim fire rifle to hunt deer.

Throughout this past fall, conservation officers had received numerous complaints of deer being shot in a concentrated area north of Harbor Springs. As the investigation continued, conservation officers received information about local high school students shining and shooting deer at night with a .22 caliber rim fire rifle. The suspects did not travel far from their homes -- all of the deer were taken within a short distance from where the two suspects live.

Multiple deer were taken throughout the month of October and into early November. The exact number is unknown at this time. Information was provided that several of the deer had their antlers removed. In some cases only the "back straps" or loin were taken, but in most cases the entire deer was left in the field to rot.

Each deer was shot in the head with a .22 caliber rim fire. Many of them were actually shot in the eye. A deer's glowing eye is a prominent target with the aid of a light. Two .22 caliber rim fire rifles with scopes were seized during the investigation - one rifle from each suspect.

In addition to applicable fines and costs, these charges also mandate restitution is paid to the State of Michigan in the amount of $1,000 per animal taken, as well as a mandatory hunting license revocation for the year of conviction and the following three years. Condemnation has also been requested on the two seized firearms. A petition was filed in Emmet County Probate Court for the juvenile involved.

Anyone with information about any wildlife or fisheries violations can contact the DNR's Report All Poaching (RAP) Line at 800-292-7800. All information can be left anonymously. Information that leads to an arrest is eligible for a monetary reward.

Wolf Poached - $3,000 Reward Offered

The DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking information related to the poaching of a gray wolf. Officials believe the incident occurred between Jan. 8 and Feb. 4 of this year in Schoolcraft County. The wolf's radio collar was located near County Road 456 and the Dead Creek in Schoolcraft County.

A reward of up to $3,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person, or persons, responsible for the killing of this wolf. The DNR's Report All Poaching program is contributing $500 toward the reward, with $2,500 being provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Anyone with information pertaining to this case is encouraged to call the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (989) 686-4578, or contact a local DNR conservation officer. Information can be provided anonymously. An online form to report poaching violations is available on the DNR's Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr under the Law Enforcement menu.

U.P. Fawn Survival Study

The DNR announced the start of a new research project in the U.P. The project will investigate the role of predators, winter weather and habitat on white-tailed deer fawn survival. The study is being conducted in portions of Menominee and Delta counties.

DNR Wildlife Research Biologist Dr. Dean Beyer said deer survival is influenced by many factors including disease, predation, weather, habitat and hunter harvest.

"Winter weather and the intensity of timber harvesting historically have been important factors affecting deer numbers in the UP. The recovery of large predators and the potential role of predation on deer numbers have interested the DNR and sportspersons for a number of years," Beyer said.

Researchers will capture pregnant whitetailed does during winter and attach radio transmitters that will signal when fawns are born. The newborn fawns will be captured during spring and fitted with radio-collars to study their survival and causes of death. Black bears, wolves, coyotes and bobcats also will be fitted with global positioning system collars to help researchers estimate the number of fawns killed by each species during the summer.

Researchers will investigate the role of winter weather and habitat quality on deer survival by analyzing fat content and other body condition indicators during late winter. Understanding the factors that affect whitetailed deer survival, and how they work together to influence deer predation, is important.

"We are very interested in obtaining the information from this study to help inform management decisions for both deer and predators," said Beyer.

This study is a cooperative effort between the DNR and Mississippi State University. Funding is being provided by the Michigan Involvement Committee of Safari Club International, Safari Club International Foundation, and Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration funds. Additional support will be sought from local wildlife organizations.

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