Hunters suit up in preparation for deer season - WNEM TV 5

Hunters suit up in preparation for deer season

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

Hunters across much of the southern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula won't be allowed to kill as many deer as usual this fall because of an insect-spread deer disease.

MLive.com reports (http://bit.ly/Q25qJl) new limits on antlerless deer hunting are a response to epizootic hemorrhagic disease. The Department of Natural Resources has collected reports indicating at least 13,200 deer have died from the disease in Michigan this year, and the actual number is likely higher.

Firearm deer hunting season starts Thursday.

Wildlife officials decided this week that stricter limits on antlerless deer licenses would help populations bounce back faster in hard-hit areas.

The virus causes extensive internal bleeding and is transmitted by a type of biting fly called a midge. The disease isn't a threat to humans.

Meanwhile,  Michigan Department of Natural Resources is ready to answer your questions before you head to the woods.

Tuesday night, the DNR will host an online forum to answer questions.

Officials will address everything from the state of the deer population, to the rules you need to know.

Keynote speakers include the Wildlife Division's deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph and wildlife veterinarian Steve Schmitt, as well as Law Enforcement Division Assistant Chief Dean Molnar.

"We are excited to use this interactive technology to share information with the public on the cusp of Michigan's firearm deer season opener," said DNR Director Keith Creagh. "Our panel of experts is looking forward to answering a broad range of questions about deer management and hunting. We expect to address deer season prospects and the health of the state's deer herd, including this year's outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD)."

The video event will stream live on the DNR's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/midnr.

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