Hunters Prepare for Opening Day of Firearm Season - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Hunters Prepare for Opening Day of Firearm Season

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Thursday Morning, thousands of hunters will head out into the woods hoping to get the big one.

The DNR says of the roughly 700,000 people who hunt in Michigan about 600,000 do so during firearm season.

While EHD has certainly hurt the deer population and affected hunting, the DNR says it should still be a sucessful season for hunters.@

The trees are quiet, standing tall with anticipation.

Lester Ruhl, Hunter: "I love it. I take my grandkids out with me and we have a good time."

But Wednesday was all about preparation.

Bruce Laurain, Hunter: "Basically just go out and just make sure our stands are right - make sure we have everything that we need for the morning."

Because for hunters, Thursday is a holiday.

Brent Rudolph, Michigan Department of Natural Resources: "Opening day is that biggest day for folks to get their 1st chance."

And despite the new cap on hunting permits due to EHD, the Department of Natural Resources still expects it will be a good year for hunters.

Rudolph: "In some of the northern regions, deer numbers continue to increase and folks should have great opportunities in many of those locations."

And even though numbers are down, the DNR says hunting is still necessary.

Rudolph: "It's a management tool, we attempt to regulate it in a way to keep appropriate number of deer in the state."

And the hunters are eager to help out.

Lee Carter, Hunter: "Just enjoy going out, sittin' in the woods, nothing bothering you, seeing all the wildlife, it's peaceful."

Rudolph: "We often find when the opener falls on a Wednesday or Thursday - we get some of the highest participation in the northern regions. People can take a day or two off, they can extend and hunt on into the weekend."

Ao Wednesday night, there's just one thing left to do.

Ruhl: "Get a good night's sleep - head out early."

Because these hunters say its best to be in place before the sun breaks through the trees. @

The DNR says more than 13 thousand deer have died from EHD in Michigan since the summer.

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