The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Supplemental deer feeding permits issued across UP


Submitted Photo

A DEER walks through deep snow under forest cover in a photo provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday.


Although it has been a relatively mild winter and this week's thaw is taking a bite out of the snow cover, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is issuing deer feeding permits across the entire Upper Peninsula.

The MDNR said Wednesday it is extending the permits from the north to the southern section of the U.P.

The permits allow private citizens and sportsmen's groups in the U.P. to provide supplemental feed and are issued by local DNR wildlife biologists under certain provisions.

Supplemental feeding in the north began earlier this month. In the southern U.P., accumulated snowfall depth measurements triggered the issuance of permits.

"Although we continue to have high concerns regarding potential for communicable diseases, such as chronic wasting disease, and would prefer people not feed deer, the snow depth readings we tabulated today reached the level where we begin to issue supplemental deer feeding permits," said Terry Minzey, DNR U.P. regional wildlife supervisor.

Snow depth in Ironwood on Wednesday was at 9 inches, with more 40-degree days ahead.

At the Bergland dam, the snow was 16 inches deep on Tuesday and total snowfall for the month was only 8.7 inches, compared to the long-term average of 25.7 inches, according to the National Weather Service's Marquette office.

Marquette had 5 inches of snow on the ground on Wednesday and Gladstone was at 13 inches.

The DNR begins collecting snowfall depth totals in November.

For Iron, Dickinson, Delta and Menominee counties and the portion of Marquette County south of the boundary between Township 43 North and Township 44 North, permits are issued if accumulated snow depth averaged between the Crystal Falls and Escanaba DNR field offices reaches 48 inches by the Monday nearest Jan. 15.

In Schoolcraft and Mackinac counties and the part of Chippewa County south of the T43N-T44N boundary line, permits are issued if accumulated snow depth averaged between the Manistique and Naubinway DNR field offices reaches 60 inches by the Monday closest to Jan. 15.

DNR officials said easily digestible food sources most beneficial for deer include grains, second-cut alfalfa clover, and pelletized food. Apples, potatoes, sugar beets and carrots provide little benefit for deer during winter and are not legal for supplemental feeding under permits.

"Permits are free of charge and may be obtained from wildlife biologists at several of our DNR offices located across the U.P. Permission must also be obtained from the landowner," said John Pepin, MDNR deputy public information officer.

Feed must be placed at least a quarter mile or more from the nearest paved public highway (this includes any paved, asphalt, or concrete roadway), at least one mile from domestic farm animals, and at least a mile from wheat or potato fields, commercial fruit orchards or commercial plant nurseries or tree farms, unless otherwise specified in the permit.

Feed must be scattered on the ground at a depth not to exceed 3 inches.

Anyone who is issued a supplemental feeding permit must agree to assist the DNR in collecting deer tissue samples for disease surveillance.

Recreational feeding of wildlife is also allowed on private land in the U.P. year-round, provided the feed is placed within 100 yards of a residence and the total amount of feed does not exceed two gallons at any time. The feed must be scattered on the ground and must be at least 100 yards from areas accessible by livestock.


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