The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Deer heads to be collected during Ironwood's bow hunt


IRONWOOD — A twist has been added to the city of Ironwood’s bow deer hunt this year.

Deer heads will be collected to be checked for chronic wasting disease, the city commission learned on Monday.

It will be the 12th year of the inner city archery hunt, designed to decrease the booming deer numbers of more than a decade ago.

City manager Scott Erickson said the hunt has been effective. “We’ve been recognized statewide,” he said.

As deer numbers have decreased in the city, so have the reports of wolves, although coyotes were a problem last winter.

City clerk Karen Gullan noted CWD was found in Wisconsin just 40 miles away from Ironwood and it’s important that the heads be collected by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for testing.

In a June letter to the city, MDNR wildlife biologist Robert Doepker noted CWD is always fatal to deer and early detection is a key to tackling the disease.

Doepker said the MDNR’s priority this fall is in four U.P. counties that border Wisconsin, including Gogebic. He said last year only a few deer heads were collected in Gogebic County.

John DePue, a DNR wildlife biologist from Baraga, attended Monday’s city commission meeting and agreed with Erickson’s assessment, saying “other towns have followed Ironwood’s example. It’s a great program.”

DePue said the MDNR is available to address any predator issues that may arise.

The MDNR attributed several deer kills in the city limits last winter to coyotes, assigning Donnie Lonsway to predator control efforts.

Rules for the hunt

City commissioners on Monday again approved a resolution that sets up rules for the hunt, which begins in October.

Gullan said an Earn-A-Buck incentive will return to the program this year. Under Earn-A-Buck, a hunter who participated in a past city hunt will be allowed to enter a buck lottery. Only two bucks will be harvested.

Twenty hunting permits will be issued.

Each deer stand platform must be a minimum of 12 feet above ground and a map shows the four designated bow hunting areas.

The three seasons include Oct. 1-25, Oct. 26-Nov. 14 and Dec. 1-Jan. 1, depending on the zones.

There will be no hunting from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Miners Memorial Heritage Park.

All hunters are required to attend a pre-season seminar and a $5 non-refundable application fee is charged. Hunters who pass the required proficiency test and meet all criteria are then charged a $10 land use fee.


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