Serving The Straits Area Sportsmen Since 1975
DMU 249 lies along the Lake Michigan shoreline and is comprised largely of Mackinac and Chippewa counties with a small portion of southeastern Luce County in the northwestern portion of the DMU. The unit was once part of DMU 049 and was split out in 2009 due to differing levels of deer abundance and harvest rates between eastern and western portions of the old DMU. This DMU is 859 square miles and consists of 27% state land, 51% federal land and 22% private land. The landscape is dominated by forested types that are typically less productive for deer with only a small amount (~5%) of agricultural land in the unit on the eastern border. Hunting camps are less common in the DMU due to the large amount of public ownership which is predominantly part of the Hiawatha National Forest. The DMU is located primarily in the moderate snowfall zone. Winter is a limiting factor for the deer herd, and most deer migrate to deer wintering complexes (DWC’s) present in the DMU where conifer cover provides some protection from wintering conditions.
The goals for this DMU are to grow the deer herd in a healthy and sustainable way, provide hunting opportunities, while dealing with over-abundance issues with permits or antlerless harvest as the need arises.Population indices suggest that winter conditions are a primary factor affecting deer abundance in the high and moderate snowfall zones of the Upper Peninsula. In 2015, antlerless harvest during archery season was suspended across the region following 3 consecutive severe winters and decreasing population indices. Buck harvest and other population indices (buck to doe ratio, fawn to doe ratio) have since increased to near average levels for the DMU.With little agriculture in the DMU, few, if any, agricultural damage complaints are typically received annually for this DMU, and there is little evidence of over-browsing occurring outside of DWC’s that impacts tree regeneration. Both deer densities and hunting success rates are historically below-average in DMU 249 as compared to the rest of the region. Because of this, antlerless permits have not been issued since its inception in 2009. Population indices suggest that a limited increase in antlerless harvest would not greatly affect the population size. However, there appears to be little support for antlerless harvest opportunities based on feedback from hunters and other stakeholders.
To learn more click on the tab below to view information used to make management decisions for that DMU. Please note that these DMU information sheets are updated every three years, and as a result, the map above will match the DMU map from the year they were last updated and may not match the current DMU map in the Hunting Digest.
Each year the Mackinac Bridge Autority conducts a count of vehicles leaving the U.P. heading south from the U.P. To the left is you can see the highs and lows over the past 63 years.
Straits Area Sportsmen's Club
P.O. Box 764, St. Ignace, MI 79781
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