DNR News: State park stories, deer season start, reservations website

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News Digest - Week of Nov. 13, 2018

pile of orange, gold, green and white fall gourds spilling out of a pail

Here's a look at some of this week's stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at michigan.gov/dnrpressroom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and additional ones, are available in this folder.

Add your state parks story to centennial celebration

A family enjoying the water on the beach at Grand Haven State Park

When the Michigan Legislature established the Michigan State Park Commission in 1919, those lawmakers likely couldn’t have foreseen the 100-plus network of state parks stretching across both peninsulas. This spring – May 12, 2019, officially – marks the anniversary, and the DNR is planning a yearlong celebration of programs and opportunities for park fans.

Maia Turek, a recreation programmer with the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, said that one way people can participate is by contributing photos and memories to the digital Michigan State Parks Photo Story Map.

“We launched the story map to start capturing the special memories – camping trips, family traditions, fish tales, Scouting excursions, day hikes and more – that people have made over the years. We’ve already received some terrific ones.”

If you’d like to add a story and photo or explore what’s already there, go to michigan.gov/stateparks100 and click “Explore map.” To add to the story map:

  • Click “Share your memory” (blue button in upper, right-hand corner).
  • You can sign in as a guest, so no login is required.
  • Add as many stories and photos as you like.

Camp with us

Those who want to camp at state parks during the official anniversary weekend, May 10-12, can book their favorite spots right now at the DNR’s updated campground and harbor reservations website, midnrreservations.com. All camping parties that weekend will receive a complimentary commemorative bumper sticker upon arrival.

Stay up to date on centennial news and information all year long at michigan.gov/stateparks100. Questions? Contact Maia Turek at 989-225-8573.

New look for state campground and harbor reservations website

Front page screen shot of the DNR's updated campground and harbor reservations website

Visitors to Michigan's state campground and harbor reservations website probably have noticed some changes. The site has a new look and feel, simpler navigation, a more mobile-friendly design, and a color scheme that better reflects what you see on the DNR website and many other department materials.

Much of the functionality that customers have come to know was carried over. Campers can still search for campsites and harbor slips from a map, list or calendar display and view photos of campsites located in each campground.

Questions about the site? Contact the reservations call center at 800-44-PARKS.

Deer hunting season starts Nov. 15

Deer in a sunlit field

Firearm deer hunting season kicks off this week!

Visit michigan.gov/deer to find 2018 season information, regulations, videos, chronic wasting disease updates and more. Check out the 2018 Michigan Deer Hunting Prospects for more on what to expect this deer season.

Hunters contribute $2.3 billion to Michigan’s economy and pay for wildlife conservation and management work throughout the state.

Helping set the pace

Michigan is one of the top five states nationally in both number of deer hunters and overall deer taken each year. There were 376,365 deer harvested in 2017:

  • 150,709 were antlerless deer, 225,655 were antlered.
  • 51 percent of deer were harvested during the firearm season.
  • 37 percent were harvested during the archery season.
  • 38,262 deer were checked, the highest number of checked deer since 2001.
  • See the 2017 Deer Season Summary for more 2017 statistics.

Other reminders

  • Looking for a place to hunt? There are new properties and more acres to hunt through the Hunting Access Program, including properties in Ionia, Kent, Montcalm, Newaygo and Mecosta counties. See a complete list of private lands available to hunt at michigan.gov/hap. Also, you can find information and maps for lands open to public hunting at michigan.gov/mihunt.
  • Buy deer licenses online, at a license agent or at a DNR Customer Service Center.

Good luck and have a safe and enjoyable deer season! Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Events button

Join Wildly Fit for the second annual Huffin for the Stuffin 5k Nov. 22 at Maybury State Park. Run, walk or skip Thanksgiving morning, with all proceeds benefiting Blessings in a Backpack. 

buy and apply

Enter to win the hunt of a lifetime – including elk and bear licenses and $4,000-plus in prizes – and help fund wildlife habitat restoration and management by applying for the Pure Michigan Hunt.

get involved

Tell us what you think about proposed changes for ORV use on state forest roads in the northern Lower Peninsula. Review proposed changes and share feedback through Dec. 7.