December is a last chance in many ways.

For example, December 24 is the last chance to get a Christmas present for a loved one or friend, while December 31 is the last chance to make that New Year’s resolution come true before making a new one. For hunters, and deer hunters in particular, this is also the last chance to harvest a deer until the next fall season.

With the first two stages of the deer hunting season over, MNR wildlife biologist Vern Richardson said it was difficult to get a first impression of what the overall deer harvest would look like for the season 2021.

“Deer hunting traffic was different last year compared to 2019 and this year was different due to online reporting, continued COVID restrictions and different office hours,” he said. “It’s hard to get a first impression of what the harvest will look like for the region. “

He said the online survey would help get that information again, just like new online report hunters can use for the first time this season. He said that one positive element was that the weather throughout the recently ended gun season was very good. He said the early days of the season were fine and that continued for most of gun season.

He also said that there haven’t been any harsh winters in recent years, so there won’t be any residual effects that could play a role in the number of hunter successes for the 2021 season. deer.

“Some people have had their best year, some have had their worst year and many have had a normal year,” Richardson said based on the limited conversations he has had with hunters. “I’m not concerned about the lack of harvest, but I don’t know, to a few percentage points, if it will be better or less than previous seasons. “

As for the remaining deer hunting opportunities, said Richardson, although the end of archery season, muzzleloading season, and the end of antlerless seasons don’t get as much fanfare. than previous seasons of archery and firearms, these are still great opportunities for hunters to get a deer.

Late archery deer hunting

The end of the archery deer hunting season is open until January 1. Licenses valid for this season include a deer license, a combined deer license or an antlerless deer license. Hunters in the Upper Peninsula cannot use a crossbow at the end of the archery season unless they are hunting in the central chronic wasting disease area or have a special permit to hunt with a modified bow.

Muzzle-loading deer hunting season

Muzzleloading deer hunting season is open Dec. 3-12 statewide. In Zone 3 (Southern Michigan) and Oceana, Muskegon, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Midland and Bay counties, all legal firearms may be used during the muzzleloader deer hunting season; You have to follow the requirements of the deer with guns limited area when hunting in this area. In the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula, only muzzle-loading firearms may be used.

Hunters in the Lower Peninsula can harvest antler or antler deer during muzzleloading season with a combined deer or deer license.

End of the woodless firearms season

The end of the antlerless firearm deer hunting season is open from December 13 to January 1 in all mainland deer management units on the Lower Peninsula. Hunting licenses valid for the season include an antlerless deer, deer or deer combo license.

The late antlerless deer hunt is a hunt reserved for private lands. You can only harvest antlerless deer at the end of the antlerless season, and you can use an antlerless deer hunting license or an unused deer or deer hunting license to take an antlerless deer.