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Northern Michigan communities capitalize on deer season

Flickr user Virginia State Parks

Over half a million deer hunters look forward to opening day of firearm season in Michigan. Small business owners look forward to the season too, and to the financial uptick that follows the hunters that travel to the area.

Taylor Akin is the executive director of the Gaylord chamber of commerce. She said the season brings more than just hunters to the area. She said the so-called deer widows -spouses who don’t Hunt -  often come to hunt for sales.

“Our downtown has capitalized on ladies or people that don't hunt.  They offer many specials, deals, and discounts. They’re actually having a hunt downtown Gaylord on opening day and invited those who don't hunt to get out and do some holiday shopping”.

State officials said hunting is a $2.3-billion industry in Michigan and Akin said the local economy in Gaylord notices the impact.

“I think that cabins, hotels, and resorts are busier. I think that hunters eat out quite a bit probably breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Overall, I think that it's not just one industry that benefits. I think it is a wide array of businesses that benefit from opening day”.

Akin said local businesses owners around central and northern Michigan welcome the influx of travelers that head north for what some people call a holiday.