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DNR happy with hunting conditions, wants hunters to wear masks and gloves

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The chilly and snowy weather conditions are good for the opening of firearm deer season on Monday, state officials said.

The cold should be making the deer move more which should help hunters, said Ashley Autenrieth, Deer Program Biologist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

However, the DNR is recommending hunters to wear masks and gloves due to the risks of COVID-19 in deer and bovine tuberculosis. Bovine tuberculosis can be transmitted to humans.

Autenrieth said she’s happy with more people getting outside.

"We have seen hunter loss over the last twenty years," she said. "So if something positive can be seen from this pandemic and we are able to continue the tradition of hunting and trapping in Michigan even that much more for generations to come, I think that’ll be one small positive from that."

So far, check stations have not released numbers for opening day, but Autenrieth said officials are hearing shots ring out in the forests.