On Friday, Nov. 15, tens of thousands of Michigan residents and nonresidents will take to the field to enjoy deer hunting. The firearm season runs from Nov. 15-30. Once a deer has been harvested, the Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to get their deer "checked" at a local DNR office. Check station hours vary, so hunters should review the list of locations, times and hours HERE.

At DNR check stations, DNR staff members record the harvest location and date, gender and antler measurements. Deer heads may be collected for bovine TB surveillance in select counties, on a voluntary basis. This year, the DNR encourages hunters to submit samples for TB if they harvested a deer in the following 19 counties: Alcona, Alpena, Bay, Cheboygan, Crawford, Genesee, Gratiot, Iosco, Isabella, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Saginaw, Shiawassee and Tuscola. Data and TB samples collected at check stations help to assess the biological health of the herd and assist with future population management recommendations.

Other reminders:

Still looking for places to hunt on public land? Visit HERE to check county by county.

Antler point restrictions are in place for certain areas in the state. Visit the DNR's website for additional information.

6th Annual Buck Pole Contest
For those of who you bag a buck during the opening day of firearms season in Livingston County, the Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority, Marion Township, and Anything that Moves want to help you earn your bragging rights at the 6th Annual Buck Pole, where hunters will gather to share stories, photos, and enjoy the warming tent, concessions, a bonfire, and chances to win great prizes. For a $10 registration fee, you'll be able to hang your deer and receive a cap. You don't need to have the largest buck to enter the contest either as we'll also be awarding heaviest buck, most points, 1st woman, widest rack, most unique rack, and youngest hunter to bag a buck (18 & under).

The 6th Annual Buck Pole Contest will take place at Marion Township Hall, located at 2877 W. Coon Lake Road in Howell. Cost is $10. For more information including a full set of rules, or to register, please contact the Howell Area Parks & Recreation Authority at 517/546-0693 ext. or visit www.howellrecreation.org.