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MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – The Department of Natural Resources says although the overall number of hunters in Michigan has been on a slight decline, a recent deer hunter survey shows the use of crossbows is increasing.
Beginning in 2009, crossbows were allowed in most areas of Michigan during the archery deer season in an attempt to expand hunting opportunities, retain existing hunters and recruit new hunters.
Initially only hunters 50 years of age or older could hunt with a crossbow in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, while hunters of any age could use crossbows in the southern Lower Peninsula. In 2010 the age restriction was eliminated statewide.
DNR Deer and Elk Program Leader Brent Rudolph says that in 2011, 25 percent of the crossbow users had not hunted in the archery season in previous years. The number of hunters who obtained a free crossbow stamp jumped from nearly 45,700 in 2009 to 88,565 in 2012.
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