Opening day of archery season kicked off Thursday, October 1 for Michigan and if you are hunting on state land, you may see more hunters than usual.

I already hunt and fish quite a bit but with the pandemic, I have fished more this year than I have in years and I plan to hunt more than I usually do as well.

Well according to WOOD and Michigan's Department of Natural Resources, 20% more hunting licenses have been sold than last year at this time. That is a huge increase in people in the woods.

For many years now, hunting license purchases have gone down a little each year but it seems to be on the rise as more and more people are choosing the outdoors as their way to social distance and relax.

Even camping is on the rise, one of my co-workers recently went to the Upper Peninsula to do some hiking and camping, an annual trip he makes every year because usually there is no one around. This year it was not the case, campgrounds were packed even after Labor Day weekend. So it makes sense for hunting and fishing numbers are up, too.

If you have been thinking about getting out to do some bow hunting for deer, even though the season has started there is still time to get in on the action. Plus the hunting doesn't really get good until the bucks go into rut which is still weeks away.

If you have private land to hunt, you are in luck because you can control how many people are on your land. If you are going to hunt state land, with more hunting licenses being sold, you better get on it to stake out your spot because there will be more hunters in the woods.

If purchases of archery licenses are up, odds are firearm season licenses will be up as well. So prepare early if you are going to have to deal with more people in the woods.

You also may want to scout out your deer check station because the DNR has cut 100 of them from the budget so it will be more difficult to locate a station. Here is a link to deer check stations that are still operating.

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