From Deer Friendly:
An estimated 1.5 million deer in 2015.
Based on harvest data about 1.4 in 2014, 1.6 in 2013 and 1.7 in 2012.
The last official estimate of 1.73 from 2011.
A significant population decline in 2013 and 2014 following harsh winters, most severe in the Upper Peninsula
From South Bend Tribune
Well, just be glad you hunt southern Michigan. The biggest drop occurred in the Upper Peninsula where harvest plummeted 25 percent and that certainly skews the state numbers. The northern Lower Peninsula wasn’t much better.
The UP suffered a brutal winter for the third straight year. There was more than 3 feet of snow on the ground before the Nov. 15 firearm season, making it difficult for hunters to get out.
More importantly, deer numbers have been declining due to heavy snow that makes it difficult for the deer to move and feed. That has led to fewer fawns and a big reason why the DNR is restricting antlerless deer hunting there this fall.
Southwest Michigan persevered much better. DNR statistics show some 8,000 deer were taken in Deer Management Unit (DMU) 311, which encompasses Cass, Berrien and Van Buren counties.
Of those 8,000, 4,400 were bucks.
Admittedly, that’s 1,000 fewer deer harvested than the year before, but there are some reasons for that, too.
The entire Southwest Michigan District, that covers far more counties, saw a 20 percent increase in doe harvest during the archery season but a 16.7 percent drop during gun season.
The district’s buck harvest during archery season climbed 8.9 percent but dipped 1.9 percent during the gun season.