According to the Department of Natural Resources, deer hunters will contribute more than a half-billion dollars to the Michigan economy.
That's through food, lodging, transportation and equipment.
Richard Lucas of Centreville received a 10-point buck. "I've been hunting 21-years and this is the best one I’ve harvested so far,” he says. "I was actually grunting at another buck that I was watching and was playing with him for probably 10-15 minutes and then I heard something and looked around and this one was standing in front of me coming right at me."
Danny Frantz, who used to process deer meat, says Lucas’ animal, "Weighed a 165 pounds, so, it isn’t bad."
And so, like fishermen swapping stories, the experience of the first day of firearm deer season isn't limited to sleeping in a deer stand.
Steve Chadwick is a Wildlife Biologist at the Crane Pond State Game Area in Jones, Michigan. He says, "The weather's great; perfect for deer hunters to be out sitting and perfect for deer to be moving."
Hunters voluntarily bring-in their kill to a "deer check stand", where antlers are measured and the mouth checked to determine their age.
Officials take down the info on a PDA. Chadwick explains the process, "We are able to use all of that in our population model. It helps us predict what the population for the entire state is."
It’s a population which will be thinned by hunters in a state-planned effort.
The DNR says, over the last four-years, more than half of the deer taken in Michigan have come from the southern half of the state.
Like Richard Lucas' 10-point buck, that will eventually join four other deer in his family’s freezer, after he visits the taxidermist.