'Deer rub' hurting NW Lower Michigan fruit farmers

SUTTONS BAY, Mich. (AP) — Some fruit farmers in northwest Lower Michigan are seeing an increased level of damage to their orchards as a result of something called "deer rub."

Large bucks are rubbing their antlers against fruit trees, stripping the bark and killing the stock. It's a natural act called a "buck rub," or "deer rub."

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports Saturday (http://bit.ly/YCeeYl ) that it's a particular concern for fruit farmers in Leelanau County, where cherry trees are an important part of the local economy.

Don Gregory has farmed his family's fruit orchards in Leelanau for decades. He says keeping deer away from his trees has been tougher this year than in the past.

Some blame rules that protect young male deer from hunting until they approach trophy size.

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Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com

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