7/20/20 – Michigan DNR announces new deer hunting regulations

(Mlive) – Michigan hunters in the lower peninsula will be able to pursue anterless deer with their deer or deer combo licenses this season.

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved the new regulation and several others at its July 16 meeting. The new regulations give hunters more cost-saving opportunities, said Chad Stewart, the DNR’s deer, elk and moose program leader.

“These recommendations are aimed at making it easier for hunters of all ages and experience levels to enjoy a Michigan outdoor tradition, while at the same time facing the present and future challenges of managing the state’s abundant deer population,” Stewart said.

In addition to archery season, hunters in the Lower Peninsula can take anterless deer on the deer or deer combination license during the firearm and muzzleloader seasons. Early and later anterless seasons will be open in all Lower Peninsula mainlands.

Previous regulations would not allow that. The new regulation saves hunters between $20 and $25, Stewart said.

The muzzleloader season in the Lower Peninsula will be shortened from 17 days to 10 days. Though the season is typically dedicated to the sole use of the primitive firearms, now all firearms can be used to hunt during that period.

“That’s a big change,” Stewart said.

The remaining seven days of what was the muzzleloader season will be replaced with the late anterless deer season.

“(Licensed) hunters can go on private property and pursue deer for those days,” Stewart said.

Restrictions on moving carcass in the Lower Peninsula will be scaled back to areas most affected by chronic wasting disease. This aligns with restrictions to areas with the highest risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Expanded archery season in the Lower Peninsula through Jan. 31 will continue for one more year in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. It previously expired on Jan. 31, 2020.

“They can shoot any buck they want,” Stewart said.

The statewide limit for private-land anterless license purchase is 10 per hunter. That offers hunters “maximum opportunity” when managing abundant deer on their property.

Hunters with disabilities may still use single-bite and multibite baits during the Liberty and Independence hunts. People participating in the Liberty and Independence hunts can start baiting five days before both hunts.

Upper Peninsula archers in select deer management units can get antlerless deer with their deer or deer combination licenses. The following deer management units continue to be closed to antlerless harvest during the archery seasons: 027, 031, 036, 042, 066, 127 and 131.

Antler point restrictions have been removed on the deer license in parts of deer management unit 122, including areas outside the core chronic wasting disease surveillance area, according to a July 17 DNR release.