Michigan Department of Natural Resources makes deer hunt regulation changes

These changes are new for the 2021 season and might affect the way you hunt.
This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 6:29 PM EST
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Western U.P., Mich. (WLUC) - Upper Michigan hunters can expect new regulations when they get to the woods this season.

According to Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Cody Smith, there are a few changes hunters should be aware of. “Universal antlerless license is going to be applicable across the entire state for those areas that do not have a restricted take,” Smith says of one of the notable changes to hunting rules.

What does this mean for UP hunters? It means most of them won’t need to apply for a license to hunt antlerless deer in certain areas. “You don’t have to apply for a private land-use tag or a public land-use tag like you had to in the past,” Smith adds.

Smith notes that deer management unit 007 in Marquette County is closed for antlerless take. “Last year it was open, so make sure you reference that in the digest to see which DMU’s are included in the north zone,” Smith urged hunters.

The DNR divided the Upper Peninsula into four separate hunting sections. “There’s the north zone, the south zone, and then there’s a midwest and a mideast,” Smith says. “The north zone is closed to antlerless take. The south zone is going to be open for antlerless take with no restrictions there with tag use, and the midwest and mideast are going to be where the biggest change is,” Smith said.

Smith says that Hunters had to apply for a universal access permit last summer to hunt in the midwest and mideast areas where they are only allowed to take one animal.

If you happen to bag a deer this season, you now have the option to report your harvest to the DNR online. “Other states have been doing this for years, Wisconsin being the closest one,” Colter Lubben of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

He also says that online deer checks make the DNR’s data collection of animals bagged in a given season much easier. “It’s almost like an immediate tally of how many deer are being harvested during archery season, firearm season, muzzleloader season,” Lubbers adds.

Folks can still report their harvest in person at one of the 9 deer check stations in the UP. To find a station near you, visit the Michigan DNR online.

To purchase a universal antlerless permit for the 2021 season or to report your harvest online, visit the Michigan DNR’s eLicensing. To determine where you can hunt this year, check out Michigan Hunt’s interactive map. If you want detailed information on this season’s hunting, see the Michigan hunting digest.

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