New online harvest registration to expand DNR data collection for deer season
Previously, hunters could respond through mail-in surveys, but now the information is collected online.
UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - There is a new way to register your deer kills with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) this year. Previously, hunters could respond through mail-in surveys, but now the information is collected online.
“Within 72 hours this year, hunters have to report their harvest. Now on each tag, if you look at the kill tag, there is a unique numeric identifier. That is the number they have to report on,” said Bill Scullon, Michigan DNR Field Operations Manager.
Hunters can register a deer kill on the DNR app or website. The change comes after a lack of responses to the random mail-in surveys. This new system allows the DNR, and those at home, to track data in real time.
“In the past, we had to do mail surveys with hunters that were randomly drawn. We didn’t get those reports until next June,” Scullon said.
Scullon said most hunters have welcomed the change, but some have expressed concerns about what information the DNR is collecting. Scullon said there has been misinformation about what the survey is looking for.
“We are asking for the date the animal is harvested, the county it was harvested in, drop a pin on a map and then what season it was harvested in,” Scullon explained.
So far, more than 24,000 deer have been registered in the state of Michigan this season.
“Cell coverage is the biggest concern most people have,” Scullon said. “For some places in the U.P., this may be an issue. This is the first year this regulation has come out. So we will have a lot of grace on how we look at how people are able to accommodate the new regulation.”
Scullon said the punishment for not registering a deer will be a misdemeanor. This season, he wants to work with the community to acclimate them to the new system. He said any of the DNR offices are ready to assist hunters who are having trouble submitting a report.
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