July 20, 2020

New 2020 Deer Regulations in Michigan Gives Hunters across the State more Opportunity

Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager

On July 16, the Michigan Natural Resource Commission (Commission) approved several changes to the white-tailed deer regulation for the upcoming 2020 seasons. CSF reported on these proposed changes last month. Many of the regulatory changes are aimed at increasing hunter participation through increased opportunities while standardizing seasons and regulations across the state or region. These changes are also designed to make deer hunting regulations less confusing for hunters. 

Some of the statewide regulations include opening up the Liberty and Independence hunts to deaf individuals; removing antler-point restrictions (APRs) for all apprentice hunters and youth hunters under the age of 16; implementing a statewide season purchase limit of up to 10 antlerless deer licenses; and to allow hunters with disabilities to use any type of bait during the Liberty and Independence hunts, provided that all other baiting regulations are followed.

In both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas, the antlerless deer license quotas were increased. In the Lower Peninsula, hunters will be allowed to use any valid deer license or private land combination tag to take an antlerless deer during the early and late antlerless firearm seasons. The Commission also approved the use of all firearms legal for Zone 3 to be used during the muzzleloader season and reinstated a 4-point antler-point restriction on the restricted tag of the deer combination license in most of the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Management Zone.

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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