On Friday, tens of thousands of Michigan residents and nonresidents will take to the field to enjoy deer hunting. The firearm season runs from November 15 through November 30. Once a deer has been harvested, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages hunters to get their deer “checked” at a local DNR office. Check station hours vary, so hunters should review the list of locations, times and hours at www.michigan.gov/deercheck.
At DNR check stations, DNR staff members record the harvest location and date, gender and antler measurements. Deer heads may be collected for bovine TB surveillance in select counties, on a voluntary basis. This year, the DNR encourages hunters to submit samples for TB if they harvested a deer in the following 19 counties: Alcona, Alpena, Bay, Cheboygan, Crawford, Genesee, Gratiot, Iosco, Isabella, Midland, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Saginaw, Shiawassee and Tuscola. Data and TB samples collected at check stations help to assess the biological health of the herd and assist with future population management recommendations.
- Still looking for places to hunt on public land? Visit www.michigan.gov/mihunt to search by county.
- Antlerless licenses are still available. Visit www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings for a listing of licenses available for public and private land.
- Antler point restrictions are in place for certain areas in the state. Visit www.michigan.gov/deer under License Information to find a chart that can help you determine the restrictions for your area.
- Archery equipment, including crossbows, can be used during the firearm season.
- Don’t forget to wear hunter orange.
- There are limits on the amount of bait that can be placed around the state. Visit www.michigan.gov/dnrlaws and click on Baiting and Feeding on the left navigation bar to learn more.
- Deer hunting hours are available in the 2013-14 Hunting and Trapping Digest, which can be found at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests.
Lastly, don’t forget to apply for the Pure Michigan Hunt! Only $4 for each application, and hunters may apply as many times as they would like from now until Dec. 31. Win elk and bear licenses and a prize package worth more than $4,000. Check out www.michigan.gov/puremichiganhunt to purchase.