DNR talks new license fees, deer management

Upper Peninsula deer hunters gathered in Marquette Thursday night to hear information from the Department Natural Resources on hunting licenses and deer management.

The DNR has not increased license fees since 1997.

The new hunting license structure goes into effect March 1, which will require all hunters to buy a base license, on top of an additional license for the species a person wants to hunt.

The additional base license fee will go towards a general fund to help conservation.

“We’re really going to be focusing on Boots on the Ground, Waders in the Water, Eyes in the Field, and really looking into hopefully improving the habitat,” DNR Deer Program Biologist Ashley Autenrieth said.

“In addition to that, we’re trying to think outside the box, and so part of the funding is a grant program where we’re going to be partnering with local organizations so that they can help us with some of that habitat work maybe that we couldn’t accomplish before, but now with their help we can.  So these partnerships and grants will really assist in that.”

The meeting also gave the public a chance to talk one on one to members of the DNR and the Upper Peninsula Deer Advisory Team (UPDAT) about their questions and concerns.

“The Deer Advisory Team meets twice a year, and they have a direct input to the wildlife division, and they provide recommendations for us, they help us with public outreach and things of that nature,” Autenrieth said.  “It’s really important the public knows who they are, that they know who the public are so the public can come to them and bring issues that they feel are important to deer management for the U.P.

“It’s good to talk to other people, other camps, people that hunt in different areas and see what they’re seeing and seeing what their experiences are,” Western U.P. Citizens Advisory Council Representative George Lindquist said.  “And it’s always interesting to see how they do things.”

The DNR also implemented regulation changes, where hunting regulations will stay in effect for three years.

The DNR is hosting other meetings across the U.P. through February 6.   The meetings are from 6-8 p.m. at each location:

  • Tuesday, January 28–Munising, Sydney’s Restaurant
  • Thursday, January 30–Baraga, Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club
  • Tuesday, February 4–Newberry, Comfort Inn
  • Thursday, February 6–Escanaba, Bay de Noc Community College

Information on the meetings can be found at the DNR’s deer page, or for information on DNR license fees or regulations, click here.