Choosing the right deer hunting license

MARQUETTE — With opening day of firearm deer season coming up Saturday, those heading out to the hunt should be aware of this year’s changes to Michigan’s hunting license structure.

Hunters now have two license options: the single deer or the combination deer license. The single license is applicable to archery, firearm, and muzzle–loader season, but only for one deer unless a hunter possesses an antlerless tag. Such tags are only available in a small portion of the south–central Upper Peninsula. Most hunters who wish to take two deer would need to opt for the combo license.

“I guess the negative on the combo license for some people is that you do have to follow the antler point restriction on both tags, whereas if you get the single deer license, you don’t have to follow the antler point restrictions – it’s just any legal buck,” Michigan Department of Natural Resources deputy public information officer Debbie Munson Badini said. “So, you just have to think about that before you go hunting. ‘What are my goals for this year? Do I want to take two? Do I want to take one? Do I want to be able to take any deer I see? Do I want to wait and take a trophy buck?'”

The new structure allows hunters who didn’t bag their buck during archery season to keep trying in firearm season. Hunters who have purchased one of the licenses but would prefer the other can return their license and buy the other as long as they haven’t used it yet.

For more information on deer licenses, you can visit