The air is turning crisp and the leaves are turning orange and brown which means Autumn is upon us.
That means hunting season is right around the riverbend.
Chad Stewart from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is anticipating a better hunting season for 2021, after the 2020 season saw declines in participation and deer harvest compared to 2019.
“Obviously, deer hunting is important to a lot of people here in Michigan. We have about 600,000 individuals participate each year in the state of Michigan, in deer hunting,” Stewart said. “We wanted to give them a preview of what to expect in terms of how many and what kind of deer they expect to see when they go out and go hunting. We do anticipate that it is going to be a good year for deer hunters across the state.”
In order to gain more participation for this years hunting season, the DNR created Universal Antlerless Licenses. The change allows hunting in multiple areas around the state.
Stewart said it’s important to know how the licenses work.
“One of the biggest changes that we have this year is what we call our “Universal Antlerless License.” What that means is, hunters can purchase an Antlerless License and it is transferable or good to be used across multiple deer management units. Previously, an individual would purchase an antlerless license and it would be restricted to a certain county or deer management unit or strictly to public or private land,” Stewart said. “So we would have well over 100 Antlerless Licenses that hunters would have to choose from and they would have to not only get the right deer management unit but the right property in the deer management unit to hunt off of.”
Although the licenses allow hunting in more places, there are restrictions in the Upper Peninsula.
“The UP is a little different. In the South Central part of the Upper Peninsula, the Universal Antlerless License works as it would in the Lower Peninsula. At the very western and northern shorelines, along the Superior shorelines, Antlerless Licenses are prohibited so you can’t take antlerless deer along those units,” Stewart said. “Then in the middle part of the UP, in our snowfall zone, you can use those Universal Antlerless licenses but you also have to have an Access Permit. That Access Permit is new for this year. You have to have both of those things paired up and to be eligible and to hunt in a specific unit.”
If you would like to purchase a license for this year’s hunting season, visit the link below.