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Michigan Deer Archery Season Opens Statewide Friday, Oct. 1

Michigan DNR

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan --( The Department of Natural Resources and Environment reminds hunters that the archery deer season opens statewide on Friday, Oct. 1.

The season runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 14, then reopens after the firearm deer season for late archery hunting Dec. 1 to Jan. 1.

During the archery season, an archery license, combination license regular tag or combination license restricted tag can be used to harvest either an antlerless deer or a buck. Antlerless-only licenses are also valid during the archery season.

If a hunter chooses to harvest a buck with an archery tag or combination license.

The following restrictions apply:

  • Using an archery tag: Bucks must have one antler at least three inches long, except in DMUs 117, 135 and 245, where one antler must have at least two points, and in DMUs 045 and 122, where one antler must have at least three points.
  • Using a combination license regular tag: Bucks must have one antler at least three inches long, except in DMUs 117 and 245, where one antler must have at least two points, and in DMUs 045, 122, 487 and the entire Upper Peninsula, where one antler must have at least three points.
  • Using a combination license restricted tag: Bucks must have at least four points on one side.
  • Hunters are limited to purchasing only two kill tags for bucks each year – either an archery tag and a regular firearm tag, or a combination license with two kill tags valid during both the archery and firearm hunting seasons. Regardless of the types of licenses purchased, if two bucks are harvested, one of them must have at least four points on at least one antler. Also, if a buck is harvested in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) or DMU 487 with an archery tag, a second buck cannot be taken from that same hunting unit (U.P. or 487) with a regular firearm license. Hunters are encouraged to be familiar with the antler point restrictions in their chosen DMU before purchasing a license.

“With 75 days open for archery deer hunting in Michigan, bow and arrow enthusiasts have boundless opportunities to get outdoors and fill those deer tags,” said DNRE deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph. “Additionally, crossbow regulations have been expanded statewide, which we believe will lead to more hunters participating in archery season than ever before.”

In August, the Natural Resources Commission voted to allow all legal hunters 10 years old and older to use crossbows statewide. All archery and firearm seasons are open to crossbow hunting, except in the Upper Peninsula, where deer hunters cannot use crossbows after Nov. 30 unless they have a disability permit. The free crossbow stamp is still required for all crossbow hunters.

Hunters are also reminded that the baiting and feeding of deer and elk remains prohibited in the entire Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

Detailed information regarding deer hunting regulations can be found in the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest, available at all license vendors, DNRE Operations Service Centers and online at

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s environment, natural resources and related economic interests for current and future generations. Learn more at

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