Michigan -(Ammoland.com)- Changes involving antlerless deer hunting for archers will be in effect during the 2015-2016 hunting season in the Upper Peninsula, after a recent decision by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.
Earlier this summer, the NRC decided to eliminate the option to harvest antlerless deer during the archery seasons for hunters using deer or deer combo licenses in the U.P.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has since received reports of some confusion over the regulations. The DNR has produced a Frequently Asked Questions page to help explain the changes.
The NRC’s decision makes deer and deer combo licenses used in the archery season “buck-only” licenses.
However, hunters with private-land antlerless deer licenses still may take an antlerless deer with a bow during any hunting season within the three deer management units (DMU) in the U.P. that will be open to antlerless deer hunting. Those units are:
- DMU 055, which includes portions of Menominee and Delta counties and encompasses 917 square miles.
- DMU 155, which includes parts of Marquette and Delta counties, covering a total of 265 square miles.
- DMU 122, which includes parts of Menominee, Iron and Dickinson counties, with a total of 163 square miles.
More information on the DMUs is available in the 2015 Michigan Antlerless Deer Digest online.
There are no antlerless permits being issued for state-, county- or federally managed land or Commercial Forest Reserve land in the U.P. this year. Registration for antlerless deer hunting permits remains open through Aug. 15. Drawing results will be available online Sept. 4.
There were no changes to the regulations for the Liberty and Independence hunts. During these hunts, a deer or deer combo license may be used for an antlered or antlerless deer. Antler point restrictions do not apply.
Hunters can return deer and deer combo licenses for a refund if they would like and new licenses could be purchased prior to the start of the deer seasons; however, this is not required. After Sept. 20, the licenses are considered “used” and cannot be returned. To learn more about the process for returning licenses, contact DNR licensing staff at 517-284-6057 or [email protected]
The Natural Resources Commission made its decision to limit the antlerless deer harvest as part of a continuing effort to aid the U.P.’s struggling deer population, which – following three successive winters with severe conditions – has declined to a level comparable to the early 1980s.
There have been roughly 5,000 to 6,300 antlerless deer harvested in the U.P. by archers over each of the past four years.
For more information on hunting seasons and regulations, visit www.michigan.gov/hunting.