2021 Deer Hunting Rules Open for Comment

While deer hunting regulations for the 2020 season were finalized in July, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is already starting the process for 2021. 

Potential changes are meant to simplify deer hunting regulations and remove barriers to participation in deer hunting. Once public input has been gathered through this process, it will be sent to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) for review before the commission votes on the proposed regulations in December.

Hunters and others interested in deer hunting regulations are invited to attend and offer input to the DNR during two virtual open house events next week. Two sessions will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 20 and from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, August 21. The content will be the same at both meetings, but no agenda has been posted. 

MUCC appreciates the opportunity to weigh in on deer regulations through this open process, said MUCC Executive Director Amy Trotter. 

“We look forward to working with the DNR and members of the NRC to incorporate the principles of scientific wildlife management into these regulations,” Trotter said. “MUCC is always fighting for added transparency in the rulemaking process and we are glad the department has offered a virtual way to provide public input.”

Participants will hear from DNR experts about deer population dynamics, disease and harvest and hunter trends, as well as the opportunity to weigh in on the proposed rules. 

It’s likely that the proposed 2021 regulations will build on those set for the 2020 season. After some issues in transparency and accountability during this summer regulation cycle, MUCC looks forward to continuing to work with the NRC and the DNR to create a process that is open to as many stakeholders as possible. 

MUCC staff will continue to report on these regulations as more information becomes available. 

Since 1937, MUCC has united citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage – and we do so from Lansing to Washington D.C. Please join us today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC


  1. Chris Burch on September 12, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Remove the early seasons for youth and disabled or extend bow season into September. These seasons mess with early archery season. And prohibit many archery hunters from taking deer as they because of the extra early pressure they receive.

  2. James Magiera on September 25, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Make zone 3 legal deer season firearms same as Ohio witich would make old calibers like 45-70 nd 38-55 legal

  3. Richard parker on November 16, 2020 at 9:50 am

    Why not keep the 2020 deer license for 2021? I feel it makes more sense. There is enough hunters out there that won’t shoot does because you are killing more just one deer, when in fact that by killing just bucks that that buck serves more than one does but numerous deer. By killing that one buck you are killing the birth of 12 to 20 fawns and half of those are bucks. There is a lot of us hunter are hunting to feed our families not the wall with racks and heads. If they want a trophy go where they guarantee a trophy.

  4. Dominic Thompsom on November 17, 2020 at 5:15 am

    There needs to be a earn a buck system for the second tag.. the dnr want the deer numbers down.. so make it turn two doe heads in to earn next years second buck tag. Do not get rid of antler restrictions. Make all Michigan 3+ on one side on regular and 4+ on restricted licenses . That will encourage more doe hunting.. there is a much larger population of does in this state. The more we lower the doe population the bigger the bucks will get.. the overall health of the heard will become better.. less winter starvations.. more food for fawns and younger does and bucks.. the better the buck hunting in this state the better the overall management is.. Michigan’s deer management is a absolute joke at this point.. how can anyone look at what the dnr is and has been doing and think it’s for the good of the deer heard?

  5. aaron on February 5, 2021 at 10:02 am

    allow baiting in the lower again. I hunt swamps and after opening day it is hard to get a deer to walk in before dark. I follow the rules but this is making it hard on a lot of hunters. my family owns a farm and it has hurt us the past couple of years selling the product as we used to sell to local dealers for the deer harvest.

  6. Maren McReynolds on July 23, 2023 at 11:58 pm

    Your voice matters in deer hunting rules! MUCC’s post highlights the opportunity to provide feedback on the 2021 rules. Let’s all participate and contribute to shaping responsible and sustainable hunting practices. Together, we can make a positive impact on wildlife conservation

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