May NRC Meeting, Deer Regulations

May NRC Preview

Deer regulations will be on the agenda for the May 11 Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 am, Thursday, May 11, at 5708 Cornerstone Drive Lansing, MI 48917, West Campus Rooms M119-121.

Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment #7 of 2023 is up for information at the May meeting, proposing changes to deer regulations for the upcoming three-year regulatory cycle.

The order proposes allowing Liberty Hunt participants to harvest one deer per valid tag, but only one can be antlered. 

The order also proposes significant changes in the Upper Peninsula:

  • Antlerless option during archery deer season on deer license and deer combination license.
  • Allowing crossbows during late archery season across the entire UP.
  • Remove core CWD surveillance area and associated regulations.

The only Lower Peninsula change proposed is to resume the four-plus point APR on the restricted tag in the CWD management zone. 

The department is also proposing a number of administrative changes:

  • Changing deer harvest reporting to 72 hours after harvest or before transferring possession of the deer, whichever comes first.
  • Requiring the reporting of deer shot under deer management assistance permits, deer damage shooting permits and disease control permits. 

Up for action in May, after being tabled in April, is Wildlife Conservation Order #5 of 2023 proposing changes to allow the use of off-lead tracking dogs for recovering wounded, legally hunted, big game.

MUCC spoke in favor of the amendment at the March meeting and commissioners tabled the order in April indicating some changes were coming.

The order as written would allow for the use of off-lead tracking dogs utilizing a GPS collar. MUCC supports off-lead tracking but does not support the requirement for GPS collars, this requirement is not equitable compared to the usage of dogs in other hunting activities. It is MUCC’s expectation that this order will be tabled for another month to hammer out the final language. 

Wildlife Conservation Order Amendment #6 of 2023 is up for director action this month, and Director Lott indicated her intention to sign the amendment. This amendment changes the definition of when a nuisance animal can be removed by trapping, no longer requires a permit, and adds new animals to the list of nuisance animals, including fox squirrels and cottontail rabbits others.

There are 10 land transactions up for director action, MUCC reviews all land transactions exceeding 80 acres, of which there is one. Land Transaction Case #20220213 is an acquisition of 83 acres of privately owned land that is bordered by state land on three sides. 

Preceding the committee of the whole fisheries committee will see a presentation by Dr. Seth Herbst, DNR Fisheries Division on Inland Walleye Management.

Following the fisheries committee, the wildlife committee will see three presentations. 

The first on Sportsmen Against Hunger. The second is an overview of the proposed deer regulations. Lastly, Dwayne Etter of DNR Wildlife Division will be presenting the APR study report.

MUCC will be streaming the meeting as technology allows. 

To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully and our outdoor heritage defended, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today:     


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