The deer hunting regulatory cycle began in earnest at the May Natural Resource Commission (NRC) meeting.
Chad Stewart, Michigan DNR deer and elk specialist laid out a number of proposed regulation changes which can be found in his presentation HERE. Wildlife Conservation Order #7 of 2023 lays out the proposals and associated regulatory language.
MUCC also detailed the proposed changes in our May meeting preview.
Commissioner John Walters also proposed regulation changes, while the final language may change, the proposals he put forth are listed here:
- For ALL “Specialty Hunts” (Liberty, Independence, etc.) only antlerless deer shall be harvested.
- Single Deer License – Hunter may harvest either an antlered or an antlerless deer.
- Combo License – Hunter may harvest one antlered deer and one antlerless deer, or two Antlerless deer; but not two antlered deer. Once a combo license has been filled and recorded with the DNR, the hunter may purchase a single license to harvest either an antlered deer or an antlerless deer.
- Lift baiting ban on Upper Peninsula. If CWD is detected in a whitetail deer, the baiting ban will go into effect by following the DNR – CWD Protocol.
- ALL Opening Days will begin on a Saturday:
- Specialty Hunts – Begin the last Saturday in September.
- Bow Season – Begins on the first Saturday in October and ends on the Friday before firearm deer season
- Firearm deer season begins on the third Saturday in November and ends on the first Sunday in December
- Muzzleloader Season (LP) – Begins on the second Saturday in December for 10 days
- Muzzleloader Season (UP) – Begins the Monday after firearm deer season for 7 days.
- Add Antler Point Restrictions (4 points on one side or greater).
- (LP) – all DMU’s areas where no diseases have been detected.
- (LP) – all DMU’s where CWD and bTb have been detected
- (UP) – DMU 055, 255, 155, 022 and 121
- (UP) – All Upper Peninsula
Commissioners tabled Wildlife Conservation Order #5 of 2023 until the June meeting, still hammering out language changes with the DNR and commissioners and until NRC Chair Tom Baird returns.
Commissioner Walters offered an amendment to the dog tracking order to remove the testing and CPL requirements, specify the tracker must be 18 years of age, removal of the GPS requirement, and that barking dogs are prohibited on public lands during legal big game hunting hours. Commissioner Anthony offered a friendly amendment to strike the barking amendment, which was accepted by Commissioner Walters.
DNR Director Shannon Lott indicated that she will be signing Wildlife Conservation Order #6 of 2023, which sets new regulations for individuals to trap nuisance wildlife at their homes.
The Commissioner’s report became tearful as Commissioner Leslie Love announced her resignation from the NRC and announced her candidacy for United States Senate.
Preceding the committee of the whole, fisheries committee saw a presentation by Dr. Seth Herbst, DNR Fisheries Division on Inland Walleye Management.
Following the fisheries committee, the wildlife committee will saw three presentations.
The first was on Sportsmen Against Hunger. The second was a presentation on agent based modeling in CWD monitoring. Lastly, Dwayne Etter of DNR Wildlife Division will be presented the APR study report.
To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully and our outdoor heritage defended, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC.