By MUCC Policy Intern, Nick Bade-Dodge
Hunters, with firearm season starting this Saturday, you should remember changes to hunting zones in Southern Michigan. In June, the NRC approved a change in firearms regulations that allows straight-walled cartridges to be fired with a rifle in zones that previously only permitted the use of shotguns. In addition, large-bore air rifles and pistols are now permitted in those zones as well.
As a result, the former “ Shotgun Zone ” is now referred to as “Limited Firearm Deer Zone”.
The exact firearms specifications for the new regulations are as follows:
- A .35 caliber or larger rifle loaded with straight-walled cartridges with a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches.
- A .35 caliber or larger air rifle or pistol charged only from an external high-compression power source such as an external hand pump, air tank, or air compressor.
These changes open up new opportunities for young hunters who cannot handle the recoil from a shotgun as well as those who prefer the precision of a rifle to a shotgun when hunting deer. Because the straight-walled cartridges and air rifles do not have near the range of a conventional rifle, they can be used safely in the more populous areas of the Southern Michigan Limited Firearm Deer Zone.
In 2010, MUCC members approved the resolution that put this law in place. This goes to show that although policy implementation may take some time, our dedication will pay off in the end. We hope that you enjoy your new firearm options, and good luck!