Michigan DNR: No Antlerless Deer Allowed For U.P. Archers This Year

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission decided June 11 to eliminate the harvest of antlerless deer during the archery season for hunters using deer or deer combo licenses in the Upper Peninsula, according to the Michigan.gov website.

The restriction, which does not affect the firearm deer season, will be in effect for the 2015-2016 season. The NRC said it made the decision in an effort to aid the Upper Peninsula’s struggling deer population, which has declined to a level comparable to the early 1980s following three successive winters with severe conditions.

Tom's News Item on Michigan DNR Free Fishing Weekend 2-15 indexThere have been roughly 5,000 to 6,300 antlerless deer harvested in the U.P. by archers over each of the past four years, according to the NRC.

Although deer regulations currently are on a three-year cycle, elements such as weather and disease can cause regulations to be reviewed mid-cycle and adjusted when appropriate.

“The NRC asked the DNR Wildlife Division to present options to address the decline in deer in the U.P. and associated concerns by hunters,” said DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart. “In May we brought forward six possible options, and the NRC chose to concentrate on two of those options.”

The NRC’s decision makes deer and deer combo licenses used in the archery season “buck-only” licenses. The other option considered by the NRC was to maintain the current regulations.

The winter of 2014-2015 brought significant snowfall before the start of the firearm season, which persisted to depths of 20- to 30 inches across much of the region. Additionally, temperatures of minus 10 to minus 20 degrees arrived in February, further stressing animals that had limited mobility because of the deep snow.

These latest wintry conditions followed the winters of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, which were extremely hard on the U.P. deer population.

Antlerless harvest still will be permitted through the allotment of private-land antlerless licenses in deer management units where it was decided that antlerless harvest should be maintained. This includes DMUs 055, 122 and 155.

Deer and deer combo licenses can be returned for a refund and new licenses could be purchased prior to the start of the deer seasons. After September 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 MDNR-E-License@michigan.gov.

For more information on hunting seasons and regulations, visit: www.michigan.gov/hunting.

Guide Outdoors Readers in Michigan: Do you feel the DNR is justified in implementing this new regulation? Please comment below.

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2 Responses to “Michigan DNR: No Antlerless Deer Allowed For U.P. Archers This Year”

  1. william scharping

    Please u subscribe me from ur emails and everything else. No longer have any reason to buy any products u sell. Due to serious medical problems I no long can hunt and have enough ammo to last my life. So take me off ur ammo notices too. Thank u for ur understanding and assistanc

    • Tom Kacheroski

      Hi William: I forwarded your note to our Customer Service Department and they said they will remove you from our e-mail list, but you may receive one or two more before the process is complete. We do hope your health improves! Hang in there!