Changes to Michigan's 2021 deer hunting regulations will go into effect for this year's season which gets underway in September.

This past Thursday, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved the changes which are meant to simplify deer hunting regulations at a meeting that was held virtually.

According to the DNR, the regulations will provide additional opportunity, flexibility and cost savings for hunters and are not expected to have a significant negative effect on the deer herd or the quality of deer hunting.

DNR deer program specialist Chad Stewart:

Our goals with these regulations are twofold: to make hunting regulations easier to understand and follow in Michigan, and also to manage Michigan’s abundant deer herd. We feel that these changes move us in the right direction.

The 2021 approved regulation changes:

  • Deer Management Unit-specific antlerless deer licenses have been replaced with a universal antlerless license that can be used across multiple DMUs.
    • Antlerless licenses may now be purchased without an application in the Lower Peninsula and portions of the south-central Upper Peninsula that have DMUs open to antlerless deer hunting. Licenses may be used on public or private land.
    • In the mid-zone Upper Peninsula DMUs that are open to antlerless deer hunting, a deer hunting access permit must accompany the universal antlerless license. The deer hunting access permit, intended to limit participation where the population can be sensitive to harsh winter weather, will be available through a drawing.
    • The northernmost DMUs of the U.P. are closed to antlerless deer hunting in all seasons.
  • Archery hunters in portions of the Upper Peninsula may pursue antlerless deer on their deer or deer combo licenses. DMUs 127, 066, 131, 042, 031, 007 and 048 will be closed to antlerless harvest during the archery seasons.
  • The expanded urban archery season through Jan. 31 is now permanent in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.
  • Upper Peninsula supplemental and recreational deer feeding regulations have changed, including:
    • A permit is no longer required for supplemental feeding in the Upper Peninsula.
    • Supplemental feeding can occur Jan. 1 to May 15.
    • Recreational or supplemental feeding is prohibited if a location is deemed to be a safety hazard.
    • All recreational feed must be given in increments of only 2 gallons per calendar day and only 2 gallons at any one time.
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