Even though it has declined considerably over the past two decades, One of the biggest and most popular sports in Michigan is still our yearly deer hunting season. And during the pandemic deer hunting has really made a comeback.

AP reports So far, the DNR has issued 751,310 deer hunting licenses, compared to 584,802 licenses issued in 2019, The Daily Tribune reported. Many hunters also acquired multiple licenses for the various deer hunting seasons – antlerless, firearms, or archery. A mid-September report from the Michigan DNR indicates that overall participation in deer hunting is up 26.97% over the same time as last year, and overall participation in hunting is up 121.61%.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has made changes to the states upcoming 2021 deer hunting regulations. Their goal is to simplify regulations, to help remove barriers to participation in hunting, which will take effect in September when the new season opens. The change in regulations will provide more opportunity, and flexibility, which includes cost savings for Michigan hunters.

MLive reports The 2021 approved regulation changes, as written by the DNR, are:
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.

The urban archery season which goes through January 31, has now permanently expanded in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. There have also been changes in the UP supplemental and recreational deer feeding regulations, you no longer have to have a permit for supplemental feeding in the UP, and is now allowed January 1 through May 15, and is prohibited if the location is deemed to be a safety hazard. Recreational feeds are only allowed to be given in increments of 2 gallons per calendar day and only 2 gallons at a time.

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Before you make your hunting plans for 2021, probably a good idea to refresh your memory on our states hunting practices and regulations, as these things do change over time. And as always, be safe.

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