Commission Approves Trapping & Deer Hunting Regulations

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The Michigan Natural Resources Commission today approved 2004 trapping regulations, as well as statewide deer and antlerless deer hunting regulations for this fall.

Notable changes from last year’s deer harvest regulations include an early antlerless firearm season for DMU 055, in southern Menominee County. This season, Sept. 16-22, is designed to help local farmers manage deer on agricultural property.

Antlerless deer hunters on property enrolled in the Commercial Forest Act program are required to apply for a public land antlerless deer hunting license this year. This is a change from previous years, when public or private land antlerless licenses could be used on CFA properties.

The NRC also approved continuation of the late antlerless firearm season in 12 southern Michigan counties where deer populations are substantially over DNR-established goals, and the seven Special Regulation counties in the northeastern Lower Peninsula where bovine tuberculosis in the deer herd remains a concern. These 19 counties were open to the late antlerless season in 2003.

Some changes were made to 2004-2005 furbearer regulations. Bobcat management units are established statewide, and a new, 11-day bobcat trapping season was approved for portions of the Northern Lower Peninsula. An Upper Peninsula bobcat bag limit reduction, from three to two, corresponds with a Lower Peninsula bag limit reduction, from two to one. Additionally, hunters and trappers will be required to obtain a free bobcat kill tag.

Other changes include additional requirements for fox-coyote snares, changes to the nuisance control operator regulations, administrative changes for trapping seasons in several state wildlife and game areas, issue of marten permits, and legal firearms changes for night-time furbearer hunting. Details on these changes will be found in the 2004 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide.