Michigan Sets 2006 Antlerless Deer License Quotas

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The Michigan Natural Resources Commission set antlerless deer license quotas for the 2006 deer season at its last meeting in Big Rapids.

Fourteen Deer Management Units (DMUs) will not have antlerless deer permits available on public or private land for the 2006 fall deer hunting seasons. Another 18 DMUs will only be open for private land antlerless permits.

Statewide the antlerless deer quotas for 2006 have been decreased by 80,700 compared to 2005 and down 129,600 since the 2004 season. In 2006, 586,100 antlerless deer licenses will be available: 529,700 for private land and 56,400 for public land.

"We have been decreasing antlerless licenses in the past few years to either maintain or increase the deer herd in certain areas," said Bill Moritz, DNR Wildlife Division chief. "The DNR recognizes that there are areas of the state where deer populations have fallen below goal and we are planning to gradually manage an increase."

In the Upper Peninsula, quotas have been established to increase deer populations in the high and medium snow fall zones, while maintaining or reducing deer numbers in the low snowfall zone. Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP) recommendations have been designed to increase deer numbers in the northwest while continuing to address disease concerns in the eastern part of the NLP.

The deer herd in the southern Lower Peninsula (SLP) has remained higher than desired in recent years. The quotas in this area have been established to reduce the current deer population in SLP.

License quotas for each DMU can be found on the DNR Web site.

Individuals may apply for an antlerless license from July 15 to Aug. 15, 2006 at more than 1,500 license vendors throughout the state or online at www.michigan.gov/dnr. Private land antlerless deer license sales will begin at 10 a.m. on Aug. 16, 2006. Leftover public land antlerless deer licenses will be offered over the counter beginning at 10 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2006 in select DMUs. Young hunters, ages 10 to 16 on or before Sept. 23, 2006, may purchase one antlerless deer license over the counter July 15 to Aug. 15. No application fee or drawing is required.