NRC Approves 2003 Hunting Seasons

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The Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved 2003 hunting season dates for several wildlife species at its Lansing meeting on May 9th.

The Commission approved season dates and management units for elk, deer and fall wild turkey hunt. Squirrel hunting season will extend through March 1, 2004, and ruffed grouse hunters statewide will be allowed a late hunt from Dec. 1 through Jan. 1, 2004. Details about the 2003 regulations will soon be available on the DNR web site.

Department staff presented an overview of the DNR’s current elk hunting lottery system, which is a random drawing, and outlined a proposal to create a weighted drawing system that would allow hunters’ chances of being drawn to improve over time, based on years of participation in the drawing process. Commissioners are expected to review a draft of that proposal at the June NRC meeting.

DNR Director K.L. Cool approved license quotas and harvest targets for black bear. To meet the statewide harvest goal of 2,180 bears, the DNR will issue 11,015 hunting tags. Applicants for the hunt will be notified of their status by June 13. Those who apply on-line will be notified by e-mail

The next meeting of the Natural Resources Commission is June 5-6 in Monroe.