NRC Approves Changes to Deer Regulations

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The Natural Resources Commission recently approved changes to some deer regulations, which included Deer Management Units (DMU) that will be opened or closed for antlerless permits this hunting season.

Fourteen DMUs will not have antlerless permits available on public or private land for the 2006 fall deer hunting seasons. No public land antlerless licenses will be available in an additional 18 DMUs. The remaining 66 throughout the state will be open for antlerless permits on both private and public land.

"It is important to remember that this only refers to a DMU being open or closed to antlerless hunting," stated Bill Moritz, chief of Wildlife Division. "The recommended number of antlerless permits available for private and public lands within each DMU was presented at the June NRC meeting. The NRC will decide on that item at the July meeting in Big Rapids."

The NRC action also limits hunters to a maximum of three private land antlerless licenses per year of which no more than two can be purchased for the Upper Peninsula and the Northern Lower Peninsula, excluding the area in the northeast Lower Peninsula that is managed for bovine tuberculosis.

There is also a 40-acre minimum requirement for purchase of private land antlerless licenses in the UP and Northern Lower Peninsula DMUs, excluding the TB managed area. Hunters will have to register the telephone number of the landowner granting permission to hunt on private land, which will be listed on the hunting license.

"The DNR conducted 21 public meetings across the state and we listened to hunter concerns about deer management," stated Moritz. "The DNR addressed many of the hunters concerns while fulfilling our overall mission, which includes managing deer using scientific methods, and the NRC agreed with our recommendations."