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» Trad » Main Forums » Hunting Legislation & Policies » Michigan sets new changes

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Trad Bowhunter
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State approves changes for deer seasons

By Bill Parker Editor

July 3, 2014

Lansing — The state Natural Resources Commission approved several changes to deer-hunting regulations at its meeting last month in Lansing. Among the changes are allowing the use of some rifles in the state’s shotgun zone, an earlier start date for baiting, uniform muzzleloader season openers, and eliminating antler point restrictions during the Liberty and Independence hunts.

All the changes will take effect this fall and will remain in effect for at least three years.

“We’re trying to fold all of our regulations into a three-year cycle,” Brent Rudolph, DNR deer and elk program leader, told Michigan Outdoor News. “That gives us a better opportunity to look at issues and respond to them rather than responding to changes from year to year.”

Hunters in Zone 3 – often referred to as the shotgun zone – will now be able to use .35-caliber or larger rifles loaded with traditional pistol cartridges. These straight-walled cartridges must have a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches. In addition, it also will be legal to use a .35-caliber or larger air rifle or pistol charged only from an external high-compression power source.

In addition, the shotgun zone will now be referred to as the Limited Firearm Deer Zone.

• The commission also approved bumping up the date that baiting is allowed to begin from Oct. 1 to Sept. 15.
“The early antlerless firearms hunt and the Liberty Hunt take place in September,” the DNR wrote in a memo to the NRC. “We have received feedback from stakeholders indicating interest in baiting during these early hunts in order to increase success rates.”

• The Liberty Hunt will take place Sept. 20-21 and is open to youth hunters under the age of 17 and disabled hunters. The Independence Hunt takes place this year Oct. 16-19 and is open to disabled hunters. Antler point restrictions in place in Zone 1 and DMU 487 no longer apply during these two hunts.
“The (DNR) expects the change to simplify regulations and provide an increase in recreational opportunity,” the DNR wrote.

• The commission voted to change the opening day of the muzzleloader season in the northern Lower Peninsula (Zone 2) to coincide with the opening date for muzzleloader season in zones 1 and 3. The season will now start on the same date, statewide. In zones 1 and 2, the season will end after 10 days, and in Zone 3 it will continue to last for 17 days.

• The commission approved a recommendation to add Benzie, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Manistee counties and northwestern Arenac county to the early and late antlerless deer seasons and to close all the counties in the southwest region of the Lower Peninsula to the early antlerless season.

• The NRC approved a new transfer program for the Pure Michigan Hunt. The new program will allow PMH winners to transfer their opportunity to purchase some of their PMH licenses – while retaining some licenses for themselves – or transfer the entire hunting license package to any individual who meets the PMH application criteria.

• The commission also voted to remove the regulation requiring crossbow hunters to possess a free crossbow stamp as part of their license; to maintain the baiting ban in the northeastern Lower Peninsula; and to maintain the Hunter Choice licensing option in Zone 1 and DMU 487.

Posts: 2280 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
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I don't think those are all that good. You guys should come down here and hunt. All the does you can arrow.
Posts: 968 | From: Jasper, Alabama | Registered: Apr 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Contributor 2013
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You guys in the south have a lot of deer. MN, WI, and MI have all changed their tag systems this year, in part because the winters have really hurt our herds, as have a few other factors, especially, our changing habitat.

I remember, not so very long ago, when we each received ONE tag, either sex, for archery, and a buck tag for gun. Period. We have gotten spoiled with the increase in deer the past ten to fifteen years.

Posts: 7367 | From: Deforest, Wisconsin | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Trad Bowhunter
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I like the straight walled change. That's been long overdue.

The baiting change to Sept. 15 also makes sense as long as baiting remains legal. Everyone was doing it and all it did was make violators out of nearly everyone who baited and wanted to bait prior to bow season opener.

Posts: 2280 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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