Red Deer in Morning Sunrise

Michigan’s Firearm Deer Hunting Season Begins Nov. 15: MWP's Handy Guide

4 Minutes

What’s up, Michigan hunters? As we gear up for the firearm deer hunting season starting November 15, it’s crucial to get the lowdown on everything from tags to regulations. Let’s break it down in a way that’s easy to digest, even if you’re reading this on your phone in a tree stand.

How to Report Your Deer Harvest

Why It’s Important: Reporting your deer harvest isn’t just a bureaucratic chore. It’s vital for managing our deer populations and keeping our hunting traditions sustainable. When you report, you’re helping the DNR track health trends and numbers, which is pretty darn important.

The Reporting Process: Got a deer? Great. Now, within 72 hours, hop onto Michigan’s DNR website and fill out the harvest report. It’s a straightforward system: punch in details like where you hunted, when you made the kill, and some info about the deer. They also have an app you can download called Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app-click here .

Keep It Timely: Don’t drag your feet on this. Reporting late can lead to penalties, and nobody wants that hassle.

What You’ll Need: Be ready with specifics – your hunting location, the date, and details about the deer. This data is crucial for the big picture of deer management.

The Bottom Line: Just remember, reporting is part of being a responsible hunter. It’s about respect for the game and our hunting heritage.

Where to Buy a Deer License

Deer licenses are available for purchase at any location that sells DNR licenses. Click here to find a nearby agent.

Please note that it takes seven to 14 business days for kill tags purchased online to be delivered via mail. It is essential to have the kill tags in your possession before hunting. To save time, consider obtaining the license from a local agent.

Types of Licenses: Michigan’s got a variety of licenses – whether you’re a local, an out-of-stater, a young gun, or a seasoned hunter. Pick the one that fits you.

Online Purchases: The easiest way? Buy it online on the DNR website. It’s quick, convenient, and you can do it from anywhere.

In-Person Options: Old school or just like doing things face-to-face? Head to a local sporting goods store or a DNR office. They’ll sort you out.

Costs and Documentation: Prices vary depending on the license type. Also, there might be a few extra fees. And don’t forget your ID – they need to know who’s buying.

The Takeaway: Getting your license is straightforward. Whether online or in-person, it’s your ticket to a legal and ethical hunting season.

CWD Monitoring and Testing

Hey hunters, heads up on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Michigan. This brain-affecting disease targets deer, elk, and moose, leading to brain degeneration, odd behavior, and eventually, death. And once an animal’s got it, there’s no turning back – no cure.

We first spotted CWD in a white-tailed deer in Ingham County back in May 2015. Since then, it’s popped up in various counties across both peninsulas. Fast forward to 2023, and we’re zooming in on CWD testing in the northwestern Lower Peninsula and a few select areas. Keep an eye out in counties like Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Hillsdale, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Osceola and Wexford, where the DNR’s gathering more intel on this disease. Stay informed and stay safe out there.

Understanding CWD: Chronic Wasting Disease is a serious threat to our deer. It’s a disease that affects their nervous system, and unfortunately, it’s fatal. As hunters, we play a key role in monitoring and controlling its spread.

Why Testing Matters: Testing for CWD is part of being a responsible hunter. It’s about keeping the herd healthy and our hunting sustainable.

Where and How to Test: Michigan offers several locations for CWD testing. Check out the DNR website for a list. The process is simple: harvest your deer, bring a sample to a testing site, and they’ll handle the rest.

Safety First: When handling and processing deer, always use gloves and avoid touching the brain or spinal cord tissues. Safety is paramount – for you and for future generations of hunters.

The Big Picture: By participating in CWD testing, you’re contributing to the health of Michigan’s deer populations. It’s a small effort with a big impact.


Wrapping It Up

As we count down to the season, remember: being informed is as crucial as being well-equipped. Whether it’s reporting your harvest, buying your license, or participating in CWD monitoring, each step you take contributes to the legacy of hunting in Michigan. So, gear up, stay informed, and let’s make this hunting season a great one. Happy hunting, folks!