The deer hunting season in Michigan began on Friday, October 1. For hunters, this is akin to Christmas morning. New hunter-friendly regulations should help to decrease the state’s deer population, something that should make them even happier.
In Michigan, baiting is illegal and within Lower Michigan, it carries a fine of up to $500. According to Saginaw County DNR Conservation Officer Daniel Lee, “It’s a problem state-wide; we need to protect our resources.” Many hunters do not agree with the regulation. Hunter Jeff Pouget stated, “We are hunting in Alpena and it is a big tuberculosis area, but nobody has ever really found it in their deer, so until I see it, I don’t believe it.”
To help the situation this year, hunters may purchase five tags per day for hunting does on private land in Southern Michigan. The DNR reports that local farmers are frustrated with the large population of deer in the area. Officer Lee stated, “The deer get in and they eat the corn, the beans, and the beets, and the farmers are losing profits.”
Another regulation change relates to the use of crossbows. Officer Lee reported that restricted use of crossbows became legal during the last deer hunting season. He said that this season “it was liberalized so everyone can use them for any season.” According to the DNR, hunters prefer using traditional bows but crossbow use has increased since the new regulations were released. Officer Lee commented, “Unlike a firearm they are quiet, and unlike a bow they are easy to shoot.”
One purpose of expanding crossbow use was to encourage more youth to become hunters. The past 20 years has seen a steady decline in the number of Michigan hunters. Children are now permitted to hunt for two years with a licensed hunter before they must take a safety course.
Source: Harthorn, Jessica. ConnectMidMichigan.com. New deer hunting regulations.