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I assume for 2015 we are using the honor system for this change in the UP?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2015

Contact: Chad Stewart, 517-641-4903 or Ed Golder, 517-284-5815


NRC approves 2015 U.P. antlerless deer hunting restrictions

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission today decided to eliminate the harvest of antlerless deer during the archery season for hunters using deer or deer combo licenses in the Upper Peninsula.

The restriction, which does not affect the firearm deer season, will be in effect for the 2015-2016 season. The NRC made the decision at its monthly meeting in Monroe, Michigan, in an effort to aid the Upper Peninsula’s struggling deer population, which has declined to a level comparable to the early 1980s following three successive winters with severe conditions.

There have been roughly 5,000 to 6,300 antlerless deer harvested in the U.P. by archers over each of the past four years.

Although deer regulations currently are on a three-year cycle, elements such as weather and disease can cause regulations to be reviewed mid-cycle and adjusted when appropriate.

“The NRC asked the DNR Wildlife Division to present options to address the decline in deer in the U.P. and associated concerns by hunters,” said DNR deer management specialist Chad Stewart. “In May we brought forward six possible options, and the NRC chose to concentrate on two of those options.”

The NRC’s decision makes deer and deer combo licenses used in the archery season “buck-only” licenses. The other option considered by the NRC was to maintain the current regulations.

“Deer hunting is an important tradition in Michigan’s U.P. and a big economic driver for the entire state,” said Natural Resources Commission Chair John Matonich. “This decision by the NRC will ensure that tradition continues while also providing prudent protections for the U.P. deer population.”

The winter of 2014-2015 brought significant snowfall before the start of the firearm season, which persisted to depths of 20-30 inches across much of the region. Additionally, temperatures of -10 to -20 degrees arrived in February, further stressing animals that had limited mobility because of the deep snow.

These latest wintry conditions followed the winters of 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, which were extremely hard on the U.P. deer population.

The DNR Wildlife Division polled neighboring states on their recent and future deer seasons, and found those states also are reducing antlerless quotas or opportunities to take antlerless deer during specific seasons.

“We will be working to communicate this information to all who hunt in the Upper Peninsula,” Stewart said. “We’ll need to make sure hunters everywhere are aware of the change because once they cross the Mackinac Bridge the rules for their 2015 deer licenses will change.”

Antlerless harvest still will be permitted through the allotment of private-land antlerless licenses in deer management units where it was decided that antlerless harvest should be maintained. This includes DMUs 055, 122 and 155.

Deer and deer combo licenses can be returned for a refund and new licenses could be purchased prior to the start of the deer seasons. After Sept. 20, the licenses are considered “used” and cannot be returned. To learn more about the process for returning licenses, contact DNR licensing staff at 517-284-6047 or [email protected].

For more information on hunting seasons and regulations, visit: www.michigan.gov/hunting.

To stay up to date on regulation changes like this, sign up for DNR email updates to get important natural resource news sent directly to you, when it’s happening.
 

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I assume for 2015 we are using the honor system for this change in the UP?

I don't understand what you mean by using the honor system. If somebody takes an illegal antlerless deer what has changed from their taking an illegal deer any other year? There should be no chance that someone does not know of the change here in the UP. If you looked at the combo tags,m since the minimum of 3 points on one side for the smaller of the bucks has been in effect up here, they still said that 1 three inch long antler was all that was required. You had to look up the regulations in order to find out the rules for the UP as opposed to the rest of the state. It isn't just the combo tag either is it? As I read it if you bought just one tag to use for bow hunting only you still can't take an antlerless deer.
 

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No honor system involved at all. The only way you can legally tag an antlerless deer in the U.P. will be with an antlerless tag which will only be in the designated DMU's (055, 122, and 155 I believe). Archery tags and combo tags will be good for bucks only in the UP.
 

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No honor system involved at all. The only way you can legally tag an antlerless deer in the U.P. will be with an antlerless tag which will only be in the designated DMU's (055, 122, and 155 I believe). Archery tags and combo tags will be good for bucks only in the UP.
The press release did not mention the youth hunt, which allows a kid to tag a doe with the combo tag during the youth hunt. It looks like that has not changed.
 

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So, I ask what did saving the spikes and forkys accomplish for the deer herd? APR is all about horns, it has nothing to do with managing a healthy deer herd. After breeding season the only thing a buck does is eat. The browse that those small bucks eat could have saved some does and fawns. I know this is not the place to discuss it and it has been overly discussed, but i just can't understand why Michigan would save small bucks and let the deer herd starve to death or to the point of weakness where disease is imminent.
 
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