Michigan’s Natural Resource Commission did not add antler point restrictions for the upcoming deer season.
In Michigan, a large movement has been brewing since APRs were instated in the northern portion of the state. On July 13th in Lansing the movement was struck down at the Michigan’s Natural Resource Commission’s monthly meeting. Hunters in favor of the restrictions tried to sway the commission but despite making many great points they were ultimately denied.
Mlive reports the Michigan DNR director Keith Creagh as saying;
“There were some good points made, but not every area in the state will grow three (antler points) on a side. So the real question is, how do you make sure that you have a high-quality experience but culling out those spikes that ought to be culled. It’s not as straight-forward as either side says. It really is about a quality deer hunting experience and how you do that in a landscape.”
Mlive reports the NRC also decided not to lift the existing restrictions on the area known as the Northwest 12. Compromised of Emmet, Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Osceola, Lake, and Mason counties. The NRC is meant to make decisions based on science and data, which while the desire to make statewide restrictions was there the science was not. However, the Northwest 12 deer population benefited from APRs demonstrating solid deer growth.
The NRC functions on a three year cycle so antler point restrictions may happen in the future. Whether this is a good or bad thing is still up for debate.