If you hunt during archery season in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, you better take notice.
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission announced on June 11 that some big changes are going to take place in the U.P. that will be enforced for the current 2015 season. Following the harsh winters over the past three seasons, which diminished deer herds, the harvesting of antlerless deer shall be eliminated during archery season only.
The hunters who have already purchased combo licenses for this coming deer season have until September 20 to return those licenses for a refund. They may still use their current deer license to take a buck, and may still take antlerless deer during gun season.
"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 Chad Stewart, the DNR deer management specialist for the state of Michigan. "In May we brought forward six possible options, and the NRC chose to concentrate on two of those options."
According to the Michigan DNR, those options were to do nothing at all, or create the buck-only rule during archery in the U.P.
"Deer hunting is an important tradition in Michigan's U.P. and a big economic driver for the entire state," said John Matonich, the state's Natural Resources Commission Chair. "This decision by the NRC will ensure that tradition continues while also providing prudent protections for the U.P. deer population."
For more information about this rule change, or any other changes regarding the Michigan 2015 deer hunting restrictions, go to www.michigan.gov/hunting. In the meantime, make sure you tell everyone you know about this rule change to make sure everyone is on the same page. The Michigan DNR will also be spreading the word as the best they can.