NRC Approves Antlerless Licenses for 85 of Michigan’s 98 Deer Management Units

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Antlerless deer hunting licenses will be available for 85 of Michigan’s 98 Deer Management Units this fall, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The Natural Resources Commission recently approved DNR recommendations that will increase the number of DMUs where antlerless licenses are available in the northern Lower Peninsula, while reducing the number of DMUs with licenses available in the Upper Peninsula.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, the DNR will issue antlerless licenses for private land only in Lake and Wexford counties, which have not had antlerless licenses available for the last three seasons. The DNR will also sell antlerless licenses for public and private land in Roscommon, Clare, Gladwin and Arenac counties. Last year, only private land antlerless licenses were available in those counties.

In the central Upper Peninsula, antlerless licenses will not be available in DMUs 021 or 152, which had tags available for private land only last season. In DMU 252, antlerless licenses will be available only for private land, which differs from 2007 where they were available for public land as well.

“The reduction in antlerless license availability in the Upper Peninsula DMUs is a direct result of the recent severe winter in this part of Michigan,”” said DNR Big Game Specialist Rod Clute.

Antlerless license quotas for DMUs will be decided at the July 10 NRC meeting in Munising.

In 2008, private land antlerless deer licenses will be issued through a drawing in the northern two-thirds of the state, the same as public land licenses have been in the past. Several DMUs, with a limited number of licenses, sold out the first day in 2007. The DNR received numerous complaints from individuals who were unable to purchase a license so quickly. A random lottery provides a fair and equitable means of allocating these licenses. In areas with a significant number of antlerless tags available, unsold licenses will be available over the counter on a first-come first-served basis beginning Sept. 17, 2008.

In the southern Lower Peninsula, private land antlerless licenses will be sold over the counter beginning on Sept. 8, 2008 at 10 a.m.