The Natural Resources Commission approved a quota of 728,100 antlerless
deer licenses for the upcoming season at its recent meeting in Lansing,
an increase from 641,075 in 2008.
The commission approved 68,300 public land licenses and 659,800 private
land licenses, up from 65,875 and 572,200 respectively last year.
In the Upper Peninsula, the quotas were reduced to 7,000 public land
licenses and 27,000 private land tags, down from 8,000 and 31,000
respectively in 2008.
“The deer herd is down slightly in the UP,” said Department of
Natural Resources Wildlife Division Management Specialist Supervisor
Mike Bailey. “Winter was rather severe, but spring break-up was
moderate so we don’t expect it impacted recruitment very much.”
In the Northern Lower Peninsula, the NRC approved 25,600 public land
licenses and 140,300 private land licenses, up from 22,000 and 135,400
respectively last year.
“The deer herd has clearly increased in size in the Northern Lower
Peninsula,” Bailey said. “Deer numbers are about where we want them
and the increases in antlerless licenses are designed to maintain the
present population – not reduce it — except in the bovine tuberculosis
area where the population still needs to be reduced to decrease disease
In the Southern Lower Peninsula, the NRC approved 35,700 public land
licenses and 423,000 private land licenses, down from 35,900 and up from
406,800 respectively in 2008.
“We are still well over goal in southern Michigan and this regional
population needs to be reduced,” Bailey said. “This year’s quotas
also reflect an expanded area open during the late antlerless season, as
well as the new Deer Management Unit 486, which includes most of the
counties in southern Michigan.”
Antlerless deer quotas were established in 85 of the state’s 102 deer
Hunters may now purchase two antlerless deer licenses at one time with
a maximum of five antlerless licenses for the season, though no more
than two private land licenses combined for the Upper Peninsula and any
DMU entirely within the Northern Lower Peninsula. However, this limit
does not apply in Alpena, Alcona, Crawford, Iosco, Kent, Montmorency,
Oscoda, Otsego and Presque Isle counties, where disease concerns
necessitate encouraging antlerless harvest.