Online Video Shows a Great Tool to Improve Hunting Quality

The newest video on shows how strategic use of food plots can improve hunting success! They share why and where to locate a plot and strategies for hunting it. Plus, one of their favorite strategies that can be used when hunting five acres or five hundred. Stay tuned to see a dramatic explanation of how to build soils for better food plots and better nutrition for whitetails. Click here to watch the video today! Read more

Zinke, NWTF Celebrate Wildlife Restoration Act

DiBona, Zinke, Bird (left to right)

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke held a press conference today formally announcing the release of $1.1 billion from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act that will continue to support fish, wildlife and habitat conservation. This year marks the 80thanniversary of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.

Prior to the announcement, Zinke met privately with a group of hunting and conservation representatives which included two local National Wild Turkey Federation representatives; Fred Bird, regional director and Matt DiBona, district biologist.

“Secretary Zinke reiterated his strong support for our hunting and fishing traditions and said the Department of Interior is committed to managing our federal lands for the benefit and enjoyment of sportsmen and the general public,” DiBona said.

The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, which is commonly referred to as the Pittman-Robertson Act, was established in 1937 and imposes a tax on firearms, ammunition, archery and fishing equipment. Those funds are then returned to each state to manage wildlife and habitats. Read more

Renowned Conservationist, RMEF Promote Relevance of Hunting

MISSOULA, Mont.—In an effort to promote a wider public conversation about the positive connections between hunting and wildlife conservation, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation partnered with widely-respected conservationist and wildlife researcher Shane Mahoney to release a timely and evocative short film titled Relevance.

The video, which discusses the modern relevance of hunting traditions, especially in terms of conservation benefits, is the first product generated as part of a new and ongoing collaboration between RMEF and Mahoney.

“Shane is one of the world’s leading voices for conservation,” said Steve Decker, RMEF’s vice president of Marketing. “His message about hunting’s role in society showcases the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, certainly one of the most successful systems of wildlife recovery and management the world has ever seen. Shane’s message resonates not only among sportsmen and women, but also with those who do not hunt or fish but who share in the concern for wildlife’s future.”

The film’s narrative is borrowed from Mahoney’s keynote address, delivered at RMEF’s 2017 National Convention earlier this year in Nashville.

Mahoney, a long-time RMEF member, is the president and CEO of Conservation Visions, a global wildlife initiative focused on international conservation issues. Read more

Last day to apply for Michigan bear and elk licenses is June 1

Haven’t bought your bear and elk application yet? It’s not too late – you can still purchase your $5 application anywhere DNR licenses are sold or online at E-License.

Have questions? Get answers! Watch the frequently asked questions videos below or give us a call; we’d love to help. Visit for more information or call 517-284-WILD (9453).


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Michigan’s Deer Hunting Status

By Glen Wunderlich

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has its hands full with wildlife issues, and accordingly, what follows is a brief outline of some of pro-active measures being proposed for adoption by the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) for the 2017-2019 deer regulation cycle.

CWD:  With the onset of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and its recent discovery in yet more areas, the DNR proposes amending the protocols and control measures in the Wildlife Conservation Order by adding Portland and Danby townships in Ionia County and Roxand Township in Eaton County to Deer Management Unit (DMU) 333.  This area encompasses that of the latest CWD discoveries and would create a new core CWD area, DMU 359, which includes Mecosta, Austin, Morton, Hinton, Aetna, and Deerfield townships in Mecosta County, and Cato, Winfield, and Reynolds townships in Montcalm County.

Deer checks would be required in DMU 359, as well as all protocol already in place elsewhere in the state.

Disease Control Permits also would be provided to landowners within DMU 359.

A disease management hunt may be authorized, lasting no longer than nine days between January 2 and March 31, if additional harvest is deemed necessary to meet disease management objectives.  This measure can be implemented in the event hunters do not kill enough deer during normal hunting seasons.

Antler Point Restrictions:  In 2013, the NRC approved a measure from the Northwest Michigan Branch of the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) for Antler Point Restrictions (APR)  in the Northwest Lower Peninsula requiring that hunters harvest an antlered deer only if they have at least one antler with three or more antler points.  A second antlered deer would need to have at least four points on one antler, which is consistent with current regulations elsewhere in the state.

This bold move had to receive a minimum of a 50-percent response level from the area’s hunters.  In addition, although the DNR conducted the survey, the expense of the undertaking had to be paid by the QDMA, and when the results were tabulated, an overwhelming minimum of 67 percent of respondents had to be in favor of the proposal.

The measure passed and those I’ve encountered in this area couldn’t be happier with the results.  Antler growth, as well as body size and health are appreciably stronger in just a few short years.  However, because the regulation has a sunset provision, another survey must maintain the regulation’s acceptance.  This re-survey is still being processed for the current APR, but preliminary responses show a 70-percent response rate and an overwhelming 76-percent of hunters in support.  Subsequently, the DNR proposes the NRC continue the APR without sunset beginning with the 2017 deer hunting season.

Antlerless Permits:  Finally, because of relatively mild winters the past two years, deer numbers are higher in certain areas of the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula.  As a result, 5 of the 22 Deer Management Units in the U.P. are proposed to be open for antlerless hunting, as well as the entire northern Lower Peninsula on both public and private lands.  Of course, all of the southern Lower Peninsula is to remain open to liberal antlerless hunting, as well.

Online Video Shows Strategies for Hunting Quiet Gobblers, New Food Plots Techniques

Watch the newest video on for turkey hunting strategies in the late season when gobblers get quiet! Plus, find out how the Steel Buffalo (roller crimper) can help lead to food plot success. It’s the first step for better soils/food plots without fertilizer. Click here to watch the hunt or visit today!

About a popular on-demand web series that shares current information about deer hunting and deer management. The videos focus on what the GrowingDeer team of experienced hunters and deer managers are doing in the field week to week: action packed hunts, proven hunting strategies, habitat management, food plots, trail camera techniques and the gear it takes to get it all done. A new episode is released every Monday, 52 weeks a year with no repeats. Videos are available for viewing anytime at The site automatically converts for mobile viewing or the shows may be shared and embedded with the link supplied on the player. Social media users may join the conversation with the team on Facebook and @GrowingDeer on Twitter. Also follow the team on Instagram ( and Pinterest (! Read more

Michigan: DNR Releases Deer Hunter Study Report

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in collaboration with DJ Case & Associates, recently released a report on a nearly yearlong study of Michigan deer hunters. Following up on recent DNR research into deer hunting participation trends, the project was designed to be completed before the 2017-2019 deer hunting regulations are established.

Report findings were presented at the April 13 Natural Resources Commission meeting. The full written report, which includes more than 100 pages of detailed information on the study process and results, is available online at, under “MI Deer Resources.”

A few key findings included:

• Most respondents (79 percent) did not think the current deer hunting regulations are too complex.
• Differences of opinions across age categories were greater than differences between males and females.
• Regulations changes did not receive a majority of support among any group of hunters, though younger hunters generally were more supportive of changes than older hunters.
• As the hunter population ages, differences of opinions across age categories indicate the DNR should re-examine future support for regulations changes.
• Among options for possible discounts and prize drawings, a majority of younger hunters did believe they would be likely to purchase a multiyear license bundle at a discounted rate. Read more

The Second Amendment and Conservation

May, 2017

The oldest conservation organization in North America has released its position on gun ownership and its historical influence on wildlife conservation.

“Sportsmen have known for a long time that hunting supports and funds wildlife conservation and management programs,” said Ben B. Hollingsworth Jr., president of the Boone and Crockett Club. “What is often overlooked is that the most successful system of wildlife conservation ever devised – the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation – would not have been possible without sportsmen and their right to own and use firearms.”

Public ownership of firearms was instrumental to the birth of the conservation movement in North America and still contributes to its continued success. The Boone and Crockett Club supports the right of citizens to own and use firearms. This right allows hunters to contribute to and maintain the longstanding success of wildlife conservation and management in North America.

“By the late nineteenth century wildlife species were depleted everywhere in North America,” said Hollingsworth. “It is indisputable that the hunter-conservationist movement rescued many species from certain extinction.”

Early hunter-conservationists like Theodore Roosevelt, who formed the Boone and Crockett Club in 1887, took action to allow game species to recover in the abundance we have today. Sportsmen across the nation joined Roosevelt in choosing to restrict themselves, limit their take, and abide by newly formed game laws and regulated hunting seasons. But they took one more step, explained Hollingsworth Jr.

“Even in the height of the Great Depression, sportsmen voted to tax themselves for the benefit of wildlife.” The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson Act), proposed by sportsmen and passed by Congress in 1937, placed an excise tax on the sale of sporting arms and ammunition with the funds earmarked for wildlife conservation and distributed to state fish and wildlife agencies. In 2016, $700 million were generated and to date, nearly $10 billion has been distributed to states.

“As we know, game species did recover, but the habitats that were secured and managed for game species now benefit all wildlife,” said Hollingsworth. “None of this would be possible without the Second Amendment. It is why protecting and maintaining gun ownership by the public is so critical to wildlife conservation.”

The full position statement and video can be found at this link.




MI Elk and bear hunting applications now available; videos explain drawing process

The 2017 bear and elk hunting application period is open now through June 1. A total of 200 elk and 7,140 bear licenses will be available for the 2017 hunting seasons.The Michigan Department of Natural Resources encourages applicants to take a few moments to watch the videos explaining the bear and elk drawing process:

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