By Mark Kenyon

Here’s an interesting development in my neck of the woods! In my opinion, it’s a step in the right direction for those of us in support of a healthier and more balanced deer herd in Michigan. Below is a press release regarding the recent approval of an antler restriction proposal in Michigan and you can also see more details on the original proposal at this link…

Proposal For Antler Point Restrictions In Northwestern Michigan

- MK

NORTHWEST MICHIGAN ANTLER RESTRICTION PROPOSAL PASSES 

NORTHERN MICHIGAN (December 14th, 2012) – On Thursday December 13th Brent Rudolph, DNR Deer and Elk Program leader, presented to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) results of the survey to assess approval for an antler point restriction for 12 NW MI counties.   The results of the survey indicated a 68.5% approval rate and had an exceptionally high response rate of 80%.  For acceptance purposes the required approval rate was 66% based on a minimum 50% response rate.

The results of this survey indicate nearly 7 out of 10 hunters surveyed approve of a change to the current harvest regulations.  The new regulations however not official yet will require a 3 point on a side rule for the first tag and 4 point a side for second tag on a combo license.  Single tag holders would be required to harvest at least a 3 point on a side antlered deer with this stand alone license.

The Natural Resources Commission will officially take up the issue of approving this regulatory change based on the survey results and recommendation by the DNR at their spring meeting (April/May).  If in fact the NRC approves of this change the regulations would go into effect for the 2013 hunting season and cover a five year test period.  After the five years a new survey will be conducted to assess approval for these changes and if the threshold of 66% is met these changes would be made permanent.

The counties included within this proposal are: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Lake, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Osceola and Wexford.