GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hunters know today’s date well. It is Nov. 15 in Michigan, which means it’s opening day for firearm deer season.
Those heading out to the woods Tuesday should know about the new reporting requirements from Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.
For the first time in the state, hunters must report all successful deer harvests within 72 hours or before transferring possession of the deer.
Previously the DNR would send out a post-season harvest survey, but the response rates have gone down significantly over the last 20 years. So now, it is requiring hunters to report their kills.
To make the reporting process easier, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Aside from the unique kill tag license number and date of birth, hunters must also report the type of deer harvested.
If that harvest is a buck, the number of antler points will need to be noted. The date and location of the kill will also be required.
The DNR said this process should only take about three to five minutes, and there are several ways to do it.
The first option is to go online to michigan.gov/dnrharvestreport and click report a harvest. The faster option is to report the harvest through the new DNR hunt and fish mobile app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.
DNR said the new system will allow anyone to gather harvesting information and compare data between counties and regions.
“It’s going to open up a huge door of opportunity for us to really understand what’s happening with hunter behavior, hunter harvest and how the deer herds responding. Also, the interaction between hunters and deer harvest and the licenses that they’re using. Of course, the time of the year too,” said Chad Stewart, MDNR deer, elk and moose management specialist.
Hunters must still attach a paper kill tag before the harvest is reported.
The potential penalty for not reporting is a 90-day misdemeanor with fines ranging from $50 to $500.
Since this is the first-year hunters are required to report — DNR said it is focused on education rather than enforcement.