Check for changes to DNR regulations

Check for changes to DNR regulations

 Whitetail - Law Office of John Freeman
 DNR-300x300 - Law Office of John Freeman

Hunting and fishing in Michigan can be liberating. But sportsmen and women need to keep up with changes in DNR regulations or face the risk of prosecution and serious penalties for hunting and fishing violations. DNR changed some rules for hunting for Aug. 1, 2020 through July 31,2021.


There were five violations that were the most cited in 2018. These included illegally taking and possessing turkeys out of season, illegally taking and possessing deer during closed firearm season, hunting or trapping wild animal without a valid license, entering another person’s lands without their consent or recreational trespass and baiting in a closed area. Baiting violation penalties may be punished by up to 90 days imprisonment, fines from $50.00 to $1,000.00 and hunting license revocation.

Deer carcass transportation restrictions

Deer harvested in certain counties cannot be processed or transported out of those counties unless certain requirements are met. First, the harvested deer is deboned meat, quarters or other cervid parts that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, antlers, antlers attached to the skull or skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue, upper canine teeth or a finish taxidermist mount.

The second requirement is the deer carcass must be directly taken to a registered processor. Or the intact deer head detached from the carcass is taken directly to a licensed taxidermist.

These requirements govern hunting in all of Montcalm County, Otisco, Orleans, Ronald, or North Plains Townships in Ionia County or Nelson, Spencer, Courtland, Oakfield, Grattan, or Cannon Townships in Kent County.

 Whitetail-300x300 - Law Office of John Freeman

Deer check stations

Chronic wasting disease testing is available for a limited basis in areas with active surveillance goals. These include various counties throughout the state. Hunters may also contact a private laboratory for this service.   

Youth hunting

Hunters who are nine years old and younger may hunt in a mentored youth program with a mentor who is at least 21, has hunting experience and a valid Michigan hunting license that is not an apprentice license.

Hunters who are 10 through 16 may hunt with an apprentice license with an adult hunter. If they are safety certified, they may hunt with a regular license with an 18-year-old licensed hunter.

There are restrictions on the firearms that may be used and the animals that may be hunted with these licenses. Some specific waivers also apply to antler restrictions.

It is important to know about current rules so that your hunting or fishing rights are not restricted or taken away or you do not face criminal prosecution. If you are facing a ticket or other charges, contact an outdoors attorney right away.  Your freedom and hunting rights may depend on it..