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Category: Small Game

Michigan Pheasant and Deer Hunting Season Changes 2023

In the ever-evolving world of hunting, staying informed about changes to hunting seasons is crucial. This year, Michigan officials have announced significant changes that pheasant and deer hunters should be aware of. These changes, which include an increase in the number of rooster pheasants to be released and adjustments to reporting requirements for deer hunting, are set to provide hunters with unique opportunities and experiences. Let’s delve into these changes and what they mean for the hunting community.

Pheasant Hunting Season Changes 2023

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has made exciting announcements for the pheasant hunting community. In a move that promises to enhance the hunting experience, the DNR has announced that about three times as many rooster pheasants will be released compared to last year. This increase is a significant one and is sure to provide hunters with more opportunities to engage in this sport that requires skill, patience, and a deep understanding of the bird’s behavior.

In addition to the increase in rooster pheasants, the agency is also expanding its reach by adding four new release sites throughout the state. These sites are expected to be in Cass City, Crane Pond, Dansville, and Stanton state game areas. Furthermore, in a first, the DNR will be releasing pheasants in some state game areas in December, extending the hunting season into the winter months.

The DNR hopes that these changes will offer hunters a unique opportunity to connect or reconnect with upland bird hunting. Adam Bump, DNR upland game bird specialist, stated that the increased number of rooster pheasants and the addition of new release locations ensure that hunters can enjoy a memorable hunting season. The rooster-only pheasant releases are scheduled for Oct. 20 to Nov. 14, coinciding with the pheasant hunting season. All release sites with an open December pheasant hunting season should have an additional pheasant release in December.

Impact on Pheasant Hunters

These changes will undoubtedly impact pheasant hunters. The increased number of rooster pheasants and the addition of new release locations mean that hunters will have more opportunities to engage in pheasant hunting. The extension of the hunting season into December will require hunters to adapt to colder weather conditions and potentially different hunting strategies. However, these changes also provide an opportunity for hunters to extend their hunting activities and experience the sport in different seasons.

The DNR has announced that this year, pheasants will be released in 13 state game/wildlife areas throughout southern Michigan. The sale of the $25 pheasant license funds the pheasant release program, with pheasants supplied by the Michigan Association of Gamebird Breeders and Hunting Preserves. This collaboration ensures the sustainability of the pheasant population and underlines the importance of conservation.

Deer Hunting Season Changes 2023

For deer hunters, there are also significant changes on the horizon. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed Senate Bill 52 to reduce the penalty for failing to report a deer harvest. Last year, the DNR started requiring hunters to report deer harvests within 72 hours either online or using an app. Those who failed to report could have faced a fee of up to $500 as well as a potential misdemeanor charge and jail time.

The new bill, however, drops the misdemeanor threat and limits the fee to no more than $150. This change is a welcome relief for hunters, reducing the burden of potential penalties for a simple oversight. Michigan United Conservation Clubs Chief Executive Officer Amy Trotter expressed support for the decision, stating that it’s important not to create unnecessary burdens for hunters, who fund conservation.

Impact on Deer Hunters

The changes to the deer hunting regulations will have a significant impact on deer hunters. The reduction in penalties for failing to report a deer harvest will ease the pressure on hunters and ensure that they are not excessively penalized for simple mistakes. This change reflects a more understanding and supportive approach towards hunters, recognizing the important role they play in conservation.

Hunters can submit the required harvest data through eLicense, the DNR’s online license system. Hunters are allowed to have their deer reported online by a family member or friend. This flexibility makes it easier for hunters to comply with the reporting requirements and ensures that the necessary data is collected for conservation efforts.

The changes to the pheasant and deer hunting season in 2023 represent a new chapter in hunting in Michigan. As hunters, we must adapt to these changes and continue to hunt responsibly. We must also remember that these changes are part of a larger effort to conserve our wildlife. So, let’s embrace these changes, sharpen our skills, and look forward to another exciting hunting season.

Stay informed about the latest hunting regulations and conservation measures. Check out the Michigan DNR’s website for more information about the program, including licensing requirements, season dates, and hunting regulations. Remember, a well-informed hunter is a responsible hunter. Subscribe to The Inside Spread below to get updates sent directly to your inbox.

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