For many people, Protecting Your Rights means the Right to Hunt. With deer season right around the corner, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) has approved a set of regulations targeting the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). CWD is a neurological disease that effects deer, elk, and moose. The disease produces small lesions on the animal's brain and results in trembling, drooling, extreme weight loss, abnormal behavior, and eventually death.
For the most up-to-date regulations, please visit the Michigan DNR's web page. At the time of this blog entry, here are some of the regulations they have come up with:
- Reduced the 4-point on-a-side antler requirement on the restricted tag of the combination license in the 16-county CWD Management Zone. Under the new regulation, a hunter in the CWD Management Zone can use the restricted tag of the combination license to harvest a buck with antlers as long as it has at least one 3-inch antler.
- Created a discounted antlerless license opportunity in the CWD Management Zone on private land; if purchased, the license will expire Nov. 4, 2018.
- A statewide ban on the use of all natural cervid urine-based lures and attractants, except for lures that are approved by the Archery Trade Association.
- A ban on baiting and feeding in the 16-county area identified as the CWD Management Zone. This area includes Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa and Shiawassee counties.
- A ban on baiting and feeding in the Lower Peninsula, effective Jan. 31, 2019, with an exception to this ban for hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements.
- Allowance of all legal firearms to be used in muzzleloader season in the CWD Management Zone.
- A purchase limit of 10 private-land antlerless licenses per hunter in the CWD Management Zone.
- Restrictions on deer carcass movement in the five-county CWD Core Area (Ionia, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm and Newaygo counties) and the CWD Management Zone.
- Antlerless options on deer licenses/combo licenses during firearms seasons in the five-county CWD Core Area.
- Expansion of early and late antlerless seasons in select counties.
Undoubtedly, these new regulations open the door to increased enforcement activity. For many, Protecting Your Rights means being absolutely sure you understand the rules and regulations that govern your hunt. Every year I represent clients that end up needing help to resolve a DNR ticket in court, since many common offenses are actually criminal misdemeanors and/or can impact future hunting rights.
Enjoy your hunt and be safe! And if you need assistance with legal matters related to DNR offenses, hunting violations, fish and game rules, bag limits, hunting methods, improper transportation of firearms, or any other wildlife offenses, be sure to contact the Law Office of John Freeman. We regularly handle these types of matters throughout Michigan.