LANSING — Last week, State Reps. John Cherry (D-Flint) and Gary Howell (R-North Branch) introduced House Bills 5167 and 5168 to amend hunting license regulations.

“The role hunters and anglers play in protecting and preserving our state’s natural resources  is incredibly important, but is too often underappreciated,” said Cherry. “The revenue from hunting and fishing licenses serves as the primary source of funding for conservation of wildlife and fishery management in Michigan. Because of this, we need to make it simple and convenient for hunters and anglers to legally participate in these activities.”

“Our state has an abundance of natural resources to offer everyone,” Howell said, “Having this legislation in place will encourage the preservation of our important natural resources and participation in Michigan’s oldest traditions of hunting and fishing and make it more convenient for hunters to participate in limited license hunts.” 

House Bill 5167 would require the Department of Natural Resources to create a voluntary, automatic yearly renewal program for certain licenses, as well as establish a requirement for a feasibility study on the implementation of an automatic yearly renewal program for limited hunt licenses. House Bill 5168 would establish the opportunity for an individual to purchase a preference point at any time during the licensing year for bear or elk, allowing hunters to retain points or chances if they forget to apply to the hunt during the application period.

Both bills have been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation.