With Michigan’s archery deer season set to begin Oct. 1, the Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters of recent changes to the state’s hunting license structure.
The new license structure — authorized by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013 — took effect March 1, 2014.
Among the most significant changes affecting deer hunters, a base license is now required for all hunters. The base license provides critical funding for habitat and conservation work on both public and private land and supports the work of conservation officers and field staff to ensure safe, legal hunting practices are followed. The purchase of a base license includes small game hunting. Whether they choose to hunt small game or not, hunters’ base license dollars will be used to enhance and expand hunting opportunities, which benefits hunters of all species.
Deer licenses available include:
- Single deer license, valid throughout archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. This license has replaced the separate archery and firearm licenses. Hunters who buy a single deer license may not buy a second single deer license or the deer combo license.
- Deer combo license, which includes two kill tags, one regular and one restricted. Hunters who want two deer licenses must buy the deer combo license instead of the single deer license. This is required to implement antler point restrictions, which apply based on whether the hunter has purchased two deer licenses. The deer combo license is valid for use during the archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. A hunter can use both kill tags in the firearm seasons, both in the archery season or one in each season.
- Antlerless deer license, available based on license quotas set for each Deer Management Unit (DMU).
More information about the new hunting license structure — including license prices, frequently asked questions and details about how license dollars will be invested — is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr under “In the Know.”
Those who have questions or need help determining which licenses to buy may contact their nearest DNR Customer Service Center.