MENU
component-ddb-728x90-v1-01-desktop

West Michigan hunters respond to new deer hunt regulations

West Michigan hunters respond to new deer hunt regulations. (WWMT/File)

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission approved several changes in hunting regulations to curb the spread of chronic wasting disease in the state.

Many hunters in West Michigan are not pleased with the state's new deer hunt regulations.

"It's going to change the dynamics hunters across the state eventually," said Brandon Hammonds.

Some of the regulations will be in effect for the 2018 deer season and largely impact the areas of Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa and Shiawassee counties.

"The state is trying to paint a picture that they're being proactive right now, and maybe they are, but it's for the state's benefit," Hammonds said. "I don't believe this is for the wildlife's benefit, the deer herd's benefit, or for the hunter's benefit."

Hammonds has been hunting white tail deer in Michigan for decades. He's spending more time hunting out of state over the years, he said partially because of regulations he believes make no sense.

"It just seems that the state is not being completely forthright with the hunters and there's just a lot of lack of knowledge and communication," he said.

A spokesperson with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said the agency is simply trying to control CWD. They say they're still learning about the disease and its impact on the state.

Randy VanDam owns D&R Sports Center in Kalamazoo. He says businesses that rely on hunting traffic may see a difference in revenue this season because of the regulation changes. He says it's possible some hunters will be so upset over the new rules they'll possibly skip the hunt or purchase fewer licenses.

"As a retailer it does affect our business," VanDam said. "I'm not happy with some of the political choices that are involved in that but I am happy that they are trying to protect our resource and in the long run that's what we're all about."

As previously reported by Newschannel 3, the approved regulations are as follows:

  • 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.
  • An immediate 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. The start date on this regulation is intended to allow bait producers and retailers time to adjust to the new rule.
  • Effective immediately in the CWD Management Zone and four-county bovine tuberculosis area (in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties), hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements can now use 2 gallons of single-bite bait, such as shelled corn, during the Liberty and Independence hunts.
  • 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.
  • Changes to regulations regarding wildlife rehabilitators.

In April and May the DNR hosted several meetings throughout the state for public input. A release said that 650 people attended the meetings.

CWD was found May 2015 in Michigan deer. It has been confirmed in Clinton, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties.

CWD is a fatal disease that attacks the brains of deer, elk and moose. There is no cure. The disease has not been found in humans.

For more information go to the DNR website.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off

Trending