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Michigan DNR to require deer harvests to be filed online this coming season

two bucks in a meadow with tall grass and wildflowers
Jerry Charlton

Michigan deer hunters will be required to register their harvest online this coming season. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says it’s been seeing fewer hunters reporting their harvest, and that is one of the reasons it's moving reporting to its website.

The department is also trying to address concerns with internet access and computer literacy.

Chad Stewart is a deer, elk and moose specialist with the Michigan DNR. He says the new rules were written to accommodate these limitations.

"We gave hunters a 72-hour window to report. So, that gives us hunters up to three days to essentially find someone to help them report for them and find the internet," said Stewart. "Our DNR offices during the business hours will be open and available for hunters to come in and get access."

The questionnaire hunters fill out will give the Michigan DNR data it has never had access to in the past and will help with management and provide information important to hunters.

"We’ll have day-to-day harvest records of when deer are getting harvested. So, we'll know the impact of season length or equipment use in season that we haven't been able to tease out before because it's always just been sort of one case one metric versus another," Stewart said.

Stewart says there are no penalties planned this year if hunters don’t report their kill online. Instead the DNR will work to educate hunters and only issue warnings as needed.

He says next year the state will begin imposing penalties

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