Michigan deer hunters must report kills online

DNR wasn’t getting enough end-of-season surveys
Hunters have to report the deer they kill to the DNR within 72 hours through an app on their phones.
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 5:54 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 6:13 PM EDT
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GRASS LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WILX) - Hunters will be in the woods and fields across mid-Michigan this weekend looking for deer because bow season starts Saturday.

Related: Drive-by deer hunting -- Michigan man reportedly admits to killing deer from vehicle to ‘relieve frustration’

And this year, hunters have to report the deer they kill to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources within 72 hours through an app on their phone.

Until now, it sent hunters surveys at the end of the season, but the DNR said they are getting fewer back in recent years.

“I thought we here we are, we’re outdoorsmen and we’re going to have more technology and that’s probably the last thing we need,” said Rodger Cook, who hunts in Jackson County’s Grass Lake Township.

“I love the hunting. I love being outdoors. I love giving back to other families, the venison. I’m as much more about learning the animals and the respect of the animal as much as hunting,” said Cook.

With deer bow season starting Saturday, he’s come around to having to report his kills online.

“A lot of other states are now doing it. I’m surprised we are just now doing it. I don’t think it will be that bad,” said

And it could actually help him get more deer this season.

“They can look right at that app on their phone and say this is where a lot of the deer are being killed and it’s just going to be a lot more accurate,” said Cook.

That accuracy is key for the DNR. It uses the reports from hunters to prevent overpopulation where deer aren’t welcome.

“The fact we can get this data now, in season, allows us to be using the most recent data we have available to us as we develop our recommendations for future years,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer management specialist.

Cook is already looking forward to logging his first deer in the system.

“It’s about time we do something like this. We can alter asteroids in space, I figure we could log a deer,” said Cook.

Hunters can fill out the form on the DNR website or on the DNR app, available for Apple and Android devices.

Bow season starts Saturday and runs through November 14.

Gun season starts November 15.

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