Regulations updated for deer hunting seasons 2023 through 2025

Whitetail Deer
Whitetail Deer(David Kenyon | Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
Published: Jun. 13, 2023 at 2:20 PM EDT
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MICHIGAN (WNEM) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have updated its three-year duration deer regulations for hunting seasons in 2023 through 2025.

The DNR deer program experts said many of the traditional regulations are the same, but there are several important updates aimed at enhancing the deer season for hunters in Michigan.

“There are many challenges facing deer hunting in Michigan and across much of the Midwest in the coming years,” said Chad Stewart, the DNR’s deer, elk, and moose management specialist. “While the approved regulations for the 2023 through 2025 deer seasons are geared toward increasing opportunities for a declining hunter base, we recognize that we’ll have to continue to evaluate all possible options to sustainably manage Michigan’s deer herd in the future.”

The following regulation updates are:

  • Restricted tag of the deer combo license. The four-point antler point restriction on the restricted tag of the deer combo license has been reinstated in 19 Lower Peninsula counties: Barry, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Lenawee, Mecosta, Midland, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa, and Shiawassee. Under the updated regulation, all deer combo licenses in southern Lower Peninsula counties will now have an unrestricted regular tag and a four-point restricted tag.
  • Liberty Hunt. Hunters participating in the Liberty Hunt, a firearm deer hunt on private or public land for youth and hunters with disabilities, will now be allowed to harvest more than one deer. The limit for bucks is still one, however hunters can pursue multiple antlerless deer. A separate license will be required for each deer harvested during the hunt.
  • U.P. Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Surveillance Zone. The Upper Peninsula CWD Zone, including parts of Delta, Dickinson, and Menominee counties, has been removed so hunters in this area can resume baiting and feeding practices. The hunter’s choice antler point regulations, which include an unrestricted tag for the deer license and point restrictions for the regular/restricted tag of the deer combo license, have been reinstated. The restrictions on the deer combo license are three points on a side for the regular tag and four points on a side for the restricted tag.
  • Late archery season and crossbows. The proposal to allow crossbows in the late archery season in the Upper Peninsula was rejected, so hunters are still prohibited from using crossbows during the late archery season in the Upper Peninsula. This includes hunters in the previous CWD Surveillance Zone where crossbow use in the late archery season had previously been allowed.
  • Antlerless harvest in northern DMUs. The proposal to reinstate antlerless harvest opportunities in several northern deer management units using archery equipment was rejected. Antlerless harvest remains largely prohibited in those units, with exceptions only for qualified individuals during the Liberty Hunt and through Deer Management Assistance Permits, where authorized.

Full summaries of approved deer regulations will be available closer to hunting season openers. The DNR said it is committed to ensuring sustainable and scientifically sound management of the state’s deer population.

For more on deer management, hunting opportunities, and other resources visit

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