New deer hunting regulations

Photo Credit: Jason Dubois

Deer hunting season starts Friday.

And this year new regulations will help increase the number of hunters, and decrease the deer population.

October first is comparable to Christmas morning for many Mid-Michigan residents.

And now some new rules will make it easier for hunters to bag the big one.

Grab your bow, some bait, and some beer.

Deer hunting season starts Friday and Mid-Michigan hunters are getting ready for the thrill of the kill.

"The adrenaline when you do see one, and you do get a shot off," said hunter Jeff Pouget.

These hunters know baiting is illegal, but they say they don't agree with it.

"We are hunting in Alpena and it is a big tuberculosis area, but nobody has ever really found it in their deer, so until I see it, I don't believe it," said Pouget.

But the penalty for baiting in Lower Michigan is up to a $500 fine.

It TMs a problem state-wide; we need to protect our resources, said DNR Conservation Officer for Saginaw County, Daniel Lee.

What hunters can do this season is buy five tags a day for does in southern Michigan on private land, because the DNR says an over abundance of deer is frustrating farmers.

"The deer get in and they eat the corn, the beans, and the beets, and the farmers are losing profits," said Officer Lee.

Another change this season? More hunters will be using crossbows.

Crossbows became legal last year with some restrictions, and this year it was liberalized so everyone can use them for any season, said Officer Lee.

The DNR says most hunters prefer to use traditional bows, but since regulations have changed crossbows are picking up in popularity.

Unlike a firearm they are quiet, and unlike a bow they are easy to shoot, said Officer Lee.

The DNR hopes crossbows will interest more youth to start hunting because the number of hunters has steadily declined the past 20 years.

Many alternatives, sports, TV, video games, said Officer Lee.

Not so for these guys, they enjoy the great outdoors and the chance to bring home a trophy.

The DNR says kids can now hunt with a licensed hunter for two years without having to take a hunter safety course.

They hope it will interest kids to get their licenses, which leads to more revenue for the DNR so they can hire more officers to manage the wildlife in Michigan.

Be sure to watch for the NBC25 Buck Pole starting November 15.