2016 Michigan Deer Hunting Season
For the latest and most updated information on Michigan Hunting Regulations, please click this link
•Early Antlerless Firearm: Sept. 17-18, 2016
•Liberty Hunt: Sept. 17-18, 2016 ◦Youth and Hunters With Disabilities Hunt
•Independence Hunt: Oct. 13-16, 2016 ◦Hunters With Disabilities Hunt
•*Archery: Oct. 1 – Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 1, 2016
•*Regular Firearm: Nov. 15-30, 2016
•Muzzleloading: ◦Zone 1: Dec. 2-11, 2016
◦Zone 2: Dec. 2-11, 2016
◦Zone 3: Dec. 2-18, 2016
•Late Antlerless Firearm: Dec. 19, 2016 – Jan.1, 2017
Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting Laws
Antlered: a deer having at least one antler that extends 3 inches or more
above the skull.
Antlerless: a deer without antlers, or antlers extending less than 3 inches
above the skull.
Antler Point Restriction (APR) is a tool used to protect an age class of bucks from
being harvested in order to graduate them to the next age class by only allowing
hunters to harvest bucks with a certain number of antler points on a side.
Hunters must choose at the time of purchase if they want the opportunity to
harvest one or two antlered deer. Hunters wishing to harvest only one antlered
deer can purchase a single deer license (one kill tag). Hunters wishing to
harvest two antlered deer must purchase a deer combo license (two kill tags).
A deer license may be used to harvest an antlered deer. This tag is not valid for
the early/late antlerless firearm seasons. Those who purchase a single deer
license may not purchase a second single deer license or the deer combo license.
To see how this license may be used in each deer season, see pgs. 32-33, 38-39.
Deer Combo License
Residents and nonresidents are entitled to purchase only one license with two
kill tags (regular and restricted) for use during the firearm, muzzleloading, and
archery seasons. These tags are not valid for the early/late antlerless firearm
seasons. A hunter can use both kill tags in the firearm seasons, both in the
archery season, or one in each season. To see how these tags may be used in
each deer season, see pgs. 32-33, 38-39.
Antlerless Deer Hunting License
This license entitles hunters 10 years of age and older to harvest an antlerless
deer within the DMU specified on the license. Hunters may apply for a private-land
OR public-land antlerless deer license from July 15 – Aug. 15 or wait to purchase
leftover licenses after the drawing where available. Licenses will be sold until the
quota is met in each DMU. A public-land antlerless deer license is required to
hunt antlerless deer on Commercial Forest land. For youth hunting opportunities
and information about the junior antlerless deer hunting license, see pg. 26. For
additional details on antlerless deer hunting, see the current-year Antlerless
• Antlerless deer licenses can be purchased without, or in addition to, other
deer licenses.The telephone number of the private landowner is required for a
private-land antlerless deer license. Those hunting HAP lands use the phone
• Some DMUs have an early and/or late antlerless season. See the
current-year Antlerless Deer Digest.
Antler Point Restrictions (APR)
APRs vary throughout the state based on the type of deer license and the hunting
location. Use the map and chart on these two pages to find the APR for your
1. On the map, locate the DMU(s) you wish to hunt.
2. Match the color of your desired DMU(s) to the color(s) in the chart to the right
to see the type of deer you may harvest in each season based on your license.
Antler Point Restriction Key
+ At least one antler
3 inches or longer
+ 2 2 or more points* on one side
+ 4 4 or more points* on one side
+3 3 or more points* on one side
A legal point must be at least 1 inch long as
measured from its tip to the nearest edge of the
Deer Management Assistance (DMA) Permits
DMA permits may be used to take antlerless deer only on the property for which
they have been issued. Deer taken with DMA permits do not count against a
hunter’s license purchase limit. DMA permits are not stand-alone licenses.
You must purchase an appropriate deer license for the season in which you
Tagging Option for Antlerless Deer Hunters
Antlerless deer hunters with a valid unused license for an antlered deer, and an
unused antlerless license for the DMU in which they are hunting, may tag a male
antlerless deer with the antlered deer license kill tag. Both licenses must be in the
hunter’s possession at the time of harvest. All deer must be immediately tagged.
Note: antlered deer licenses are not valid for the early/late antlerless deer
Deer Carcass Disposal
Dumping of deer carcasses or other wild animals is unlawful, can spread disease,
and may result in a ticket. Hunters who process their deer should properly dispose
of all parts. The hide, brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils, bones, and head
should be disposed of in an approved landfill.
Special Deer Hunts
Fort Custer Training Center – The training center is sponsoring a Freedom
Hunt Oct. 13-16, 2016 for hunters eligible to participate in the special deer
hunt for those with disabilities (see page 30). Applications can be found at
fortcusterhunt.org or contact Jonathan Edgerly at Jonathan.w.edgerly.nfg@
mail.mil or 269-731-6570. The application deadline is Oct. 1, 2016.
Harsens Island – Contact the DNR Field Office at St. Clair Flats DNR Wildlife Field
Office at 1803 Krispin Road, Harsens Island, MI 48028, (810) 748-9504.
Hoffmaster State Park – This park will not hold a special deer hunt for the
2016 season. Contact 231-798-3711 for information.
(DMU 145) North Manitou Island Hunts – Deer hunt licenses are
available for archery from Oct. 1-28, 2016, for muzzleloading and regular
firearm from Oct. 29 – Nov. 13, 2016. There is a $25 application fee.
Contact the Park Headquarters, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,
9922 Front Street, Empire, MI 49630; 231-326-4741, or at www.nps.gov/slbe
for more information.
(DMU 245) South Fox Island Deer Hunting – Deer hunting permits are available
for South Fox Island during archery season from Oct. 1-28 and/or firearm
season from Oct. 29 – Nov. 26. Contact: DNR Customer Service Center, 8015
Mackinaw Trail, Cadillac, MI 49601; 231-775-9727 ext. 6905.
Reserved Public-Land Deer Hunts
A limited number of reserved deer hunting permits are available by lottery for the
following state and federal public lands. Some hunts are restricted to hunters
with disabilities; verify before you apply. Hunters may apply for a reserved
hunting permit mi.gov/deer from Jul. 15 – Aug. 15 and will be selected by
random drawing. It costs $5 to apply.
(DMU 082) Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge – 9311 Groh Road,
Grosse Ile, MI 48138; phone: 734-692-7649. Antlerless deer hunting only,
with archery equipment only. Some hunts are reserved for hunters with
(DMU 038 & 081) Sharonville State Game Area – 13578 Seymour Road,
Grass Lake, MI 48290; (517) 522-4097. All hunts are reserved for hunters
(DMU 273) Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge – 6975 Mower Rd., Saginaw,
MI 48601; (989) 777-5930. General and youth hunts available. Some hunts
are reserved for hunters who use a wheelchair for mobility.
(DMU 273) Shiawassee River State Game Area – 225 E. Spruce St.,
St. Charles, MI 48655; (989) 684-9141. General and youth hunts available.