Last week to apply for antlerless deer hunting license

Hunting in Michigan’s great outdoors is a tradition for many Southwest Michigan families and out-of-state visitors. Helping attract more hunters to Michigan than any other state, our rich hunting heritage plays a key role in our economy and way of life.

Deer firearm season is Nov. 15-30 and is the most popular deer hunting season, but it’s not the only one. In fact, antlerless deer license applications are already on sale through Aug. 15.

I encourage interested hunters to apply for an antlerless deer license. The good news is that there are no limits on the number of public-land licenses you can buy during the season until the quota is met. The bad news is that the quota has been reduced this year as a result of the harsh winter.

This means that licenses may sell out.

Hunters may apply for one license in any open deer management unit (DMU). A nonrefundable $5 fee is charged at the time of application. Starting Sept. 4, drawing results and leftover license availability may be viewed at www.michigan.gov/huntdrawings. Beginning Sept. 11 at 10 a.m., any leftover licenses will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Residents may apply for one private-land or public-land license at www.mdnr-elicense.com. Young hunters, ages 9-16, can also purchase one junior antlerless deer license over the counter until Aug. 15. No application is required.

For all but one DMU, hunters are limited to purchasing five private-land licenses. However, private-land licenses within certain DMUs can enable hunters to take advantage of the early or late antlerless firearm seasons.

The early antlerless firearm season is Sept. 20-21 in DMUs generally located in the Grand Traverse Bay area and in eastern Michigan from Monroe to Presque Isle County.

The late antlerless season runs Dec. 22 to Jan. 1 in the same DMUs as the early season, plus every county south of Ludington – including all of Southwest Michigan.

Hunting guides, including all rules and regulations, can be found at: www.michigan.gov/hunting. In addition, the 2014 Antlerless Deer Digest can be found at local license agents or online at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests.

And remember to always be safe. By hunting safely and legally, we all can help ensure our hunting heritage lives on for generations to come.

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents the 21st District, which includes Berrien and Cass counties and most of Van Buren County.