LANSING — Sen. John Proos reminded Southwest Michigan residents that the first of two youth hunts this week started Tuesday. A four-day youth antlerless deer hunt runs Sept. 20-23 and is specifically for southern Michigan including Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties. It will be followed by a youth and disabled veteran hunt Sept. 24-25.
“Deer hunting is a great Michigan tradition that also helps preserve our natural resources by controlling deer populations at healthy levels,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I encourage local hunters and families to take advantage of these special hunting events and safely share the enjoyment of the outdoors with the next generation of Southwest Michigan sportsmen.”
The four-day youth antlerless deer hunt is limited to private property in the southern portion of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Participants must wear hunter orange and have permission from the landowner or leaseholder. Firearms, archery gear or crossbows may be used.
“Hunting and outdoor activities can help children develop safety skills, self-esteem, and the ability to work cooperatively as a team,” Proos said. “We also want our state’s youth to understand the importance of preserving and respecting Michigan’s natural resources.”
The youth and 100 percent disabled veteran firearm deer hunt will take place on all Michigan lands. For young people 10-16 years old and qualified veterans with disabilities, valid licenses include a combination, firearm or antlerless deer license. During the two-day hunt only, a firearm or combination license may be used on antlered or antlerless deer. The bag limit is one deer.
All hunters under age 17 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or someone 18 or older designated by their parent or guardian. For all youth-only firearm deer seasons, an adult accompanying a youth firearm deer hunter cannot possess or carry a firearm, crossbow or bow and arrow, except if the adult is a veteran with 100 percent disability.
Maps and additional information about these deer seasons are available at stores that sell hunting licenses or online at www.michigan.gov/deer.