GENESEE COUNTY — Week five of archery deer season is upon us and the Dept. of Natural Resources reminds hunters that the season runs through Nov. 14, then reopens after the firearm deer season for late archery hunting Dec. 1 through Jan. 1.
During the archery season, an archery license, combination license regular tag or combination license restricted tag can be used to harvest either an antlerless deer or a qualifying buck. Antlerless-only licenses are also valid during the archery season.
All archery and firearm seasons are open to crossbow hunting, except in the U.P., where deer hunters cannot use crossbows after Nov. 30 unless they have a disability permit. The free crossbow stamp is still required for all crossbow hunters.
Hunters are also reminded that the baiting of deer is prohibited in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties, and within the townships of Oscoda, Plainfield, Wilber, Au Sable and Baldwin in Iosco County. Elsewhere, baiting may occur only from Oct. 1 to Jan 1.
No more than two gallons of bait may be present at any hunting site at a time, and it must be spread out over a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area. If hunters do choose to use bait, the DNR suggests they not place bait repeatedly at the same point on the ground, and only place bait out when they are actively hunting. This will minimize the chance of transmission of any disease that may be present, either deer-to-deer at bait sites or through contamination of bait.
In addition to bringing the opening of another Michigan deer season, this fall marks the 75th anniversary of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act, the program that directs funds from federal excise taxes on archery equipment, firearms and ammunition back to state wildlife agencies for wildlife conservation, restoration and hunter education.
“The department is extremely proud of the recreational and economic benefits of bow hunting, and of the important way in which more than 320,000 archers support wildlife management in Michigan,” said DNR deer and elk program leader Brent Rudolph.
“The vast majority of all wildlife conservation efforts have been funded by hunters and trappers through the equipment and licenses that they buy,” Rudolph said, “and the DNR, Michigan citizens and all who benefit from Michigan’s natural resource-based economy are indebted for those contributions.”