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Michigan DNR’s New Mandatory Deer Harvest Reporting 

By Joe Pernicano, Pernicano Law & Young Lawyer Section Director 

With deer archery season ongoing, and opening day for deer firearm season approaching, I have been receiving a lot of questions from clients regarding the new Michigan Department of Natural Resources (“DNR”) mandatory deer harvest reporting. As of 2022, hunters are now required to report the successful harvest of deer in the state of Michigan to the DNR. Below are some common questions regarding the new requirements and penalties for failing to report a deer harvest. 

 

What are clients required to do? 

They are now required to report the successful harvest through the Michigan.gov DNR web page, or through the DNR mobile app that can be downloaded onto a mobile phone. 

They have 72 hours from the time they recover the deer to report the successful harvest. If the deer is being transferred to a different person, the report must be made before the transfer occurs.  

Once the report is successful made, they will be given a confirmation number that should be kept for their records. 

Do you still need to attach your deer tag? 

YES! After successfully harvesting a deer, licensed hunters are still required to attach their tag to the deer. 

What if your client does not have access to a computer or cell phone with internet connection? 

They have up to three days to report a harvest. If they still do not have access to an internet connection, they would have to call a family member, or friend who does have internet access to report the harvest for them. The person making the report will need the tag license number, hunters date of birth, and exact location of the harvest. 

If they do not have anyone that can make the report for them, they can call one of the DNR locations providing technical assistance to report the harvest over the phone.  

What if your client is having technical difficulties or is unable to report their harvest online? 

There is a list of locations providing technical assistance on the DNR website. They can either call these locations or can go to the location during business hours to obtain assistance with reporting a deer harvest. 

They can also have a family member, friend, or hunting buddy report the harvest online for them within 72 hours or before transferring the deer. 

What if your client fails to report a deer harvest? 

A hunter who fails to report a deer harvest is subject to a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $500.00 under the Wildlife Conservation Order: 3.103.  

What if your client made a mistake when reporting their deer harvest? 

If a mistake is made in the report, they should call the DNR licensing and customer service center. 

Why is the DNR requiring hunters report successful deer harvests? 

For decades, mail surveys have been randomly sent to a sampling of licensed hunters who would voluntarily complete and return them to the DNR. Over the last twenty years, the DNR reported an almost 40 percent drop in voluntary responses to the survey. This has diminished the value and ability of the DNR to monitor deer harvesting in the State.  

Best of luck to anyone heading into the woods this fall. If you have any questions regarding the new DNR requirements or any DNR violations, you can contact Joe Pernicano at pernicanolaw.com, (313) 618-5914 or joe@pernicanolaw.com

Bar Briefs is the official publication of the Macomb County Bar Association.  The opinions expressed in the Bar Briefs magazine do not reflect the official position of the MCBA, nor does the publication constitute an endorsement of the views expressed.

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