Conservation officers with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources urge deer hunters to engage in an ethical hunt: Buy a license before going out and don’t loan kill tags.
Every deer hunting season, DNR conservation officers encounter individuals engaged in unethical hunting practices. These officers tackle many cases of individuals buying hunting licenses after harvesting deer or loaning kill tags to friends or relatives. Buying a license before you go out is not only the ethical and responsible thing to do, it is the law. Harvesting a deer without a license is poaching.
Deer poaching in Michigan carries a restitution payment of $1,000 per deer, a $200 to $1,000 fine and jail time up to 90 days. In addition, a violator’s hunting privileges are suspended for three years. Under the new law that took effect in 2014, antlered deer are assessed an additional $1,000 in restitution plus the standard $1,000 for illegally killing any deer. In addition, deer with eight points but not more than 10 are $500 a point, while deer with 11 points or more are assessed a penalty of $750 per point.
Additional years of hunting privileges will be revoked for violators. This includes an additional two years of revoked hunting privileges for the first offense and an additional seven years for a second or subsequent offences. Michigan also participates in the Wildlife Violator Compact, which includes hunting revocation in participating states.
Another unethical practice encountered frequently each hunting season in Michigan is the loaning of kill tags to an unlicensed individual who has harvested a deer.
For more information on deer hunting in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/deer.
To report a natural resource violation, please call the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/rap.