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DNR explains new reporting laws ahead of opening day

Posted at 10:30 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-12 09:43:30-05

HOWARD CITY, Mich. — Hundreds of thousands of deer hunters are gearing up for Tuesday, November 15: opening day for firearm season.

FOX 17 talked with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to find out what they want hunters to know about the new DNR app and the extra step that comes with it.

“Now you’ve got to go one extra step and report that harvest. We’re asking you this year to try to get that report in within 72 hours,” Chad Stewart, the deer and elk biologist and manager for the Michigan DNR, explained to FOX 17.

The DNR says you can either report your kill online or report it through the Michigan DNR’s Hunt/Fish app.

“We’ve got 85,259 deer reported through that system so far,” Steward said. “Back in 2000, we’d send out a number of surveys, we’d get 75% of them back. Last year, we got less than 35% of them back.”

If you do not report your harvest online or through the app, you could face a misdemeanor; however, the DNR understands it could take some getting used to.

“Right now, our law enforcement division is emphasizing education over enforcement, so the likelihood that anyone will get, you know, some sort of penalty or anything for not reporting a deer is very, very small, and I would say extremely unlikely,” Stewart added.

Nick Mactavish at Mac’s Rustic Deer Processing in Howard City is in his 20th year of processing deer.

He told FOX 17 that he’ll be out hunting on Tuesday and plans to submit his buck through the new system.

“A lot of states have been doing that for a long time, and I’m happy to see Michigan finally doing it,” Mactavish said. “All they want to know, really, is to know honest numbers, you know, the true numbers of what deer, you know, the number of deer harvested.”

For more information about how to report your deer online or through the DNR’s app, click here.

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