(WXYZ) — The Department of Natural Resources is is now requiring all Michigan deer hunters to report their kills within 72 hours of recovery or risk being fined.
The new rule comes following a low response rate from hunters about their harvest in years past.
On the DNR website the state explains that "since the 1950s, we have used mail surveys that were sent to randomly selected hunters to estimate harvest. Estimates were accurate if the hunters responding to surveys were representative of all hunters. This assumption generally is easier to make when most hunters in the sample respond to the survey. Unfortunately, the proportion of hunters returning mail surveys has declined from an average of more than 70% in the early 2000s to 33% in 2021. Low response rates can lead to inaccurate estimates. Because declining response rates are not likely to reverse, another approach to estimating harvest was needed."
Hunters risk fines ranging from $50 to $500 if they fail to comply with harvest reporting. They also risk the potential penalty of a 90-day misdemeanor.
To report harvest, hunters must visit Michigan.gov/HarvestReport on a computer or mobile device and go directly to the reporting page.
There, licensed hunters can enter their kill tag number and a date of birth to begin the report.
Those without a hunting license or kill tag number can log in to eLicense using a driver’s license and birthdate, or a user ID and password, then click on the Harvest Report tab to see the tags available to report.
For more information on the new rules ahead of the 2022 deer hunting season, click here.