MARQUETTE, Mich (WZMQ) – The new registration mandate for hunters is at a crossroads. Some hunters have been pushing for mandatory registration for years actually, while some are still not for it. With the firearm deer hunting season starting on the 15th, this year sparks a change that some would call an obstacle for those hunting. This is the first year in Michigan where hunters are required to report their harvested deer within 72 hours.
In earlier years, deer reporting only happened through mail-in surveys that were sent randomly to hunters to estimate the harvest. That response rate dropped by 70% in the early 2000s, and another approach has been adopted.
This new mandate helps the DNR collect more specific data on where the deer are. The more reported the more they can control the spread of deer diseases like CWD, a chronic wasting disease. “When we were doing the survey through the mail survey through our check station data. That stuff doesn’t get particularly the ail survey doesn’t get disseminated to us till almost in the early summer”, said Wildlife Biologist, Brian Roell.
Brian continues to say that although there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people, this can affect other wildlife, trickling down the food chain. As hunting season is almost seen as a holiday in the Upper Peninsula, the requirement to register deer has seen some pushback. “Personally I don’t care for it ’cause I’m 81 and I don’t have a smartphone or a computer”, says hunter Tom Borlace.
Although this might seem like a hindrance to the hunting experience, Roell says these mandatory registration helps control the population, and those who need assistance can call the DNR, or even leave a voicemail with the automated reporting. Some of these seasoned hunters don’t have smartphones or even access to the internet, making the process of registering, that much more tedious.
For more information regarding the new regulation, click here.