By JOHN PEPIN, Journal Staff Writer
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission is considering a regulation to restrict deer hunting season take in the Upper Peninsula to one buck.
The new regulation was proposed Thursday by Commissioner John Madigan of Munising during a wildlife committee session at the NRC’s meeting in Lansing.
The NRC is the appointed rule-making body for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.Madigan’s regulation motion was seconded by Chairman Keith Charters, but will not be voted on by the NRC until a meeting July 6 in Big Rapids.“It didn’t pass, but it’s in the process,” Madigan said Friday. “This is the starting point. It’s on the table, some language is being drafted.”
Between now and next month’s meeting, the language for the regulation will be finalized. Madigan said the proposed rule would “limit hunters to one buck only in the Upper Peninsula, taken however.”If passed, the regulation would go into effect this year. Also being considered at the same meeting will be a recommendation from the wildlife committee to cutback on issuance of doe permits for the U.P. by roughly 5,000.Madigan said both of those ideas are being explored in response to feedback from the public given at recent hunter meetings held across the state, including Marquette.
The one-buck rule is something hunters have been either strongly for or against for a long time.“It’s one of the biggest hunting issues in the Upper Peninsula,” Madigan said.Madigan said if the one-buck rule is passed, the DNR will lose revenue that will likely have to eventually be addressed by increasing license fees.
“The future is we’re going to have to look at that licensing package if we’re going to go down this road,” Madigan said.
To contact the NRC, write to Natural Resources Commission, P.O. Box 30028, Lansing, MI 48909.
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