Michigan officials propose new hunting regulations as residents grapple with deer overpopulation


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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is set to vote on a new list of deer hunting regulations as locals express concerns about the rising deer population.

The proposals reportedly include addressing the ability to use drones to help aid in deer recovery, expand early and late antlerless seasons to public land and expand the Hunter Access Program to provide more hunting opportunities.

State officials have estimated there are now upwards of two million deer in Michigan, according to WEMU, a local radio station based in Michigan.


The owner of Beougher Farms in Merrill, Michigan, told the Midland Daily News that deer have been a financial burden since the animals have been eating her crops “for several years.”

“When seeds come up out of the ground, they start nibbling on them, especially soybeans. They love the soybeans…Then when (the deer) get big, and the corn is ripe, just before we pick it, they’re coming around … eating like four rows,” Jackie Beougher told the outlet.

“We’ve got to get these deer killed off from here because it’s not our responsibility to have to feed the deer,” she added.

Her neighbor, Malcolm Brubaker, a hunter for about 40 years, told the outlet that he has been helping to reduce the deer population. 

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He said he posts on social media whenever he is going out hunting, and neighbors will then come to pick up the meat.

Young Lady Hunter

“I developed a little Facebook post, and in two hours I had 45 people willing to come and they said they would love deer meat for their uncle, a deer for their parent,” he said.  

The Deer Management Initiative with the Michigan DNR surveyed 27,109 Michigan residents and found that 28.95% reported that deer damage to farm crops/agriculture was moderately important with 19.47% saying it is very important. 

deer hunter split

The same survey said 40.75% believe deer hunting opportunities were very important.

The DNR will vote on the proposed changes to hunting regulations on July 11, officials with the DNR told Fox News Digital.

A drop-off in the number of hunters, issues with predators and changing weather patterns, among other challenges, have been blamed for the inability to manage Michigan’s deer population, Fox 2 Detroit reported in 2023.

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