Michigan’s Top 10 Deer Hunting Violations
Firearm season for Michigan deer hunters begins on Monday, November 15. I have put together a list of the top 10 deer hunting violations you should avoid.
In the cult classic film Escanaba in Da Moonlight, about life in Michigan, Jeff Daniel’s character says, opening day of deer season is like, “Christmas with Guns.” That is very true for many of us Michiganders during deer season. The movie is also a pretty good idea for deer camp.
Hunters should always read their hunting guide for its rules when purchasing a hunting license every year. Rules change every year and no matter how small the rule, it can be costly if caught breaking them.
Violation number 1, make sure you use the right kill tag and fill it out properly for your deer. I know it is exciting to bag that buck and all the emotions that can come with a successful hunt, but when you check your deer in, the last thing you want is a ticket from a conservation officer.
Violation number 2, hunters not wearing orange. Orange protects you from getting shot by other hunters. It also alerts other hunters who are unfamiliar with an area that you are hunting there. Many hunters remove their hunter's orange when they get to their spot. The second mistake they make is, once they shoot a deer, they forget to put their orange back on.
Violation number 3, not being familiar with your gun and how it works. Semi-automatic, bolt action, lever action, and shotguns are the most common firearms used for deer hunting. They all function differently and it's highly important to be familiar with a gun you are taking into the woods. You don't want your gun to jam on a big buck or accidentally go off and injure someone or yourself.
Violation number 4, committing safety zone violations. When you shoot your firearm, you are responsible for where the bullet goes. It's important to know the area you are hunting in. You have to be 450 feet away from any occupied structure. If you shoot something you will be held accountable for your actions.
Violation number 5, trespassing. If you shoot a deer and you are tracking the deer and it crossed a fence or property boundary to land you don't have permission to be on. You must get the landowner's permission to track your deer. Just remember, the DNR will side with the landowner on all issues.
Violation number 6, staking claims to public lands, and hunting blinds. You can't post land, especially state land, that is not yours to post. If you put a blind out on state land you must have your name, address driver's license, or sports card on the blind. No permanent stands can be built on public land. Any stand or blind must be portable. Remember, when you put a blind on public land, even though your name may be on it, anyone can hunt the blind. It's first come first serve.
Violation number 7, littering. Whatever you take into the woods, you must take back out when you leave. No leaving propane tanks, hand warmer trash, food wrappers, food waste, bottle, and cans.
Violation number 8, baiting. Make sure and know the baiting laws in the area you hunting. Illegal baiting is exactly what it says. Baiting, for the most part, has been banned in Michigan except for parts of the Upper Peninsula. It is all in the Michigan Hunters Digest.
Violation number 9, hunting out of hours or season. If you break this one, you are poaching and there are serious fines that go along with this violation. You can lose your gun, hunting privileges, and even do jail or prison time depending on how serious the infractions are.
Violation number 10, harassing hunters. You can't spray deer repellent around a blind or do things to keep deer from coming into an area. You can't make noise to keep deer from coming into an area. You can't destroy someone's trail cameras or smash their blind.
Those are the top violations the DNR has to deal with each season. This may seem very redundant for those who follow the rules and study their hunting guide.
Good luck hunting and stay safe.