Change Michigan's Combination Deer Tag to one Antlered/one Antlerless

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When it comes to hunting, Michigan excels at one thing: killing more bucks per square mile than any other State in the Union. According to QDMA's most recent whitetail report, Michigan topped the chart with an estimated 4 bucks harvested per square mile of land. 

In a State where over half a million hunters participate every year, we have to ensure we are managing our deer properly to ensure its future. Nearby States like Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky are considered among the best whitetail hunting locations in the world. Hunters are willing to travel and pay significant sums to hunt land in these states. All because they have managed to develop systems and regulations that ensure deer populations are maintained to a healthy number, buck to doe ratios are kept in balance and that a considerable number of bucks to grow to maturity. One vital element of their strategy is only allowing hunters to harvest a single antlered buck per season.

Michigan should learn from their success and change its current "Combination Deer" license from allowing two bucks, to one buck (antlered) and one doe (antlerless). Under this regulation, hunters would not have the option to purchase a second antlered-deer license that year, effectively making the limit one buck per hunter per hunting year.

Our state currently faces the threat of CWD and should realize limiting antlered-deer hunting and encouraging antlerless harvest is one of the most effective means of combating this disease. In areas where deer population needs decreased, only shooting antlered-deer, or more than antlerless, will only cause the population to rise. This proposal will highly encourage hunters to harvest does for venison, using the antlerless deer tag they have anyways, and save their single buck tag to continue hunting. 

This change would not remove the ability for areas to implement Mandatory Antler Point Restrictions as desired and the Department of Natural Resources would still be able to manage where antlerless deer could be harvested and during which seasons.

Its time Michigan reached its potential and made this common-sense change to improve hunting in our State. Please sign and share!