Hunting may seem fairly self explanatory but for those who are unfamiliar with the laws and how they work in Michigan’s hunting seasons, it is easy to find yourself facing penalties or fines due to a lack of information. From seasons to regulations and permits to how to tag or even transport, all these and other laws are spelled out for hunters in Michigan’s annual Hunting and Trapping Digest.
Significant changes have been taking place in recent years in Michigan. In an effort to manage the herd and encourage and promote hunting in Michigan, changes to license types and county specific changes have caused problems for more than one hunter. The biggest of these changes is the base license which began in 2014. A hunter in Michigan is now required to have a base license before purchasing other licenses. This base license cost $11 in 2014 for residents age 17 and up and can also be used as a valid small game license. This license is valid through March 31st, 2015. After purchasing this license, additional licenses are required based on what species you plan on hunting.
Another issue for hunters in recent years has been not only transporting but tagging. A legal hunter may have all the permits and licenses required, be wearing the correct gear and transporting the right way but if the tag has not been attached properly or validated correctly, the hunter may still be subject to fines or penalties. To ensure that you are not doing anything illegal, be sure you read your Hunting and Trapping
Digest before you go out and follow all laws.
How to Validate, Tag and Transport Your Game
- Immediately validate your tag and fasten it correctly to the antler lower jaw or lower leg using a strong piece of wire of cord across the sticky side of the tag and fold in half.
- To validate the tag correctly is to notch out the day (both first and second digits) on the bottom of the tag. On the side of the tag, notch the month and the sex of the animal from the tag. Note: on tags valid for deer with antlers (combo-license) there is also a section on the side of the tag to notch for number of points on each antler.
- Be sure when attaching the tag that ALL of the tag is legible and visible. The tag must remain attached to the animal until butchered or accepted for taxidermy or processing.
- To transport, the animal must be properly tagged. As long as the animal is properly tagged, you may transport another person’s as well.
Fines relating to illegal kills, poaching or even incorrectly validating tags can be stiff especially with regard to poaching. In Michigan, poaching deer out of season can lead to thousands of dollars in restitution, fines and even jail time. Further, restrictions of hunting licenses and revocations in 41 other states may also apply.
Are you obeying the laws? It is your responsibility to know all the restrictions and laws relating to your hunt. These laws are subject to change and often do change season to season. Read your manual and if you have questions, find someone who knows to avoid misdemeanors, jail time, fines or loss of hunting privileges. If you are accused of violating these rules, it is important that you talk to an attorney who can help you immediately. If you have questions about these or other law concerns, contact Harris Law today at 231.347.4444.