Michigan Hunters Database Approved by GovernorJuly 6th, 2012
Senate Bill 717, sponsored by state Sen. John Proos (R-St. Joseph), was signed by Governor Snyder on Monday. This bill creates the “Hunters Helping Landowners” program. MUCC supported this bill in concept.
The program, modeled after an program in the State of Indiana, allows hunters to voluntarily enroll in a database to harvest antlerless deer on private property in up to 2 counties of their choosing. Land owners with deer damage issues or disease concerns could then contact the DNR for the list of interested hunters in their area.
While this legislation benefits both landowners and hunters looking for out-of-season and private land hunting opportunities, its success largely relies on the landowners willingness to request and utilize the database list. Generally, we expect there to be considerable interest from hunters in submitting their names to the database, but it is unclear how many landowners will be willing to reach out to them.
We hope that the DNR will monitor the results of this program to advise MUCC and the legislature on whether additional incentives might be needed to make it successful. The bill now is Public Act 241 of 2012 and will sunset in 2017, unless reauthorized by the Michigan legislature and approved by the Governor before then.
It will take time for the DNR to develop the information and forms necessary to implement this program, so MUCC will keep you posted once these become available.