Deer Hunting: APRs Proposed for the Rest of Lower Michigan

Antler point restrictions (APRs) are a means by which harvest of young bucks can be reduced by requiring hunters to only harvest deer with a minimum number of antler points. MUCC supports the voluntary implementation of APRs on private land, but we have no position for or against mandatory APRs in a region.
When these proposals come up, we share the information with our members and allow them to engage in the process in what ever way they wish.
The Northwest Lower Michigan proposal was just approved by the NRC in June, and now a group called the Lower Peninsula Deer Management Initiative (LPDMI) is proposing to expand APRs throughout the entire Lower Peninsula not already under a restriction.
The APR Process
A process developed by the NRC, the Department, and other interested stakeholders allows hunting organizations to propose implementation of a mandatory APR in one or more DMUs. A key component of this process is the requirement for the Department to conduct a survey to evaluate support for these regulations among hunters in the proposed area. If the Department has no concerns regarding implementation ofthe APR, implementation by the NRC will be recommended if the survey achieves at least a 50% response rate and indicates at least 66% of hunters support the proposal.
Support for APR regulations implemented under this process is to be reevaluated after they are in place for five years.
The Proposal
The LPDMI has proposed the institution of APRs throughout the Lower Peninsula.
In the remainder of Zone 2 not currently under an APR, they propose that any legal first buck be required to have at least 3 points on a side, and any legal second buck must have at least 4 points on a side. This proposal area includes Cheboygan, Otsego, Crawford, Roscommon, Ogemaw, Clare, Gladwin and Oceana counties and those portions of Muskegon, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Midland, Bay and Arenac counties within Hunting and Trapping Zone 2.
In Zone 3 (all of Southern Michigan and the Thumb), they have proposed that all legal bucks be required to have 4 points on a side. Zone 3 includes portions of Muskegon, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Midland, Bay, and Arenac counties and all other counties to the south.
These regulations would apply to all hunters except youth hunters during designated youth seasons, and apprentice hunters during any season.
A 3 point on a side APR in the NLP and a 4 point on a side APR in the SLP can be expected to protect more than 70% of yearling bucks.
Whether you are for or against it, you can learn more about the proposal by checking out their website or attending one of the last 3 informational meetings on the schedule prior to the survey, which will be launched this fall:
LP DMI Public Information Meeting Schedule
Contact: Tony Smith 517-231-9107
July 16, 2013 – Hudsonville High School Gymnasium   6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
5037 32nd Ave.   Hudsonville, MI 49426
July 18, 2013 – Ogemaw Heights High School Auditorium   6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
960 S. M-33   West Branch, MI  48661
July 23, 2013 – Central Montcalm Middle School Cafeteria  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
1480 S. Sheridan Rd. SW   Stanton, MI  48888

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