What You Get: More Bang for Your Buck

Deer standing in a field

With additional funding, the Department of Natural Resources will expand our efforts to do more for the hunters and wildlife of Michigan by implementing the goals, objectives and strategies identified in the Wildlife Division's strategic plan - Guiding Principles and Strategies (GPS). The DNR's Wildlife Division is committed to delivering the best hunting and trapping opportunities that we can afford with the license revenue that hunters and trappers provide to us.

With additional investment, we will create world-class recreational opportunities in Michigan by:

Expanding big game hunting adventures.

  • Creating a big game program specific to the Upper Peninsula (UP)
  • Using satellite collars on bears to collect scientific information and as a tool for outreach to schools and youth
  • Increasing food and cover for deer and other big game on public and private lands by:
    - Increasing oak management to replace loss of beech and ash
    - Increasing early succession forest habitat
    - Increasing the number of openings and food plots
    - Controlling invasive plant species that offer poor food and cover for deer and other big game wildlife
  • Conserving deer winter yards in northern Michigan on public and private lands
  • Increasing private lands assistance to landowners with decreased deer numbers due to habitat degradation or disease, such as epizootic hemorrhagicdisease (EHD)
  • Expanding the Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative

Bringing back quality pheasant hunting to Michigan.

  • Doubling the pheasant population in southern Lower Peninsula (SLP)
  • Expanding the Pheasant Restoration Initiative Program to 11 state game areas, mini-game areas and adjacent private landowners in Allegan, Clinton, Gratiot, Huron, Ionia, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee, Saginaw and Tuscola counties
  • Creating grassland complexes greater than 250 acres
  • Expanding the number of acres in the Hunting Access Program
  • Expanding the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to the St. Joseph River watershed

Making Michigan regionally known for our great diversity of high-quality waterfowl hunting.

  • Fully implementing the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy program
  • Updating water control structures at managed waterfowl and wetland areas, so that more hunters can pursue more waterfowl
  • Developing new managed waterfowl areas at high-quality wetlands near population centers
  • Improving hunter access to waterfowl hunting areas, by: - Deepening access channels to address low Great Lakes water levels
    - Creating accessible hunting blinds at Dollarville Flooding
    - Creating bridge and birding platforms at Shiawassee River State Game Area
    - Improving hunter access at Hayward Lake wetland complex in the UP
  • Improving Canada goose habitat management in the UP, specifically at Baraga Plains and Sturgeon River Sloughs

Creating outstanding grouse, woodcock and turkey hunting in Michigan.

  • Increasing wildlife management on public and private forest lands by:
    - Increasing oak management to replace loss of beech and ash
    - Increasing clear-cutting to benefit grouse and woodcock
    - Increasing the number of openings and food plots
    - Expanding grouse walking trails
    - Controlling invasive plant species that offer poor food and cover for wildlife
  • Promoting early successional forest, fruit bearing shrubs and openings on commercial and non-commercial lands

Expanding the challenge of small game hunting for squirrel, rabbit and hare.

  • Increasing brush piles and food plots on public lands
  • Increasing early successional habitat on public and private lands
  • Increasing forest management to generate hard mast (nuts) as a food source

Expanding recreational shooting opportunities on public and private lands.

  • Increasing the number of target shooting opportunities on state game areas
  • Partnering with conservation clubs to increase the number of privately owned shooting ranges open to the public

Preserving and promoting Michigan's hunting and trapping heritage.

  • Expanding hunting information through technology such as Mi-HUNT
  • Expanding game bird hunting trails statewide
  • Expanding the Hunting Access Program
  • Engaging in year-round promotion (including videos, blog posts and outreach via digital and social media) of Michigan's world-class hunting and fishing opportunities
  • Expanding cooperative youth events with partners
  • Increasing mentoring programs with conservation partners
  • Expanding events at our Wetland Wonders
  • Increasing recruitment and retention of hunters, using research and consumer trends to
    - Identify target segments in our current demographic and
    - Develop programs and partnerships that expand hunting opportunities and outreach
  • Increasing the number of conservation officers to expand customer contacts by COs, thereby boosting opportunities for public education about hunting and trapping and creating a safer environment for residents and visitors
  • Supplying conservation officers to three Michigan counties that currently do not have assigned COs, and to other counties that currently do not have an adequate number of COs.