Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Private Land Assistance Network Grant Program (Deer PLAN)

Deer Private Land Assistance Network Grant Information Packet & Application (PDF)

Deer PLAN Grant Program Application (DOCX)

Q&A NLP Deer PLAN Grant Program (PDF)

Hunting Access Program Grant Information (PDF)

Deer Camp Survey (DOCX)

Outside Resources

Tree Planting in Michigan

Forest Types of Michigan - Tree Planting

Guide to Food Plots (32mb)

Whitetail Deer Food Plot Considerations

Program Objective(s):

The Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Private Land Assistance Network (NLP Deer PLAN) is a grant program designed to produce tangible deer habitat improvements, foster productive relationships between the DNR, sportsmen’s organizations and private landowners, increase deer availability to public and private land hunters, reduce transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis and agricultural damage caused by deer and encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis. This grant program is targeted for implementation in the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP).


The purpose of the NLP Deer PLAN is to develop a collaborative approach to deer habitat improvement on private land ownerships in the NLP. There are five primary objectives for this program. All projects must attempt to address these objectives in order to be considered for approved funding:

  1. To produce and/or improve tangible on-the-ground deer habitat (summer and/or winter range) in the project focus area
  2. To increase partnerships between the DNR, sportsmen’s organizations, private landowners, agricultural producers and other partners
  3. To increase deer availability to hunters on both public and private land  
  4. To reduce transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis and agricultural damage caused by deer
  5. To encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis


To be eligible to participate in this grant program an application must be submitted from a conservation organization, sportsperson group, non-governmental organizations, local Conservation District(s), or a landowner.

 Conservation organizations may be local chapters of state, regional or national groups. Eligible applicants must provide a federal tax number or social security number in order register with the State of Michigan to facilitate grant funding. A partner organization must name a project contact person / representative and include appropriate contact information on the application. Eligible partner organizations may apply for funding for multiple projects in a fiscal year, each of which will be evaluated independently. Eligible partner organizations may not apply for funding for unspecified projects or purposes.

In 2017, the focus of the NLP Deer PLAN is to improve deer habitat on privately owned rural lands and written proof of ownership will be needed. While public access is not required, public access to projects is highly desired and projects with provisions that allow legal public access (e.g. the Hunting Access Program) for hunting of deer will be reflected in the project scoring process. In addition, proximity to active agricultural lands will also be highly desirable in order to assist in reducing negative impacts to agricultural operations. Proximity to active agricultural lands will also be reflected in the project scoring process. In addition, the formation of cooperatives or partnerships that include multiple property owners and at least 150 acres between at least two properties will be awarded additional scoring points. Finally, implementing deer management in the form of harvesting and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis will gain additional scoring points. See the NLP Deer PLAN Handbook for more information on scoring criteria.

All 2017 project areas must fall within the following focus area counties: Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Presque Isle.

A change for 2017 is that the grant will now allow for multiple year applications. Applicants who are successful will need to reapply each year but this change will allow for greater long term benefits to habitat.

Applicants who were successful in 2016 for a NLP Deer PLAN grant are no longer disqualified if they plan to apply again in 2017.

State owned lands are not eligible for NLP Deer PLAN funding in 2017. Currently, there are existing mechanisms for partnerships between the DNR and external partners to enhance state land wildlife habitat. If you are interested in partnering on state lands, you should contact the respective local wildlife biologist to explore feasibility.


Proposal applications are due electronically by 11:59pm, September 1, 2016. Please send them to:


Successful applicants will be notified by October 1, 2016. Approved projects will start immediately. All projects are required to be fully completed or have specified contractual deliverables completed by Sept. 30, 2017.

Dollar Amount(s) Available:

Grant proposals requesting a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $10,000 in funding from the DNR will be considered. Required partner cost share for approved projects is 25 percent of total costs.

Source of Funds:

The NLP Deer PLAN is funded from the Deer Range Improvement (DRIP). The intent of the DRIP fund is to provide financial support to improve deer habitat statewide.


For technical questions regarding the NLP Deer PLAN Grant Handbook Contact:

Ashley Autenrieth, Deer Program Biologist

Gaylord DNR Operations Service Center

1732 W M-32, Gaylord 49735


Ph: 989-732-3541 Ext. 5044


For questions regarding habitat in Alcona, Crawford, and Oscoda Counties Contact:

Brian Piccolo, Wildlife Biologist

Roscommon DNR Operations Service Center

8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon 48653


Ph: 989-275-5151 Ext. 2030


For questions regarding habitat in Alpena, Montmorency and Presque Isle Counties Contact:

Shelby Hiestand, Wildlife Biologist

Atlanta DNR Field Office

13501 M-33 North, Atlanta 49709


Ph: 989-785-4251 Ext. 5230