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Late antlerless firearm deer hunt in select northeastern Michigan counties planned for January

Dec. 29, 2020

four antlerless whitetail deer in forestA late antlerless firearm hunt on private land in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties will be held Jan. 7-10 and Jan. 14-17.

"This season will provide an additional opportunity for deer management in the bovine tuberculosis (bTB) area," said Emily Sewell, Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife health specialist. "Increased antlerless harvest in these counties is important to reducing the number of deer interacting with farms and helps to limit the number of bTB-infected wildlife and cattle herds in the future." 

Hunters who do not own property in the area are still able to participate. The Hunting Access Program offers access to quality private land across the state to provide more hunting opportunities. Many locations are available in the five-county hunt area. Enrolled properties can be viewed at

Hunters can take antlerless deer with an unused 2020 deer or deer combo license or a private-land antlerless license for Deer Management Unit 487. Additional tags can be purchased at any DNR license agent through Jan. 12. Disease control permits issued for 2021 will also be valid for use during this hunt. 

Successful hunters can bring their deer to the Alpena, Atlanta or Mio DNR deer check stations between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. any day of the hunt. For added convenience, several 24-hour self-service drop boxes are available throughout the region to submit deer heads for bTB testing. The use of a smartphone is required to use the drop boxes. Check station and drop box locations can be found at

The DNR strongly encourages anyone who is successful during this hunt to submit their deer head for testing. On average 40% of deer infected with bTB show symptoms such as nodules in the lungs and ribcage; 60% of infected deer show no signs of the disease. The only way to be sure the deer is not infected is to submit the head for testing at either a check station or a drop box location.

Contact DNR wildlife health specialist Emily Sewell at or 231-340-1821 with any questions.

An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.

Antlerless deer: A late antlerless firearm deer hunt is open on private land in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties.