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U.P. Deer Habitat Improvement Grant Program

Program objective

The Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative (DHIPI) is a grant program designed to foster productive relationships between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, sportsperson’s organizations, interested citizens and other partners to produce tangible deer habitat improvements and educate the public about the importance of the habitat work accomplished through the grant and the scientific principles involved in it. The Initiative focuses on completing deer habitat improvements in the Upper Peninsula.


The purpose of this Initiative is to develop a collaborative approach to deer habitat improvement on private land ownerships across the Upper Peninsula; there are three primary goals for this Initiative. All projects should address these fundamental goals to be considered for funding:

  • Produce on-the-ground deer habitat (summer and/or winter range) improvements in the Upper Peninsula that address resource needs.
  • Establish and promote partnerships between the DNR, sportsmen’s organizations, and other partners.
  • Showcase these cooperative projects through a coordinated public outreach effort, highlighting the relationship between the DNR and Partners while educating the public on the benefits of habitat improvements made through the grant.


To be eligible to participate in this Initiative, an application must be submitted from a conservation organization, sportsperson group, non-governmental organization or local conservation district. The applicant must have a formal mission that promotes wildlife conservation and/or hunting, as recognized by the DNR, and may be U.P.-based or local chapters of state, regional, or national organizations. Private individuals, private hunting clubs, unrecognized organizations, city, municipal, township, county, federal or other state governmental entities and agencies are ineligible to apply directly for funding from this initiative. They may, however, be third-party cooperators to approved projects, where appropriate.

Partnership projects may be proposed for privately owned lands, industrial forests, Commercial Forest Act-enrolled lands, or federal lands (partner organization must provide written proof of permission from landowner, representative, or administrator). Project lands which allow legal public access (foot traffic at a minimum) will be scored more favorably. State-owned lands are ineligible for this initiative. Projects on lands owned by municipalities, school forests or other entities will be considered lower priority.


Proposal applications must be postmarked by March 18, 2024.


Successful applicants will be notified by April 5, 2024. Implementation of approved projects will commence immediately, dependent upon specific project considerations. All projects are required to be fully completed or have specified contractual deliverables completed by Sept. 30, 2024 (end of state fiscal year).

Dollar amount available

Proposals for deer habitat improvement projects seeking a minimum of $2,000 and up to a maximum of $15,000 will be considered. Required partner cost share for approved projects is 25% of total costs.

Source of funds

Public Act 106 of 1971 created the Deer Range Improvement Program (DRIP) fund, whereby $1.50 from every deer hunting license sold statewide is allocated into a restricted fund to be exclusively used for the improvement and maintenance of habitat for deer, acquisition of land for deer management, and the payment in lieu of taxes on purchased lands.

Submission of applications

DO NOT SEND APPLICATIONS THROUGH EMAIL. Please send them through US Mail or parcel service to the following address: 

DHIPI Grant Program
Attn: Bill Scullon, Field Operations Manager
Department of Natural Resources Norway Field Office
520 West US Hwy 2
Norway, MI 49870

Forms and information for applicants