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U.P. Deer Habitat Improvement Grant Program

Program objective

The grant program is designed to foster productive relationships between the DNR, sportsmen's organizations, concerned citizens and other partners that produce deer habitat improvement benefits and educate the public about the importance of the work and the scientific principles involved in it. This initiative is targeted for implementation in the Upper Peninsula.


The broad purpose of this initiative is to develop a collaborative approach to deer habitat improvement on private land ownerships across the U.P.; there are three primary goals and expectations for this initiative. All projects must address these fundamental goals in order to be considered for approved funding:

  1. To produce tangible on-the-ground deer habitat (summer and/or winter range) improvements in the U.P. that address resource needs.
  2. To establish/improve partnerships with sportsmen's organizations and other partners, which will promote long-term cooperative relationships with the DNR.
  3. To showcase these cooperative projects through coordinated public relations media outreach. This communications strategy must address two targeted goals - to educate the general public on the specific importance and benefits of the particular habitat improvement project and to feature the cooperative relationship between the DNR and various program partners.


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 are due by close of business on March 12, 2021.


Successful applicants will be notified by April 1, 2021. 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, 2021 (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.


Wildlife Division: Bill Scullon, 906-563-9247,