Extended deer season in metro Detroit lets archery hunters take aim through Jan. 31

Contact: Chad Stewart, 517-282-4810
Agency: Natural Resources

Dec. 4, 2019

More hunting days could help local communities manage urban deer conflicts

a deer wanders through a parking areaHunters still seeking to take deer this season can plan to bowhunt through the end of January in southeastern Michigan. This extended archery deer season in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties – an urban deer management zone – is available through the third and final year of a Department of Natural Resources pilot program announced in December 2017.

Chad Stewart, the DNR’s deer, elk and moose program leader, said that the extended hunt is both a chance for hunters to pursue some high-quality deer and an opportunity for local officials to manage urban deer conflicts in their communities.

“Archery hunters can take advantage of some excellent hunting in January,” Stewart said. “This longer season also is a fairly low-cost first attempt for municipalities to help reduce the conflicts that arise when deer numbers rise in more populated, urban areas.”

Stewart said that hunting can be an effective way to decrease human/deer conflicts, by controlling deer population numbers in affected areas. Communities may wish to open parks or other natural areas to archery deer hunting.

The archery deer hunting season in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties is extended through Jan. 31. After this season closes, the DNR will evaluate the pilot program’s results and determine whether to recommend similar opportunities in the future. During the deer regulations cycle in 2020, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission will decide if the program is to be extended.

Licenses for this season include a deer license, a deer combination license or an antlerless deer license valid for Macomb, Oakland or Wayne counties. All rules and regulations for the archery season apply. Hunters should check with local ordinances in the communities they are interested in hunting to make sure hunting is allowed or to see whether only specific areas are open for the extended season. State game and wildlife areas in all three counties are open to hunting during this extended season.

Deer hunting regulations, including archery equipment restrictions, can be found in the 2019 Hunting Digest or by visiting Michigan.gov/Deer.

Community leaders with questions about urban deer management are encouraged to contact a local DNR wildlife biologist.