What’s the Big Deal With Reporting Your Deer Kill Online?
Some hunters are not happy with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources making it mandatory to check your deer kill in online or on the DNR's app.
Deer Check Station
Remember the days of going to deer check stations to check in your deer harvest? There were never enough of these and they have always been scattered throughout the state making it difficult for many hunters to check in their deer.
They did try and make it easier saying all you had to bring to the deer check station was the animal's head. This helped if you shot your deer and it was hot out so you needed to get that meat in the freezer as quickly as possible but still a hassle to toss the deer head in the back of the truck and then search down a check station that was actually open.
Deer checking stations are not going away but there will be fewer of them than before and mainly operating during the firearm season for whitetails.
The DNR has made it mandatory that deer be checked in online or using their app so they can get a real-time count of what is going on with the deer herd in Michigan.
Some Michigan Hunters Say Mandatory Online Deer Checking is Overreaching by the DNR
I am an avid hunter and don't understand how hunters say checking in their deer online is overreaching by the DNR. It is so much easier to check your deer online and this gives the DNR a better accurate count of actually what is going on with the deer herd in Michigan.
Now I think it was very quick of the DNR to put in a possible 90-day misdemeanor and pay up to $500 in fines if you don't check your deer within 72 hours with the new system. The DNR could have waited on that announcement to see how the first year went first.
I still think if you see something visibly wrong or unusual with your deer, you should still take it to a deer check station. If your deer looks normal, it's really easy to check it in online or using the DNR's app while you are standing there bragging to your buddies about how you bagged the buck.
I lived in Indiana and they implemented the mandatory check for deer and turkeys and I grew to love it. I've been hunting all morning or evening and after I tag the animal, I usually skin it and then I'm beat and don't want to do anything else or have to wait until the next day to haul the animal somewhere to get it checked in.
The only way this form of tagging your deer will be overreaching is if the DNR does not use the data to make hunting better for Michiganders.
There are some things I wish the DNR would do like put bounties out on coyotes again. Consider a one-buck rule that is 8-point or better outside the ears. Educate hunters on the difference between young button bucks and female deer so fewer button bucks get killed each season. I would like to see the youth hunt be archery or crossbow only and do away with shooting guns before the archery season begins. That liberty hunt could be moved to December or done away with altogether. These things along with the mandatory deer check really could impact deer hunting in Michigan in a positive way.