Deer hunting opportunities still available

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Doe in forest with snow on the ground

Open deer seasons

Although muzzleloader season just ended in some parts of the state, there are many deer hunting opportunities still available.

  • Archery season is open through Jan. 1 for the entire state.
  • Extended archery season, which is for the Urban Deer Management Zone of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, is open through Jan. 31, 2019.
  • Muzzleloader season for Zone 3 is open through Dec. 23.
    • If you are deer hunting in the Lower Peninsula Chronic Wasting Disease Management Zone or Core CWD Area, muzzleloader season is open to all legal firearms; regular firearm equipment rules apply. See pages 39-40 of the 2018 Michigan Hunting Digest for more information.
    • A deer license, deer combo license or antlerless license is valid during the muzzleloader season. 
  • Late antlerless season opened Dec. 17 and ends Jan. 1, 2019.
    • Open on private lands only.
    • For a list of open/closed counties and for details on available over-the-counter antlerless licenses, see the late antlerless season map.
    • You must have a valid antlerless deer license issued for the deer management unit in which you are hunting. Exception: If hunting on private land in the Lower Peninsula Core CWD Area and CWD Management Zone or in DMU 452 and DMU 487, any valid deer hunting license may be used to take an antlerless deer during this season.
  • Alpena County late antlerless hunt is Jan. 3-6 and Jan. 10-13, 2019.
    • South of M32 in Alpena County on private land only.

To learn more about all these seasons, visit

Take a doe to help the deer herd

If you’re hunting in an area with high deer numbers or a disease-prevalent area, consider taking a doe this year to do your part in managing Michigan’s deer herd.

A key element to deer management is harvesting does. They are the drivers of the deer population. Therefore, it is important to consider increasing doe harvest in areas with stable or overpopulated deer numbers in order to help deer populations stay within healthy ranges. This is especially crucial in known disease areas, where deer numbers often need to be lowered to help minimize the future spread of the disease. 

Deer check still available in many locations

Deer check stations and drop boxes are available in many areas for the remaining hunting seasons into early January. The DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory and partner Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory will continue processing and testing deer as hunting seasons continue. For check station locations and hours, visit

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