Can Michiganders Hunt Deer Out of Season On Their Own Land?
When I moved from Alabama to Michigan late last year, I was really taken aback by just how many deer are roaming this state. Unfortunately, the means by which I made that observation was just how many deer were left lifeless on the side of the roads.
There's plenty of deer in Alabama and deer hunting is a massive piece of the culture there, and again moving all the way up here I was shocked to see how big of a part it played in Michigan's culture as well.
Of course, when it comes to hunting anywhere in this country, there are a ton of laws and regulations to help not only protect the populations of the game, but also the hunters themselves.
I can tell you from experience, there are always folks that live in the middle of nowhere that will skirt some of the rules. I've known people to claim to shoot deer out of a moving pickup truck in the backwoods of Alabama. I grew up in a small community a good 40 minutes from any organized city, so night hunting was a thing too. I'm not condoning it, and I certainly don't intend to give anyone any ideas. The laws are there for a reason.
Still, sometimes malicious intent isn't why a hunting law is broken rather than just not pondering the question of whether something is legal or not.
For example - say you're sitting on the porch downing your favorite beverage when a buck strolls onto your land a few days after hunting season. Is it illegal to grab your rifle and take the shot?
It's true that you can hunt your own private land with the proper permits, and you can fire your weapon within 450 feet of a building if you have the expressed written consent of the owner. Well, it's your land and obviously you give yourself permission, so what's stopping you?
It's still a matter of being out of season, as obvious as it may seem. Taking down a deer out of season can lead to a fine from $50 to $500 dollars and a maximum of 90 days in jail plus suspension of hunting licenses of varying lengths depending on the circumstances.
Maybe if a tree falls in the woods with no one around it doesn't make a sound, but if you come across it later you can still make firewood. In other words, just because you think you can get away with it doesn't mean there aren't severe consequences if you don't get away with it.
Considering all hunters must report their kill within 72 hours or face a $500 fine, it's really imperative that these laws and regulations are followed to the letter.
What are some other hunting laws you should keep in mind? Here are a few from the Michigan DNR Hunting Digest.