It was a testy weekend for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  It marked a rare Sunday opener for the traditional firearm deer season. But the real problem was a computer system glitch on the part of a department contractor. Maybe thousands of deer hunters did not get their last-minute kill tags ordered, or even a base license purchased. To call it a big mess is an understatement.  But DNR administrators figure they came up with the best solution. But the end result is some confused hunters, and lots more work for department Conservation Officers tasked with enforcing state hunting laws. But at a time when the COVID-19 virus outbreak has helped boost hunting numbers by a large percentage, this is the last thing the DNR needed.

The department took to Facebook to outline the issue but also the solution,

“Hunters who were not able to obtain a legally issued kill tag for their deer due to system outages should affix a temporary kill tag using materials they have at hand. The temporary tag should include the same information normally on a kill tag – identification of the hunter, the date the deer was killed, sex of animal and the number of antler points on each side. Customers who have purchased a license on the DNR website today are asked to use this temporary kill tag until their legal tag arrives in the mail.”

That’s right. Hunters are told if necessary, make your own kill tag. The Michigan DNR told deer hunters as they took off on opening day that Conservation Officers would be on patrol like normal on opening day and will take the new situation into account as they make contact with hunters in the field. What that really means is the CO’s have a big mess to deal with. Not surprisingly, the DNR’s social media post drew lots of responses. Some couldn‘t help but make comparisons to the recent general election.

Anthony, “Do they use the same machine that they use in the election lol”

Ken, “Suddenly Bullwinkle has won 52% of the Michigan vote for president…”

At a time when the COVID-19 virus outbreak has helped boost hunting numbers by a large percentage, this is the last thing the DNR needed. So far there’s no word how long it will take for the mess to get straightened out.

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