The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today advised the public that a local organization will hold an informational meeting regarding a proposed deer antler point restriction (APR) on June 4 at the East Lansing High School.

A group known as the Lower Peninsula Deer Management Initiative (LPDMI) has proposed a four-point APR for all of Zone 3 in southern Michigan. Zone 3 includes portions of Muskegon, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Midland, Bay and Arenac County and all other counties to the south. This proposal seeks to require that all antlered deer harvested in the area have at least four antler points on one side. The restriction will be considered for implementation starting with the 2014 deer season. Antlerless deer regulations within the proposed area would continue to be determined annually by the DNR.

The upcoming meeting will be held at the East Lansing High School Student Union (cafeteria), at 509 Burcham Drive in East Lansing. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., the meeting will run from 7-8 p.m., and the building must be cleared by 8:30 p.m. Additional meetings will be announced as they are scheduled. The LPDMI will be hosting a total of 10 meetings in the Zone 3 proposal area to explain its interest in APR implementation and answer questions about the proposal.

Landowners in the proposed area who would like to offer input about the proposal may email their comments to DNR-wildlife@michigan.gov.

The DNR supports the voluntary implementation of APR on private land. Under guidelines adopted by the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), mandatory regulations proposed by sponsoring organizations will only be recommended for implementation if DNR staff has no biological concerns regarding such regulations, and if a clear majority (at least 66 percent) of support among hunters in the proposed area is documented. Support will be determined by a DNR survey mailed to a sample of hunters who indicated on the 2012 DNR deer harvest survey that they hunted deer in the proposal area. Surveys will be mailed starting in August. Payment by the LPDMI will offset survey costs incurred by this proposal.

This process for review of APR proposals provides a uniform approach for addressing requests by individual hunters and organizations for adopting such regulations. The NRC retains full authority over decisions to implement APR and other harvest regulations regardless of the survey outcome, but the proposal review process provides valuable information to inform those decisions.

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