At its June meeting, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission signed an order requiring anyone who receives compensation for processing wild game to be registered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The new requirement was brought forward as part of a larger set of deer management regulations related to hunting licenses, chronic wasting disease response measures, urban conflict and other issues. The commercial game processor registration requirement is effective immediately.
“This free permit is to determine how many game processors are in the state of Michigan and where they are located,” said Casey Reitz, DNR wildlife permit specialist.
“As we work to manage white-tailed deer diseases in Michigan, we need to be able to contact processors who might be able to assist us in processing donated deer,” she said. “In addition, we would like to provide this information to hunters so they can have their deer processed relatively close to home. Right now, we do not have those capabilities.
“If you receive compensation for processing game, you are now required to be registered with the DNR. It is a quick and easy process of filling out an online form and then printing off your permit.”
Commercial wild game processors should register immediately so they are legal for the fall hunting season. The form to register is located at www.michigan.gov/wildlifepermits, and anyone who is unable to fill out the online form should call 517-284-9453 for assistance.
Food safety requirements and licensing are regulated by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not the DNR. MDARD and USDA conduct inspections associated with those regulations.
Wild game processors who have questions related to being licensed or food safety requirements can visit www.michigan.gov/meatprocessing or call at 800-292-3939.
More information can also be found at:
- Wild Game Processing at Retail Food Establishments Variance
- Venison Processing – Processing Guide and Sanitation Requirements for Retail Food Establishments
- Wild Game Sausage Processing Requirements
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.