Michigan DNR Reminds Hunters to Be Ethical – Buy a License Before You Hunt and Do Not Loan Kill Tags


Every deer hunting season, Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conservation officers encounter individuals engaged in unethical hunting practices, and tackle many cases of individuals buying a hunting license after harvesting a deer or loaning kill tags to a friend or relative.

“Each year, we see cases of individuals waiting to buy licenses until after they have shot a deer,” said Capt. Daniel Hopkins of the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division. “We remind all hunters that you must buy your license before you go out to hunt and have it in your possession when afield. Buying a license is not only the ethical and responsible thing to do, it is the law. Harvesting a deer without a license is poaching.”

Deer poaching in Michigan carries a restitution payment of $1,000 per deer, a minimum $200 fine and jail time of up to 90 days. In addition, a violator’s hunting privileges may be suspended for up to three years.

Another unethical practice encountered frequently each hunting season is loaning kill tags to an unlicensed individual who has harvested a deer.

“Every hunting season, loaning kill tags is in the top 10 violations we see while on patrol, and it seems to be a popular violation for friends or relatives,” said Hopkins. “Kill tags must be attached immediately to your harvested deer and visible for inspection. It is unlawful to loan out or borrow kill tags.”

For more information on deer hunting in Michigan, go to www.michigan.gov/deer.

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