LANSING (WJRT) (11/20/2019) - Michigan's firearm deer hunting season would start earlier and last 10 days longer under a bill introduced to the Legislature.
House Bill 5244 would direct the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to schedule the firearm deer season from Nov. 5 to Dec. 1 every year.
Michigan's firearm deer season currently starts on Nov. 15 and lasts until Dec. 1. The bill would not affect the state's archery, muzzleloader and youth deer hunting seasons in September, October, November and December.
The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation. It comes at a time when deer hunting is slowly declining in Michigan.
Hunters purchased more than 1.2 million deer licenses annually in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Last year, just over half that number of licenses were purchased.
Hunting is important economically in Michigan, contributing $2 billion to $4 billion a year in economic activity and much of the DNR's $42 million annual budget.