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Hook & Hunting: DNR Proposes Change to Opening Day of Michigan Firearm Deer Hunting Season

Nov. 15 is the kickoff of Michigan’s firearm deer hunting season, but for years decision-makers have considered changing that date.

And at last week’s DNR Commission meeting, a rule was proposed that would change the opening date to a Saturday.

Since 1996, hunting numbers have gone down in Michigan about 2% every year. The DNR has asked hunters, year after year, what they think about changing the date, and a majority of them - about 85% - said they want to keep it the same.

In the DNR’s recent 2023 survey, they didn’t find any evidence indicating that changing the opener would increase hunter participation or harvest.

The Nov. 15 date was first established in 1925 and changes were made over the next few decades, but it’s remained the same since 1968.