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DNR calls on hunters to take more antlerless deer, better manage population

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Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources is calling on hunters to go after more anterless deer to control the population.

The DNR says since 2000, there has only been one year where more does were harvested than bucks. According to the DNR, our neighboring states typically harvest 8 to 25% more antlerless deer than antlered.

They say anterless harvesting has decreased by about 28% in the last 23 years, compared to an 11% decrease in antlered.


The DNR says on average, most hunters will take a small buck early in the season and either take a doe or wait for a bigger buck later in the season. 75% of hunters never take a doe. Taking a doe earlier can help balance out the male-to-female ratio and creating more breeding competition.

The DNR says recent and upcoming changes will help hunters harvest more antlerless deer. They do note that the issue is more prevalent in the Lower Peninsula than in the U.P.

Click here to read the DNR’s full message to hunters.

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