License System Vendor Issues Affect Deer Hunting License Sales
16NOV20-In light of unforeseen technical issues with the licensing
system provided by Sovereign Sportsman Solutions, the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources reports that some hunters may not have been able to
purchase a base license and deer kill tags today. The DNR is working with
the vendor to resolve these issues, which are occurring across several
states, as quickly as possible.
Hunters are encouraged to continue checking online or with local retailers
for updates. As always, DNR conservation officers will be patrolling
throughout the season. Over the next several days, officers will take
these circumstances into consideration while making contacts with hunters.
Hunters who were not able to obtain a legally issued kill tag for their
deer due to system outages should affix a temporary kill tag using
materials they have on hand. The temporary tag should include the same
information normally found on a kill tag:
Identification of the hunter.
The date the deer was killed.
The sex of animal.
Number of antler points on each side.
Customers who have purchased a license on the DNR website today are
asked to use this temporary kill tag until their legal tag arrives in the
Hunters always should carry proper identification when in the field. The
DNR does not have the authority to waive a license as a requirement for
hunting. Hunters who go afield this deer season are still required to buy
a license from a retailer or online as soon as possible to meet their
Potterville Man Kills Deer with a Hammer
only took about one hour for an off-duty Michigan Department of Natural
Resources conservation officer to identify and locate a suspect featured
in a disturbing Snapchat video that circulated on Facebook Wednesday
A 23-year-old Potterville man was recorded near Doane Highway and North
Hartel Road, in Eaton County, repeatedly striking a deer in the head with
a hammer until the buck succumbed to its injuries.
Conservation Officer Todd Thorn was told about the video around 10 p.m.
Wednesday by one of his relatives. An hour later, Thorn, who patrols
Ingham County, tracked the suspect to a friend’s house, located on Doane
Highway, where the man fully confessed to the crime and surrendered the
partially butchered deer and severed head.
The Potterville man claimed that he was on his way home when he came
across a buck, apparently disoriented from a recent car-deer accident, and
decided to put the deer out its misery.
The video starts with the deer standing upright in the middle of the road,
blinded by vehicle headlights. Words of encouragement and laughter can be
heard throughout the video, which lasts less than a minute.
The Potterville man told Thorn that he and the witnesses loaded the
carcass for transport and passed police as they were leaving the scene.
“I didn’t want to get the police involved,” the man told Thorn.
The case will be presented to the Eaton County Prosecutor’s Office for
possible criminal charges. The man’s name will be released if/when he is
Anyone who witnesses or suspects a natural resource violation should
immediately call or text the
Report All Poaching hotline line at 800-292-7800. Information can
be left anonymously; monetary rewards may be offered for information that
leads to the arrest and conviction of violators.
Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace
officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational
safety and protect citizens through general law enforcement and conducting
lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at
Forest Road Maps are Open for Annual Review
of miles of Michigan’s state forest roads are open for the public to use
and explore. As part of an annual inventory and review process, public
comments will be accepted through Dec. 1 on proposed changes to vehicle
use on state forest roads.
This annual update helps ensure that the DNR’s forest road inventory is
accurate and meets requirements outlined in Public Act 288 of 2016.
“Public participation is important for this decision-making process to
protect natural resources while ensuring as much recreational access as
possible,” said DNR Forest Resources Division acting chief Jeff Stampfly.
Proposed changes to road maps include:
Adding roads that previously were unmapped.
Deleting roads that no longer exist.
Removing duplicate road entries.
Closing roads to conventional vehicle use, including ORVs.
Closing roads only to ORV use and opening other roads to ORV use.
“This year, efforts focused on evaluating the existing forest road
maps, making changes where warranted, and comparing on-the-ground roads to
online datasets,” said Kristen Matson, forest road inventory review team
member. “Changes were proposed to increase the accuracy of the map
Public input will be accepted online and via email until
Dec. 1st. Comment on or view the locations of
proposed changes on an interactive web map or printable PDF maps at
Michigan.gov/ForestRoads or send emails to DNR-RoadInventoryProject@Michigan.gov.
Comments will also be accepted at upcoming Michigan Natural Resources
Commission meetings in early 2021. At the January meeting, state forest
road proposals will be brought before the DNR director for information. At
the February meeting, the DNR director is expected to make a formal
decision on the proposed changes.
New maps will go into effect and be published online April 1st, 2021.
For landscapes plagued by autumn olive or entangled in oriental
bittersweet, a new website offers help identifying and managing woody
invasive plants like these.
developed by the Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes Collaborative,
contains a wealth of information about how to distinguish woody invasive
species from similar beneficial plants, an interactive map showing how
these species are regulated by Great Lakes jurisdictions, detailed
management approaches and noninvasive woody plant ideas for gardeners and
“We developed the WIGL Collaborative website to help people learn to
identify the woody invasive plants around them and to feel empowered to
start controlling them on their properties or in their favorite green
places,” said Clair Ryan, coordinator of the
Midwest Invasive Plant Network, the organization leading the
Across the eight Great Lakes states and Ontario, 28 woody plant species
are regulated as invasive by at least one jurisdiction. Invasive species
are those that are not native and can cause harm to the environment,
economy or human health.
Woody plants, including trees, shrubs and vines, have strong stems with
a bark layer. These stems persist through winter and releaf in the spring.
Multiflora rose, black locust, Tatarian honeysuckle and glossy buckthorn
are just some of the woody invasive species found in Michigan.
plants often share characteristics that make them difficult to manage,
including early germination in open areas or disturbed soils, fast growth
rates, rapid spreading and the ability to sprout new plants from cut stems
Many plants now considered invasive were imported to the U.S. for
landscaping, erosion control or property barriers, long before the threat
of invasiveness was understood. Now these plants pose a serious threat to
natural areas in the Great Lakes region, outcompeting native plants and
damaging wildlife habitat.
Species profiles on
WoodyInvasvies.org provide information on how each plant became
established in the U.S., where they are likely to be found and what
problems they cause to native habitats.
Profiles also include:
Identification information and photos.
How and where species are regulated.
Recommended landscape alternatives.
The site also offers detailed information on control methods, along
with explanations of where and when each method is most effective. Useful
tips on long-term management and how to properly dispose of plant debris
are also included.
The Woody Invasives of the Great Lakes Collaborative is one of several
regional invasive species initiatives supported by the
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Michigan's Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by
the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of
Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development.
Deer Check &
CWD/TB Test Changes for 2020 Hunting Season
Michigan Department of Natural Resources advises deer hunters to be
prepared for big changes to DNR deer check stations this fall.
Staffing and financial shortages, due to both funding associated with
long-term declines in the hunter base and the COVID-19 pandemic, will
result in reductions in check station and drop-box locations, dates and
hours operated, and the number of deer heads that will be accepted for
chronic wasting disease testing (CWD).
Additionally, to protect hunters and DNR staff, some procedures will be
changed to make deer check stations safer for all. Hunters are required to
wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines, staying 6 feet away
from other people, at DNR deer check stations. At many check stations,
hunters will be required to stay in their vehicles while their deer is
“It is an unprecedented time in our state’s history, with serious
challenges that affect everyone. We ask for your patience and grace as we
adapt to meet these challenges,” said acting DNR Wildlife Division Chief
Dan Kennedy. “Michigan hunters have a long history of partnering with the
DNR for the benefit and health of the state’s deer population. Let’s
continue working together to protect public health, too.”
Deer check stations and drop boxes
Deer check station locations will be reduced this fall. Check station
days and hours of operation also will be reduced across much of the state.
Many check stations will be open only during parts of the firearm deer
season in November. Wait times may be longer than usual, especially during
the firearm deer season, due to staffing reductions. It's important to
note, too, that any changes in the state's COVID-19 situation could result
in changes to planned locations and hours of operation.
In parts of the state where CWD and bovine tuberculosis (TB) samples are
needed, check stations and drop boxes will be available to hunters
beginning Oct. 3 and continuing into December and January.
Deer cooperator patches will be available at DNR deer check stations,
during their hours of operation, while supplies last.
Deer disease surveillance
The DNR still needs hunters’ help to learn more about the status of CWD
in Michigan. Since the DNR no longer has the resources to test the same
volume of deer heads as in the past, the department will prioritize
gathering deer heads from in and around known CWD areas to gather more
information about the extent of the disease in these locations. See
2020 CWD testing goals map.
In 2020, deer heads from southern Jackson, southern Isabella and western
Gratiot counties and from the core CWD surveillance area in the Upper
Peninsula (portions of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties) will be
accepted for CWD testing from October 3rd to January
Deer heads from Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia,
Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties will be accepted for testing
November 15th - 18th only. USDA-approved lab
testing is also available for hunters in these areas at any time.
Those who hunt in the remainder of the state and want their deer tested
for CWD must submit their deer head to a USDA-approved lab for testing and
will be charged a fee. Visit
Michigan.gov/CWD for information about USDA-approved labs
conducting CWD testing.
Carcasses from deer displaying symptoms of CWD will be tested throughout
the deer season, regardless of where they were killed.
Deer will continue to be collected for annual TB surveillance in DMU 487
(Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties). TB
tests also will be conducted in Cheboygan, Crawford, Ogemaw, Otsego and
Roscommon counties, as well as parts of Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Emmet,
Kalamazoo, Ottawa and Saginaw counties as part of the state’s agreement
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and continued commitment to
conduct surveillance for potential TB expansion. See
2020 deer TB testing map. Although these are the DNR’s priority
areas for TB surveillance, deer from anywhere in the state will be
accepted for TB testing.
This fall, hunters coming in for disease testing are asked to bring only
deer heads to check stations, removing them ahead of time, if possible.
Those who would like to keep the antlers are asked to please remove those
from the head but bring the antlers when they visit a check station so
that antler measurements can be taken.
Information about the new check station procedures can be found in the
2020 Hunting Digest or at
Michigan.gov/CWD. Hours and locations of deer check stations will
be updated this week and will be available at
In those instances where there is an aggressive wild animal,
particularly animals such as geese, swans, turkeys, deer and bears,
landowners should get in touch with the nearest
DNR Customer Service Center to let the local DNR staff know about
the issue. As each situation is unique, staff will first assess the
problem and then determine the appropriate action based on the species and
Landowners can contact one of the nuisance wildlife control
permittees for assistance with removal of species such as coyotes, fox,
raccoons, opossums and skunks.
Specially permitted nuisance control companies can be hired to assist
landowners with goose control programs. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Wildlife Services also offers removal assistance, such as
nest destruction and relocation permits.
DNR Customer Service Centers
Baraga - 906-353-6651
Bay City - 989-684-9141
Cadillac - 231-775-9727
Detroit - 313-396-6890
Escanaba - 906-786-2351
Gaylord - 989-732-3541
Lansing - 517-284-4720
Marquette - 906-228-6561
Newberry - 906-293-5131
Plainwell - 269-685-6851
Roscommon - 989-275-5151
Sault Ste. Marie - 906-635-6161
Traverse City - 231-922-5280
Crystal Falls - 906-875-6622
Gwinn - 906-346-9201
Naubinway - 906-477-6048
Norway - 906-563-9247
of the mad dash to get a good camping spot at Pictured
Rocks National Lakeshore at Little Beaver Lake Campground, Twelve Mile
Campground, or Hurricane River Campground? These campgrounds now
require reservations, after years of a "first come, first served" policy.
Since visitation has nearly doubled in the last few years during the summer months
reservations can now be made at