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Updated 11/16/20



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 mail.
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 statutory obligations.


Video Shows Potterville Man Kills Deer with a Hammer

Snapchat-1111202016NOV20-It 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 night.
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 arraigned.
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

forest roads16NOV20-Thousands 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 system.” 
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 or send emails to

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.


New Website Offers Help Identifying Woody Invasive Plants

For landscapes plagued by autumn olive or entangled in oriental bittersweet, a new website offers help identifying and managing woody invasive plants like these.

Autumn olive shrub, 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 landscape designers.
“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 effort.
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.

Glossy buckthornInvasive 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 or roots.

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 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.
  • Native look-alikes.
  • 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

white-tailed deer buck in field near forest30SEP20-The 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 checked.

“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 4th.
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 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 Hours and locations of deer check stations will be updated this week and will be available at


DNR Notes:

Aggressive animals

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 location.  
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

DNR Field Offices

  • Crystal Falls - 906-875-6622
  • Gwinn - 906-346-9201
  • Naubinway - 906-477-6048
  • Norway - 906-563-9247


Tired 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


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

DNR Public News is published here as a courtesy and does not represent the views or intent of the ownership of Carroll Broadcasting.

Copyright © 2019 Carroll Broadcasting, Inc., All rights reserved.


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