Michael Barrigar of Brighton practices in November for deer hunting. A new structure for licenses begins March 1. (Clarence Tabb Jr. / The Detroit News)
Starting March 1, Michigan is streamlining its hunting license structure and increasing fees to raise more money to manage the state’s wildlife.
Under the changes, all hunters will be required to have a base license, which allows them to take small game, said officials with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The license will cost $11 for resident adults and be good for a year.
Licenses for other species will have to be purchased separately. Examples include $12 for waterfowl, $20 for deer and $100 for wolves.
Fishing remains a separate license and does not require buying a base license. Fishing licenses cost $10 per day and $26 a year for in-state residents.
Under the old price structure, waterfowl licenses cost $5, deer licenses $15 and wolf licenses $100 for state residents. The new structure will simplify license purchasing and support habitat improvement and management, DNR said.
“One of the reasons we are doing it this way is it provides broad-based funding for natural resource management,” said DNR spokesman Ed Golder. “Before, for example, the deer licenses would go toward deer habitat and the turkey licenses for turkey habitat.”
“Another reason is that we know that small game hunting is sometimes a way into hunting for people, so it’s kind of a recruitment tool.”
Avid hunter Steven Zotos, 20, said he welcomes the changes and the extra one-time fee won’t be a problem for him. “It’s good we only have to buy (the base license) one time and not every time,” the Macomb Township resident said.
Zotos heads to his family’s cabin up north in Hillman to hunt with his father and friends during deer season.
For deer hunters, the DNR has three licensesfor harvesting antlered deer. The options are:
■A single deer license, which replaces the separate firearm and archery season licenses of previous years. Cost is $20 for state residents. It is valid for archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. Hunters with this license will not be able to purchase a second deer license, but they may still buy antlerless deer licenses.
■A deer combo license, which includes two deer licenses, one regular and one restricted, as in the past. Cost is $40 for state residents. Both are valid for archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. Antler point restrictions apply based on the area of the state.
■A hunt/fish combo license, which includes regular and restricted combo licenses, a base license and an all-species fishing license. Cost is $76 for state residents.
Antlerless deer may be still taken in archery season with deer and deer combo licenses as in previous years, and hunters may still apply for and purchase antlerless licenses until quotas are met.
Hunters can see the new license structure on the DNR’s website, www.michigan.gov/dnr.