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Michigan thumb-area antler restriction public meetings

The Thumb Hunters for APRs organization will host two public meetings to explain and answer questions about its proposal for new deer antler point restrictions (APRs) for Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, St. Clair and Tuscola counties.

The meetings will take place:

Monday, Sept. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Yale High School, 247 School Drive in Yale

Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Ubly Heights Golf Course, 2409 East Atwater Road in Ubly

The proposal seeks to require that all antlered deer harvested in those five counties have at least four antler points on one side. The restriction will be considered for implementation starting with the 2019 deer season. Antlerless deer regulations within the proposed area would continue to be determined by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Under guidelines adopted by the Natural Resources Commission, mandatory regulations proposed by sponsoring organizations will be implemented only when a clear majority of 66 percent support among hunters in the proposed area is documented. Support will be determined by a DNR survey mailed to a random sample of hunters who indicated on the 2017 DNR deer harvest survey that they hunted deer in one of the five counties.

“This group has brought forward a proposal in line with our current APR initiation guidelines,” said DNR deer biologist Chad Stewart. “These public meetings are one of the final items to complete before a survey moves forward to gauge support for the regulation.”

Landowners in the proposed counties who would like to offer input about the proposal may email their comments to DNR-wildlife@michigan.gov.

The survey will be mailed starting in December 2018. Survey results will be available in the spring of 2019 and will be presented to the NRC for consideration. While the NRC retains full authority over decisions to implement APR and other harvest regulations, the proposal review process provides valuable information to inform those decisions.