For those who hunt or trap furbearing animals in Michigan, there are some changes to 2016-2017 licenses and regulations that are important to be aware of. Changes were made to simplify and clarify regulations as well as increase opportunities for fur harvesters.
Important License Changes:
2016 fur harvester licenses are valid until April 30, 2017. However, those who have not yet purchased a 2016 license MUST first buy a 2016 BASE license prior to March 1, 2017, in order to purchase a 2016 fur harvester license in the months of March and April 2017. Fur harvesters do not need to buy a 2017 base license to continue to use the 2016 fur harvester license in April.
Those planning to harvest bobcats MUST acquire bobcat kill tags by Nov. 30, 2016, in order to trap or hunt bobcats during any 2016 bobcat harvest seasons. Bobcat kill tags – along with otter, fisher, and marten kill tags – are issued to 2016 fur harvester license holders, free of charge, at license agents or DNR Customer Service Centers.
The 2017 fur harvester license will not be available until May 1, 2017. At that time, fur harvesters also may acquire kill tags for the 2017 bobcat, fisher, marten and otter seasons.
Dates to remember:
Nov. 30, 2016 – last day to obtain bobcat kill tags. (Bobcat kill tags cannot be obtained after the first season starts.)
Feb. 28, 2017 – last day to purchase 2016 base license. (Note: 2016 base license is required to purchase a 2016 fur harvester license.)
April 30, 2017 – 2016 fur harvester license expires.
May 1, 2017 – First day to purchase 2017 fur harvester license and obtain kill tags.
Regulation changes to be aware of:
Coyote hunting season is now open year-round (both day and night), and residents must have a valid base or fur harvester license. Nonresidents can hunt for coyote with a valid fur harvester license. As a reminder, dogs may NOT be used from April 16 through July 7 for coyote hunting.
Raccoon trapping season is now open from Oct. 15, 2016, to March 31, 2017, in all three zones. In addition, raccoon hunting season is from Oct. 1, 2016, through Jan. 31, 2017, for both residents and nonresidents.
Bobcat trapping has been opened on public lands in Bobcat Management Units (BMUs) C and D in addition to the current private-land trapping opportunities.
Nighttime raccoon, opossum, fox and coyote hunting regulations now allow for use of #3 and #4 buckshot. Artificial lights now may be used throughout the open nighttime season for all four species. Nighttime hunters must use the aid of a game or predator call and/or use the aid of dogs. (Note: For those hunting with dogs – firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrow loaded at the point of kill only.) Nighttime coyote hunting has the same license requirements as daytime coyote hunting.
This information outlines only major changes for fur harvester regulations in 2016. For additional season information and regulations, visit mi.gov/trapping or see the 2016 Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest found online at mi.gov/dnrdigests.