First Michigan Deer Hunt Of The 2020 Season Is This Weekend

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By WWJ Newsradio 950

(WWJ) There's a special hunt this weekend — the first deer hunt of the 2020 season — for a select group of hunters in Michigan. 

Michigan’s Liberty Hunt, a firearm deer hunt on private or public lands for youth and hunters with disabilities, is back statewide Sept. 12-13.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says those 16 or younger and eligible hunters with disabilities can join the hunt, sponsored by Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors. 

Something new this year: The weekend is open to hunters who are deaf or hard of hearing, a Liberty Hunt qualification that was added at the request of the DNR Accessibility Advisory Council.

“People with disabilities can experience difficulties with mobility, climbing into a tree stand, sighting in game, hearing game approaching or holding a firearm,” said Hannah Schauer, DNR Wildlife Division education and communications coordinator. “The Liberty Hunt provides opportunities for veterans and others to get outdoors and try a new sport or continue to enjoy one they love.”

A list of qualifying criteria is available in the 2020 Hunting Digest or at Michigan.gov/DNRAccessibility.

Some locations offer track chairs, elevated hunting blinds or hunting blinds equipped with adaptive gear.

Valid licenses for this hunt include a deer, deer combo or antlerless deer license or a deer management assistance permit. Antler point restrictions do not apply. This hunt’s bag limit is one deer.

For those participating in the Liberty Hunt:

  • Hunters with disabilities may bait now through Sept. 13.
  • In areas of the Upper Peninsula where baiting is legal, youth hunters also may bait now through Sept. 13.
  • In the remainder of the state, youth hunters may not use bait.
  • Additional regulations for all seasons can be found in the 2020 Hunting Digest or at Michigan.gov/Deer.

Hunters of all ages and experience levels are urged to put safety first, the DNR says. Find hunting safety tips and resources at Michigan.gov/HuntingSafety.

The next deer hunt on the schedule is Early Antlerless Firearm, Sept. 19-20, 2020. See the full schedule HERE

Questions? Send an email to DNR-Wildlife@Michigan.gov.