Michigan Deer Hunting History

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2009 Crossbows allowed during bow season.
2008 One deer from Kent County tested positive for Chronic Waste Disease (CWD). The deer came from a captive breeding farm. No other deer in Michigan have tested positive for CWD.
Baiting and feeding of Deer and elk prohibited in the Lower Peninsula.
2000 Firearm hunting from a tree stand allowed.
1994 First deer tests positive for Tuberculosis in Northeastern Lower Peninsula.
1991 Bag limit reduced from four bucks in all seasons to two bucks in all seasons.
1989 Deer herd peaks to 2 million. Block permits issued for crop damage areas.
1977 Hunters Orange Law in effect.
1975 Elk herd drops to 200, mainly from poaching.
1972 Deer herd at only ½ million. First “Successful Deer Hunter” patch.
1960 A Hunters Safety Course is required if you are born after January 1, 1960.
1957 Mackinac Bridge opens which closes the Mackinac Straits Ferry run by the Michigan Department of Transportation. The large traffic jams of hunters and vehicles waiting on the ferry stops.
1956 First antlerless deer hunt in Upper Peninsula since 1920.
1953 Rifle/Shotgun Zone established in the Lower Peninsula.
1952 “Slaughter of 1952” Over 95,000 antlerless deer killed in the last three days of Firearm Deer Season. Outcry of the slaughter allows antlerless deer to be taken by area with a quota system.
1949 Deer herd at 1.5 million.
1948 Shotguns only in southern Michigan.
1941 Antlerless deer hunting allowed in Allegan County and for camp meat.
1937 First Archery Season.
1936 Hunters complain of low buck-to-doe ratio.
1925 Deer Season dates set to November 15-30.
1921 “Buck Law” takes effect which hurts deer population.
1918 Seven elk released. Today’s Michigan elk herd came from these seven elk.
1905 Two Deer Bag limit.
1901 Three Deer Bag limit.
1895 First Deer Hunting License. Five deer bag limit.
1880 Northern Herd population increases to 1 million do to logging and more available food and cover.
1875 Elk herd gone.
1870 Deer gone from southern Michigan do to the removal of cover and over hunting.
1859 First Deer Law.
1837 Michigan becomes a State.