Michigan's hunting license structure is changing starting March 1. We encourage hunters to take a look at the new license structure on our website to understand the new choices.

A base hunting license is now required for all hunters. The base license allows you to hunt small game and purchase additional hunting licenses for other species. A base license is not required to buy a fishing license.

Deer hunters now have three license options to harvest antlered deer:

  • A single deer license, which replaces the separate firearm and archery season licenses of previous years. The single deer license is valid for archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. With this choice, you will NOT be able to purchase a second deer license, but you will be able to purchase antlerless deer licenses where available.
     
  • The deer combo license, which includes two deer licenses, one regular and one restricted, as in previous years. Both licenses are valid for archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons. Antler point restrictions apply based on the area of the state where you hunt.
     
  • The hunt/fish combo license, which includes the regular and restricted deer combo licenses, a base license and an all-species fishing license. This is an especially good choice for nonresidents, offering cost savings for those who have moved away or who still own property in Michigan and return to enjoy the outdoors. And for residents, the hunt/fish combo license is a quick and easy way to purchase four licenses at once.

Antlerless deer may be still taken in archery season with deer and deer combo licenses as in previous years, and you can still apply for and purchase antlerless deer licenses where available until license quotas are met in each Deer Management Unit (DMU).

Note that deer regulations are not finalized until July, so it's important to review the 2014 Hunting and Trapping Digest (available in early August at license agents or online at www.michigan.gov/dnrdigests) for details on antler point restrictions and other regulations.

Starting March 1, you'll also see improvements to the license-buying process, with streamlined options for simplified purchasing at your local retail agent. The revamped system will help get your licenses faster and prevent duplicate purchases.

There's also a new mobile option that will allow you to buy licenses using your smartphone or tablet and store licenses that don't require a kill tag – like the base hunting license – as a PDF on your mobile device or PC. You can find the new E-License with mobile capabilities at the same address, www.mdnr-elicense.com, starting March 1, or on the State’s MiPage application.

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