top of page

New "Mandatory" Hunting Rules for 2022

Hello everyone my name is Joseph Radzwion IV, Your Trusted Attorney with Radzwion Law, PLLC, and in this post we are giving an update on the new hunting rules here in the state of Michigan for the 2022-2023 season.

We don’t foresee these rules changing anytime soon unless we the people call our representatives and senators to tell them, we do not appreciate having to report our harvests to the DNR. There are links to help you find your representative and senator at the bottom of this post.


The Department of Natural Resources “DNR” puts out their hunters digest every year and I'm page one it says new rules are on page 50. Page 50 it says “new this year mandatory deer harvest reporting- report your deer within 72 hours of harvest or before you transfer possession learn more about deer harvest reporting requirements at there wasn't much on the state of Michigan’s website so I naturally went right to the source of the rule which is the Wildlife Conservation order 3.103.

The rule says “within 72 hours after retrieval of a deer and before transfer of possession of a deer, a person shall report their deer harvest as instructed by the department and retain the associated harvest confirmation number. A person who kills a deer may designate another person to report their deer harvest. Transfer of possession means one of the following: (a) The entire deer carcasses transferred to another individual for consumption. (b) The entire deer carcass or head has been accepted by a processor or taxidermist. or (c) The entire deer carcass or had has been submitted to the department.”

What does this mean? This rule means that a hunter has 72 hours from the time they have retrieved (pulled) their deer from the field or woods to make a report to the DNR. If that is not feasible for whatever reason maybe the hunter doesn’t have cellar-service, maybe don't have a family member that can help the hunter make a report through the DNR’s online portal. then the hunter will still have to report that deer before they transfer it to their taxidermy, butcher shop, or to a friend for their consumption.


The website says that if you fail to do this reporting process you may be charged with a 90 day misdemeanor and subject to hundreds of dollars in fines. I believe the DNR is intentionally vague here and has not actually put forth the section of the law that you can be charged with for messing the reporting process up.

In the future, we will create a new blog post which will cover a few sections of the law in which we believe the DNR could fine you under or you be criminally charged under for not reporting your harvest in the correct manner. You will want to make sure you check that post out as there is a law that gives the DNR the power to take your hunting license away if you are found guilty.

But let's look specifically why this reporting requirement came about according to news articles and the Michigan government website. The DNR has become “frustrated” that all of their voluntary surveys that they've put out in the past have not yield them the information they wanted. The amount of voluntary submissions of the information they were seeking to obtain was too low for the DNR’s liking. So there you have it. the DNR imposes “mandatory reporting” so that they can get the information that they seek and that they deem is important regardless of the glaring issues.


As of right now there seems to be some potential issues with this rule.

(1) punishment imposed, which again we'll talk about in another post, is pretty severe. It is a misdemeanor criminal offense.

(2) If the hunter is reporting this information the hunter is responsible for holding on to that confirmation number. If a hunter were charged with failing to report or the hunter messed some of the information up then the duty is on the hunter to keep good records that they followed the rule. The hunter has the duty to in essence prove their innocence which is not how our legal system is set up. But the DNR just made it every hunter’s job to prove their own innocence.

(3) The last issue I have with this rule is that even within the rule it says a Hunter is able to task another family member or friend with reporting that information for the hunter. So now that family member or friend is entangled in this process of reporting. What happens if the family member or friend makes a mistake in the report or fails to identify the deer that the hunter has harvested? Then does the DNR get to charge the hunter and the family member or friend with a crime? The DNR will be able to use that report against the hunter in court.

My opinion is this rule is not in the best interest of Michiganders because it can land you in court with a misdemeanor charge. Now I know some may say well the DNR is saying that there's a way to remedy any mistakes by calling in and admitting what was done wrong and that they will correct the mistake.

For those who follow our other posts, you know we advise our clients that is unwise to give up information that incriminates or implements them in a crime. This is no different here. Why should a hunter have to report on himself or herself that they made a mistake, thus by default, committing a crime? The answer is, they shouldn’t and if it comes to that, the requirement should be viewed as unconstitutional and unenforceable.


So what can we do to change these rules? Well you can find your state representative and senator by using the links below and express to them, this rule the DNR put forth is not helpful to hunters in Michigan and needs to be removed. I know that this request seems futile, but if everyone floods them with calls and emails something might actually change.


REMEMBER: Our posts should never be taken as legal advice. You should ALWAYS consult a Trusted Attorney with your legal questions.


Your Trusted Attorney

If you would like to retain Radzwion Law, PLLC as Your Trusted Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to protect you when you need it most and we will fight for your freedom.


bottom of page