First deer hunt of the 2021 season is for people with disabilities, youth hunters

Two-day hunt, scheduled for Sept. 11-12

Photo of Angela Mulka
Michigan’s Liberty Hunt, a firearm deer hunt on private or public lands for youth and hunters with disabilities, is back statewide Sept. 11-12.

Michigan’s Liberty Hunt, a firearm deer hunt on private or public lands for youth and hunters with disabilities, is back statewide Sept. 11-12.

Photo provided/Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan's first deer hunt of the 2021 season is set for this weekend and is for hunters with disabilities and youth hunters. Overall, conditions are looking excellent for the upcoming seasons, and deer hunters can expect hunting to be as good as or better than last year, according to Michigan's Department of Natural Resources.

The Liberty Hunt allows for hunters 16 or younger and eligible hunters with disabilities to hunt with firearms on private or public lands statewide.

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

During this two-day hunt, scheduled for Sept. 11-12, a deer or deer combo license may be used for an antlered or antlerless deer. Antler point restrictions do not apply. A Deer Management Assistance permit may also be used to take one antlerless deer only, if issued for the land you're hunting on.

The bag limit for this season is one deer. All hunters participating in this season must wear hunter orange, according to the DNR.

To qualify for this hunter people must fit one of the following criteria, according to the DNR:

  • be a veteran who has been determined to have 100% disability, or is a resident rated as individually unemployable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • have been issued a permit, by the DNR, to hunt from a standing vehicle.
  • have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt using a laser-sighting device.
  • be blind as defined by MCL 393.351.
  • be deaf as defined by section 2 of 72 PA 1978, MCL 408.202.

Like last year, the hunt now is open to those deaf or hard of hearing, a qualification that was added at the request of the DNR Accessibility Advisory Council.

To give people opportunities to hunt on DNR-managed public lands, some accessible hunting locations offer track chairs, elevated hunting blinds or hunting blinds equipped with adaptive gear. Learn about accessible outdoor recreation opportunities here.

For those participating in the Liberty Hunt, hunters with disabilities may bait Sept. 6-13. Youth hunters may bait now through Sept. 13 in areas of the Upper Peninsula where baiting is legal. Youth hunters may not use bait in the remainder of the state, according to the DNR.