Put a tag on the 2023 season and call it a year. The season marked the second year of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) online mandatory deer harvesting report.

 Related: This 'Tradition' Will Kill Michigan Whitetail Hunting

Beginning in the 2022 deer season, Michigan hunters have to report a successful deer harvest within 72 hours BEFORE transferring possession of the animal to a taxidermist, processor, or other third party. The physical tag is still required and must be attached to the deer.

Questioning the Participation and Accuracy of the DNR's Online Reporting System


While the system is designed to help the DNR track and manage the herd, you're left to wonder how many deer harvested go unreported. Michiganders are resourceful and may handle their own meat processing or taxidermy.

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What's to say some of the less 'honest' hunters are simply forgoing the mandatory reporting, taking their deer to a friend, and heading back out with the 'unused' tag? Is that happening? Almost certainly. Will it continue? Yes.


What the annual harvest report for 2023 does show is that Michigan hunters' main goal is to shoot a buck. Despite pleas from the DNR at the beginning, middle, and tail end of the season to shoot does, nearly every one of Michigan's 83 counties shot more bucks than does.

Related: Look at That Rack! Lansing DNR Office's Poachers' Wall of Shame

While the pursuit of an accurate Michigan deer season harvest continues to improve, let's take a look at the data it provides and countdown to the Michigan county that harvested the most deer in 2023.

Michigan's 2023 Final Whitetail Deer Harvest vs 2022 Harvest

Another year and another downward trend continues for Michigan's Whitetail Deer Harvest in 2023. Here's a look at the final numbers from each county, ranked by lowest to highest deer harvested, and how they compare to the 2022 season.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

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