Deer hunters may see new antler restrictions in 2013

There may be new restrictions on deer hunting next season.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, 12 counties in northwest Michigan are looking into Antler Point Restrictions.

The restrictions, pending final approval, will mean hunters will only be able to shoot deer with at least three antler points per rack side.

A survey was sent out to hunters in northwest Michigan asking if they support this move, and the DNR says 69% of hunters approved.

The information will now be passed on to the Natural Resource Commission, who will vote in the spring.

The DNR says the goal of the new rule is make deer herds with bigger antlered animals. The rule will keep younger bucks alive, as they won't be allowed to be shot right away.

According to the DNR, many hunters have been playing by this rule for some time now.

Opponents of the restriction say it will cut down on opportunities for those hunters who may not have as much time.

The idea is based off of a rule in Leelanau County, which has hunters seeing more deer with bigger antlers.

The DNR says that because of the positive response through hunter surveys, it is likely it will be passed by the Natural Resource Commission in the spring.