Wednesday, September 7, 2022

YGBSM. Not reporting a harvested deer can get you 90 in the cooler

A friend recently informed me that the State of Michigan is making it illegal to be in possession of venison that you did not report to the State.

That is, to be in possession of meat from a deer that you legally harvested and tagged (with the tag you paid for) and processed at home but then neglected to inform the state.

Beginning this year, deer hunters are required to report a successful harvest within 72 hours or before transferring possession of the deer (to another person, a processer or taxidermist). Hunters must continue to attach a paper kill tag to a harvested deer. The kill tag should remain with the head if the head and body of the deer are separated. Anyone in possession of a deer after the harvest reporting timeframe expires should be able to present the confirmation number.   Source  Source 2

According to my friend, the penalty for not reporting the venison in your freezer is up to 90 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.

The new requirement is fraught with issues. For one thing, the two official ways of reporting are via a mobile phone app or on-line. Presumably people who are not "wired" are not allowed to harvest deer. This probably seems like a trifle to a thirty-something who lives in the city but there are still curmudgeons who don't own a cell phone or a computer. Oh, and we don't have "friends to help" us.

Another problem is that the law requires that I notify the State if I "transfer" a couple of pounds of venison to any other person. So I cannot give a hungry family a bit of meat without the State knowing and, presumably, without their tacit permission. That seems ominous given the potential food-insecurity looming on the horizon and our "betters" telling us it is immoral to eat meat.

Another issue regards the enforceability of the law. How will the DNR be able to enforce this law AND stay on the right side of the Fourth Amendment and Fifth Amendment? Won't they have to seize the contents of your freezer and perform DNA testing on every suspect lump of meat?  Will they show up with warrants-based-on-hear-say that explicitly states which pieces of meat will be confiscated or will it be a blanket warrant that confiscates every scrap of food in your freezers and which will never be returned or might have thawed out while in their possession?

The State's insatiable desire for data

The State is abjectly failing at many different levels.

Collecting more data might give the lever-pullers in the government a sense of accomplishment but it has no discernible effect on the street. There are many places where The State is in free-fall and is dysfunctional. More unenforceable laws and more data will not fix that.


  1. Malicious Compliance! They want data give them data. If every hunting association in the state decided to have their members send 10 1lb. Packets of venison to other club member while filing the appropriate forms and then the following week re- exchanged the venison with other members - rinse, wash and repeat. Over. And over. And over. To keep the records accurate put the license number corresponding with the venison on the outside of the package.
    Crash the system.

    1. The system is automated. It doesn't care if you send one record or 1000. It might have a conniption if you fat-fingered the license number a few times.

      I cannot imagine any conservation officers having the appetite to bust into poor people's homes and emptying their fridges and freezers. Seems like a non-starter to me.

      I assume the motivation is TB, and CWD and maybe some other zoonoses can be spread by infected deer meat. That has to be a very low-runner for cases but I assume that the nanny state is using that as the "reason".

  2. Speaking of deer, had one run across the road in front of me tonight and another stopped and went back the way she came, both trying to cross at the same place.

    And at my job on the golf course, saw some tracks as I was picking up the driving range.

  3. Game wardens routinely search ice chest, freezers, etc., without warrants or probable cause. In many states it is illegal to refuse a wardens request to search your vehicle or container.

    1. Odd that they can get away with that. I have heard the same.

    2. I've heard that, I've also never heard a legal justification for it.
      The good thing is that there are not many of them.
      As you say, the system is electronic only, yet requires paper tags - so to comply requires a printer.

      I'm surprised you don't have to check in your deer; every state I've hunted in I had to, usually the same day.
      Does Michigan have the law that you can't possess meat from last year's deer when this year's season opens?

    3. "Searching" for AIS- aka "zebra mussels"

  4. The big gubmint machine has been out of control for many years . I just read an article about how we give foreign aid to China . Yes . We borrow money from China and pay interest on it . To give them money . Sigh !

  5. "Reporting by phone to the DNR is not possible because of the need for accurate harvest location data, which is provided by selecting the location on a digital map."

    "The location of the harvest is needed for any animal submitted for disease surveillance purposes. Any animal processed by our laboratory has ideally been reported with a harvest location that is within a one-mile block of where the harvest actually occurred. This information helps us better understand where a disease like CWD or TB is or isn’t on the landscape"

    I think they could have pretty easily figured out some way to do this with a phone call, to the required accuracy and don't like the lacknof phone option or the 72 hours/before a transfer deadline.

    But, also "Additional die-offs attributed to EHD occurred in Michigan in white-tailed deer in 1974, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, and 2018." [With the 2012 event being a huge event, almost 15k, when previous outbreaks had been small].

    I can see why, with BTB, CWD and EHD, running around the DNR would want some way more accurate maps.

    I hope a court ornpublic outcry forces them to saneify the rule or drop it though.

  6. .gov gotta busybody for the sake of more rules

    I'm very curious to watch how this ends up being:

    1.) Enforced
    2.) Prosecuted
    3.) Sentenced

  7. It is a symptom of the decline.

  8. The not being able to share could become a BIG issue... Especially if they start playing the food safe game.

  9. They will seize the entire content of your freezers. They will seize all home-canned items because they suspect you may have used meat or a meat byproduct in them. All of your protein will be seized, even if it's commercial beef with the store tags still on it.

    Those doing the seizing will eat quite well. You, on the other hand, get to try out the vegan lifestyle and see how it works out for you.

    This is like gun control. Just in this case it's food control, and more about control than food. Best practice up on how to successfully poach on the king's lands, kids.

  10. the system has inverted everything.

    constables wont serve eviction notices because too many of them have been shot.

    so its safer to focus on "criminals" who have something to lose.
    also because everything is running at a huge deficit.


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