(LANSING) – Legislation that allows rifles for hunting with special cartridges in the southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan is now a new rule.
House Bill 4283, introduced by State Representative Matt Lori of Constantine, is a new rule initiated by the Natural Resources Commission. Rifles had not been permitted for hunting in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula because of safety concerns with the higher population density. Only shotguns, muzzleloaders and some pistols could be used in that area.
Under the proposal, which will be on a trial basis until 2017, rifles that take .35 caliber or larger ammunition could be used in the southern zone as long as the cartridges used are straight walled with a minimum case length between 1.16 and 1.8 inches. Pistols employing similar straight walled cartridges are already allowed in the zone.
Lori says this is a victory for deer hunters in Southern Michigan and the communities that serve them during the hunting season. Lori says these communities are losing hunters to Indiana which makes small businesses, sporting goods stores and lodging accommodations miss out on economic opportunities during hunting season.