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Saturday deer season opener eyed statewide

March 02, 2011 - Opening day for deer hunters may soon become just a little easier if lawmakers have their way.

Last month State Rep. Kevin Cotter introduced House Bill 4259 to move the opening day of firearm deer season to the Saturday closest to Nov. 15. The traditional start to the firearm deer season is Nov.15, but depending on the day of the week that date falls, it can be difficult for many hunters to take off work.

"Moving opening day to the weekend is good for both Michigan hunters and the state economy," said Cotter, (R-Mount Pleasant) in a statement earlier this week. "Hunters will have more time to engage in one of our state's traditional pastimes, and the increased tourism and travel will help businesses all across Michigan as hunters hit the road to snag that first buck."

Studies show that a weekend opening day can increase sales of hunting licenses up to 10 percent. Cotter's plan would also preserve the length of the season at 16 days.

"There is an obvious beneficial impact to a Saturday start, with more hunters turning out for an opening weekend and the state being able to take in more revenue with the convenient start date," Cotter said. "By moving opening day to Saturday, which would only have the potential to change the date by three days at most, everyone in Michigan wins."

State Representative Brad Jacobsen 46th district (R-Oxford), said he'll support the bill.

"I'm sure some will consider this a major break from tradition, but I'm sure this change will be a boost for the economy. In the Brandon, Groveland and Oxford townships area there are a lot of deer hunters. This will give everyone a better opportunity to get out there and hunt on opening day."

"It just makes more sense to start hunting on the weekend."

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