The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced the availability of $100,000 in grants for deer habitat improvement projects on non-state lands across the Upper Peninsula.

The Deer Habitat Improvement Partnership Initiative is a cooperative grant program being offered by the DNR’s Wildlife Division. Now in its 12th year, more than $850,000 in hunter license dollars has been invested into deer habitat improvement projects through the program.

“Almost 100 projects, in nearly all U.P. counties, have improved thousands of acres of deer habitat,” said Bill Scullon, DNR Wildlife Division field operations manager and administrator for the grant initiative. “In addition, project partners have contributed nearly half a million dollars in matching funds which has helped to grow the program benefits for wildlife.”

Groups eligible for these grants include organizations with a formal mission to promote wildlife conservation and/or hunting, such as sportsmen’s clubs, conservation districts, land conservancies, industrial landowners with more than 10,000 acres, or private land affiliations where two or more unrelated persons jointly own 400 or more acres.

The maximum amount of individual grants is $15,000 and the minimum is $2,000.

“There are three primary goals applicants should strive to meet,” Scullon said. “The projects should produce tangible deer habitat improvements, build long-term partnerships between the DNR and outside organizations and showcase the project benefits to the public.”

Previous projects funded under the initiative have focused on improving winter deer habitat by planting long-lived conifers and scarification for conifer regeneration.

Summer range deer habitat projects have included planting hard mast oak trees, wildlife orchards; creation of hunter walking trails, rehabilitation of historic wildlife openings; native prairie restoration. Some past grant recipients have also facilitated youth hunting and veteran opportunities on improved private lands.

Project applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 6, and successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday, April 1. The complete grant application package is available on the DNR website at

For more information or questions regarding eligibility, please contact Bill Scullon at 906-563-9247 or