This year marks 50 years of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ deer management cooperator patch, which was first produced in 1972.

Brian Shaw from Spring Arbor created the winning 2022 deer patch design, which commemorates the 50th anniversary. The annual deer patch design contest is open to everyone and takes place in the spring. Artists can submit their original work showing deer or deer hunting in Michigan.

Hunters who want a patch to commemorate the deer season can purchase one online at, or from the DNR Hunt Fish mobile app, for $8 while supplies last. This is an option that has been requested over the years, particularly by hunters who had to travel longer distances to get to a deer check station.

Historically, hunters who brought their harvested deer into a DNR deer check station received a patch in exchange for the biological data collected by DNR staff. These data included sex, age, location, date of harvest and even biological samples for disease testing. Staffed disease sample submission stations will still be open in areas where disease monitoring is taking place. Hunters harvesting a deer in those areas will receive a notification after reporting their deer harvest online.

More information on mandatory deer harvest reporting, disease surveillance and deer hunting are available at