Michigan Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

Michigan is a great hunting location in the USA. There are various types of games like elks, turkeys, deer and small game animals in the state. Hunting access to private and public lands are also allowed.

Michigan Hunting Regulations

Just as how it is done in almost every region of the US. Michigan has hunting laws, requirements, and regulations for hunters to abide by before taking wildlife and games. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is in charge of enforcing these regulations.

Some important regulations hunters in Michigan should know include the following:

Hunting License Regulation

You need a valid Michigan hunting license before you can take wildlife and games in the state. This applies to both residents and non-resident hunters. However, there may be exceptions for the hunting of certain games without a license, but only the Michigan department for fish and wildlife can determine this.

Tagging Regulations

It is compulsory to tag certain animals after taking them. Some of the animals that need tagging are big game like bears, elks, turkeys, and deer. Also, hunters must know all tagging and taking requirements for the games they want to hunt. Tagging must be done properly to avoid violation of regulations.

Tagging Requirement

After you take any big game that requires tagging, you must first validate the game tag before attaching it to the carcass of the animals. For games like bear, wolf, or lion, it is acceptable to attach tags to their hides. You are required to attach the tag immediately after taking the game. To tag, you have to first remove the triangles around the tag that shows the month and date you are taking the game.

Hunters Dress Requirements in Michigan.

Before you hunt in Michigan, it is compulsory to meet the state’s hunters dressing requirements for specific games. The color of the dress accepted for hunting pheasant and other upland games is orange and at least a 36 square inch size. The dress should also be above the hunter’s waistline level.

This dress code is also required for hunters in the state fish and game properties WMA and for those on sponsored hunts in Michigan. However, on a general basis, the Michigan Department for Fish and Wildlife encourages all hunters to stick to the orange dress code regardless of what game they are hunting.

Michigan Hunting Bag Limits

Bag limits for hunting in Michigan are used to restrict the number of specific games that they can hunt in a particular season. Depending on the game that is to be hunted, bag limits can either be daily or seasonal.

For daily bag limits, the hunter will be restricted to just a specific number of games that can be taken per day. For seasonal bag limits, hunters will be restricted to the number of games that can be hunted within a specific game season.

Bag limits are not necessarily the same every year, or for a game hunting season. The Michigan Department of Fish and Wildlife determines bag limits annually, based on the specific game population. It is compulsory for hunters to adhere to all bag limits and restrictions made available by the department. Violating bag limits can lead to fines and possibly revocation of hunting licenses.

Hunting Prohibitions in Michigan

Some of the most common violations for hunters to avoid in Michigan includes the following:

  • It is a prohibition to remove the evidence of game sex that you take in Michigan. You are required to leave all evidence of sex naturally attached to the game carcass, or the biggest part of the meat if the game is boned. Exceptions are made for games like bears and, wolfs and lions, where the evidence of sex must be left on their hide.
  • It is a prohibition to not tag games that require tagging or to tag them improperly. To tag according to requirements in Michigan, remove the month and date notches completely, and tag the game as soon as you harvest.
  • It is a prohibition for hunters to refuse to stop at Wildlife Management Areas check stations. It is compulsory for hunters and trappers to submit their self and hunting equipment for searching at every check station they encounter while going to hunt and when coming back from a hunt.
  • It is a prohibition to transport games and wildlife in Michigan without a proxy statement. For games taken by another hunter, a proxy statement is required for its transportation. Hunters get one form for proxy statements per a tag bought.
  • It is a prohibition to discharge a firearm from across a highway while hunting.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt animals when it is not their hunting season. It is the responsibility of a hunter to know the opening and closing dates of the game season for animals they like to take. Hunters must also familiarize themselves with other regulations like the species of game that is lawful to take, the sex that is lawful to take, and the boundaries for hunting the game. Hunters are also advised to check the rules every year in case it changes.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt with the wrong license. Hunters are required to possess the right license required for the game they are trying to take. This is common for non-resident hunters purchasing Michigan licenses that are only valid for residents of the state.
  • It is a prohibition for a hunter to transfer a hunting license or tag for use by another hunter.
  • It is a prohibition for you to take a game for another hunter who will attach his or her hunting tag. Party hunting is unlawful in Michigan.
  • It is a prohibition for any hunter to trespass on private land to hunt a game. Exceptions are made for landowners or hunters permitted by a landowner. Also, it is the responsibility of hunters to know that they are hunting on private property, as ignorance will not be an excuse for this violation.

When using motorized vehicles while hunting big games, it is the responsibility of a hunter to follow the rules for hunting with vehicles on either state or federally owned lands.

Open Carry While Hunting.

Open carry is legal for hunting activities in Michigan.

However, while bow hunting, you can only conceal carry. You are also not permitted to use firearms for hunting.

Michigan has hunter harassments laws, and they include the following:

  • Nobody shall interfere with hunting activities in the state if the necessary authority lawfully licenses it.
  • Nobody shall pursue or disturb animals in wildlife or fishes in an aquatic habitat to prevent a legal hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall harass or disturb a hunter who is carrying out a legal taking of animals in wildlife or aquatic bodies.
  • Nobody shall make use of any form of stimuli or device that has an effect on fishes in the water or animals in wildlife in such a way that it will prevent or make a hunting activity difficult.
  • Nobody shall restrict the movement of animals in wildlife or fishes in the water by erecting a barrier to prevent hunting activity; this does not include a barrier constructed to avoid trespassing in the state.
  • Nobody shall put himself or herself in line of live fire to prevent a lawful hunting activity in wildlife.
  • Nobody shall affect the condition or settings of a wildlife property such that it affects the legal taking of animals in the wild or fishes in the water.
  • Nobody shall trespass on private or public land and water to take part in a hunting activity without seeking permission from the owner or the adequate authority.

Michigan Hunting License, Permits, and Tags.

Michigan issues different types of licenses, stamps, permits, and tags for residents and non-residents in the state. The license categories are usually based on age grade and type of games.

Michigan licenses, permits, and tags include the following:

Youth Licenses

Youth licenses issued in the state are:

Residents Youth Consolidated License for Hunting and Trapping

This license is available to youth residents of Michigan for hunting and trapping in the state. The license has an apprentice option. It costs $7.

Non Residents Annual Youth Hunting License

This license is available for non-residents youths that want to hunt in Michigan. It is valid for one year and has an apprentice option. It costs $17.

Non Residents Youth Deer Hunting License

This license is available for non-residents for deer hunting only in Michigan. It has an apprentice option and costs $25.

Non-Residents Deer License Bundle

This license is available for non-residents for deer hunting only in Michigan. It has an apprentice option and costs $65.

Non Residents Youth Spring Turkey Hunting

This license is available for non-residents youths for only spring season turkey hunting in Michigan. It has an apprentice option and costs $25.

Non Residents Youth Fall Turkey Hunting

This license is available for non-residents youths for only fall season turkey hunting in Michigan. It has an apprentice option and costs $25.

Non-Residents Annual Youth Trapping

This license is available for non-residents youths to set traps for game animals in Michigan. It is valid for one year and has an apprentice option. It costs $17.

Turkey Hunting Licenses

The types of turkey hunting licenses available in Michigan include the following:

Spring Turkey Hunting License

This license allows holders to hunt turkeys in the spring season. It is available for both residents and non-resident hunters at costs of $25 and $120 respectively. Options are available for apprentice hunters at the same cost.

Fall Turkey Hunting Licenses.

This license allows holders to hunt turkeys in the spring season. It is available for both residents and non-resident hunters at costs of $25 and $120 respectively. Options are available for apprentice hunters at the same costs.

Hunting Stamps

Hunting stamps in Michigan include the following:

Game Bird Habitat Stamp

This stamp will allow holders to take game birds in Michigan. It is available for residents and non-residents at the cost of $6.75. There are no options available for apprentice hunters.

Waterfowl Stamp

This stamp will allow holders to take waterfowls in Michigan. It is available for residents and non-residents at the cost of $6.75. There are no options available for apprentice hunters.

Michigan Hunting and Fishing Licenses

The licenses under the category allow holders to partake in Michigan hunting and fishing

Annual Hunting and Fishing License

Holders of this license can hunt and fish in Michigan. It is available for only residents of the state, has an apprentice option, and costs $25.

Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled American Veterans

This license is available for only residents of Michigan that are disabled veterans. There is no apprentice option for this type of license, and based on the validity period, it comes in 2 types, The annual license and the one valid for 10 years. The annual license costs $2.75, while the one valid for 10 years’ costs $27.5.

Small Games Hunting License

The licenses under this category allow hunters to take small game in the state. They include the following:

Annual Hunting Licenses

This license is valid for one year and comes with an apprentice option. It is available for residents and non-residents and costs $17 and $80 respectively.

Five Days Hunting License

This license is only available for non-residents in Michigan. It has an apprentice option, is valid for 5 days, and costs $31.

Annual Trapping Licenses

To trap wildlife and games in Michigan, you need to obtain a state valid trapping license that is valid for one year. There are no apprentice options for this license. It is available for residents and non-residents, and it costs $17 and $140 respectively.

Michigan Fishing Licenses, and Tags.

The types of fishing licenses, permits, and tags in Michigan include the following:

Annual Fishing License

This license allows holders to partake in Michigan fishing activities for the duration of one year. It is available for residents and non-residents at costs of $17 and $35 respectively. There are no options available for apprentices.

One Day Fishing License

This license is valid for just one day. Holders will be able to harvest fish species like salmon and trout within the 24 hours’ period. It is valid for residents and non-residents at a cost of $9. There are no options available for apprentices.

Seven Days Fishing License

This license is only valid for 7 days and is available for only non-residents that want to fish in Michigan. It costs $20, and there are no options available for apprentices.

Annual Fishing License for Seniors

This license is only available for senior residents of Michigan that are 65 years or older. The license makes it possible to harvest trout and salmon species, and it is valid for a year. It costs $3, and there are no options available for apprentices.

Lifetime Annual Fishing License for Seniors

This license is only available for senior residents of Michigan that are 65 years or older. The license makes it possible to harvest trout and salmon species, and it will be valid throughout the holder’s lifetime. It costs $17, and there are no options available for apprentices.

Trout and Salmon Fishing Stamps

Anybody that wants to harvest species like salmon and trout in Michigan will need a stamp issued for them. Exceptions are made for fishers that already own licenses that allow them to fish salmon and trout for a specific period. It is available for residents and non-residents and costs $11. There are no options available for apprentices.

Annual Hunting and Fishing License

This license allows holders to take part in both hunting and fishing in Michigan. It is available for only residents of the state at a cost of $25. There is also an Michigan apprentice hunting license at the same cost.

Michigan Hunting Season

Hunting season in Michigan is defined by the type of games and the weapons used to take the games.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in Michigan includes the following:

Michigan Deer Hunting Season

  • Reduction Zone Hunting Season (15th of September to 31st of January)
  • Youth Hunting Season (26th of September to 27th of September)
  • Archery Season (1st of October to 3rd of January)
  • Firearms Season (14th of November to 29th of November)
  • Muzzleloader Season (5th of December to 20th of December)
  • Antlerless Season (16th of December to 3rd of January)

Bag limits for deer hunting in Michigan are not the same for all hunting regions in the state. Therefore, hunters are required to learn about the deer limit for their own Michigan hunting zone.

Michigan Turkey Hunting Season

  • Fall Firearms Season (21st of October to 1st of November)
  • Fall Archery Season (1st of October to 1st of November and 5th of December to 3rd of January)
  • Spring General Hunting Season (21st of April to 9th of May)
  • Spring Youth Season (17th of April to 18th of April)

Michigan Small Games Hunting Season

  • Gray Squirrel and Fox Squirrel Hunting Season (15th of August to 31st of January)
  • Pheasant Hunting Season (1st of November to 15th of November)
  • Quail Hunting Season (1st of November to 10th of January)
  • Rabbit Hunting Season (1st of November to 28th of February)
  • Crow Hunting Season (1st of July to 15th of August and 13th of December to 1st of March)
  • Green Frog and Bullfrog Hunting Season (15th of June to 30th of April)
  • Eastern Snapping Turtle Season (1st of July to 31st of March)

For hunting in Michigan, bag limits, special hunting seasons, and hunting requirements, laws, and regulations are based on the game animals. Licensed hunters must gain all possible knowledge they can about the specific game they are hunting.

Michigan Wildlife, Games and Fish

Games and wildlife available for hunting in Michigan include the following:

Michigan Deer Hunting

Deer hunting in Michigan is possible because of the various acres of land and forests in the state. Michigan has national and state land areas that afford hunters the opportunity to hunt deer in abundance. Deer are widely distributed in the state and you can find them in the forests of most counties.

Michigan Turkey Hunting

Turkey hunting in Michigan takes place in all counties. They are quite abundant in the state. They even get more plentiful in the spring period, and for every square mile, you can find as many as 4 turkeys. Wild turkey harvest is usually more in the southern part of Michigan.

Michigan Fox Hunting

The most common fox species in Michigan are the red foxes and they love to inhabit scrubs and woodland regions of the state. They can be found on pastures, agricultural lands, forested areas, and bushlands. They are also comfortable in urban and suburban parts of the state. Fox hunting in Michigan takes place in all counties of the state.

Michigan Coyote Hunting

Coyote hunting in Michigan takes place mostly in the winter period when they are in their element. They are evenly dispersed in all regions of the state and even in very urbanized areas.

Michigan Quail Hunting

The quail species associated with Michigan is the Northern Bobwhite Quail that are common to all eastern states in the nation. They inhabit agricultural landscape areas of the state.

Michigan Ducks Hunting

Duck hunting in Michigan takes place in wetland areas of the state away from human habitation. They are available in the state’s wildlife refuges, and they inhabit shallow parts of water bodies like ponds and lakes.

Michigan Hunting Shooting Ranges

Some of the shooting ranges available for the general public in Michigan include the following:

  • Allegan County Conservation League
  • Bald Mountain Gun Range
  • Bay County Conservation
  • Birmingham Gun Club
  • Black Duck Sporting Clays
  • Blue Water Sportsman's Association
  • Brule Sporting Clays
  • Top Gun Shooting Sports
  • Caledonia Sportsmans Club
  • Capital Area Sportsmen's
  • Carleton Sportsmen's Club
  • West Walker Sportsman's Club

Michigan Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in Michigan include the following:

  • Concord, Michigan (Jackson County) 125 acres.
  • Branch, Michigan (Mason County) 60 acres.
  • Cadillac, Michigan (Wexford County) 120 acres.
  • Fennville, Michigan (Allegan County) 120 acres.
  • Tustin, Michigan (Osceola County) 80 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in Michigan include the following:

  • Deer lease in Tuscola County, 118 acres.
  • Beautiful hunting property near Cedar River in Menominee County, 37 acres.
  • Beautiful Deer Hunting Land 260 Acres in Lake County, 260 acres.
  • Executive Hunting Lease Beside State Park Newberry in Luce County, 250 acres.
  • Excellent black bear hunting in the Berglund Districk private land surrounded by state and federal in Ontonagon County, 78 acres.
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