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Michigan

Hunting

Deer Hunting Regulations

Lower Peninsula Deer Hunting

Early and Late Antlerless Firearm Season

You may use a universal antlerless deer license or a deer management assistance permit valid for that parcel. A deer license or deer combo license may also be used to take antlerless deer only. A deer kill tag issued under the mentored youth license must be used to harvest an antlerless deer during the antlerless- only seasons. All hunters are required to wear hunter orange and must have permission from the landowner or leaseholder before hunting on private land.

Early Antlerless Firearm Season: Sept 18-19
Open on private lands only.

  • All of the Upper Peninsula is CLOSED to the early antlerless firearm season. Late Antlerless Firearm Season: Dec. 13, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022 Open on private lands only.
  • All of the Upper Peninsula is CLOSED to the late antlerless firearm season.
Lower Peninsula Deer Hunting


Is there an extended archery deer season for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties?

Yes, the archery season extends until Jan. 31 for Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties in order to manage ongoing human-deer conflicts. A deer license, deer combo license or antlerless deer license are valid during the extended season. All rules and regulations for the archery season apply. See Deer Hunting Equipment on page 50.

Are there locations that offer special deer hunts?

Yes. They include:

Fort Custer Training Center - Information on hunts sponsored by the training center can be found at FortCusterHunt.org.

Harsens Island - Contact the St. Clair Flats DNR Wildlife Field Office at 1803 Krispin Road, Harsens Island, MI 48028; 810-748-9504.

Nayanquing Point Wildlife Area - Contact the DNR Field Office at 1570 Tower Beach Road, Pinconning, MI 48650; 989-697-5101.

Fish Point Wildlife Area - Contact the DNR Field Office at 7750 Ringle Road, Unionville, MI 48767; 989-674-2511. (DMU 145)

North Manitou Island Hunts – Deer hunt dates are Oct. 30 through Nov. 6, 2021. A park hunting permit is required. For application and hunting information, contact the park headquarters, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, 9922 Front Street, Empire, MI 49630; 231-326-4741, or see NPS.gov/SLBE for more information.

(DMU 245) South Fox Island Deer Hunting - Individuals do not need to obtain a special permit to hunt deer on South Fox Island. The archery season is from Oct. 1-28 and firearm season is from Oct. 29 - Nov. 26. Antlered deer must have at least one antler 3 inches or longer. Contact the DNR Customer Service Center at 8015 Mackinaw Trail, Cadillac, MI 49601; 231-775-9727.

Lower Peninsula Antler Point Restrictions (APR)

Antlered: a deer having at least one antler that extends 3 inches or more above the skull.
Antlerless: a deer without antlers, or antlers extending less than 3 inches above the skull.

Antler point restriction (APR): a tool used to protect an age class of bucks from being harvested in order to graduate them to the next age class by allowing hunters to harvest only bucks with a certain number of antler points on a side.
APRs vary throughout the state based on the type of deer license and the hunting location. Use the map and chart on these two pages to find the APR for your desired hunt.
1. On the map, page 54, locate the DMU(s) you wish to hunt.
2. Match the color of your desired DMU(s) to the color(s) in the charts on page 55 to see the type of deer you may harvest in each season based on your license.

Antler point restriction
Lower Peninsula Antler Point Restrictions


Can I tag an antlerless deer with my deer license or deer combo license?

Yes, antlerless deer may be taken on the deer license or deer combo license during the archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons in all Lower Peninsula
deer management units. This is applicable on both public and private lands. Additionally, antlerless deer may be taken on a deer license or deer combo license during both the early and late antlerless seasons in the Lower Peninsula.

Can I bait for deer?
No, BAITING AND FEEDING IS BANNED IN THE ENTIRE LOWER PENINSULA. This includes both public and private lands.

Exception: During the Liberty and Independence Hunts only, hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements may use bait in areas where baiting is banned. See the Hunters with Disabilities section.

Can you define “bait” and “feed” for me?
Bait means a substance intended for consumption by deer composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other food materials used as an aid in hunting.

Feed means a substance composed of grain, mineral, salt, fruit, vegetable hay, or other food material that may attract deer or elk for any reason other than hunting.

Can I use food-scented oils, wicks or urine-based scents to attract deer?

You can use food-scented materials - whether composed of natural or synthetic materials - made inaccessible for consumption by deer and placed in a manner to prohibit physical contact with deer. (Examples: oil-based attractants, scented wicks, etc.) For regulations on the possession or use of natural cervid urine lures and attractants, please visit Michigan.gov/Deer.

Can I plant a food plot to attract deer?

Yes, on private land. You may not construct or maintain a food plot or artificial garden to attract wildlife on public lands. Food plots are naturally occurring foods, standing agricultural crops or food placed as a result of using normal agricultural practices and are not considered to be bait or feed.

Are there restrictions for moving my deer after harvest?

Yes, depending on where the deer was harvested. See transportation rules and additional restrictions for moving deer on pages 32-33 for more information.

Why are there four-point antler point restrictions in Mecosta, Montcalm and Ionia counties?

The Natural Resources Commission requested that the DNR evaluate the impact of antler point restrictions within the five-county Core CWD Area on prevalence and spread of chronic wasting disease, increasing antlerless harvest and decreasing deer population beginning with the 2019 deer season. For this field study, the five-county Core CWD Area was divided in half. In Mecosta, Montcalm and Ionia counties, only bucks with at least four points on one antler can be taken with a valid license. In Newaygo and Kent counties, any buck with an antler greater than 3 inches in length can be taken with a valid license. The data collected will be able to provide estimates on deer abundance and sex/age ratio changes, factors that are likely to contribute to the overall CWD spread. Additionally, deer harvest, hunter numbers and hunter perceptions of APRs will be assessed. However, due to the relatively low CWD prevalence rates currently observed and the historically slow spread of the disease on the landscape, the study cannot provide estimates on the prevalence and spread of CWD. The DNR has partnered with the Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center at Michigan State University to conduct this research. At the end of the project, the results, along with conclusions and management recommendations, will be presented to the Natural Resources Commission in the fall of 2023. Recommendations will include the efficacy of APR regulations as a tool for managing the prevalence and spread of CWD. Additional information on this study available at Michigan.gov/CWD.

Can I bring my deer to a deer check station?

Yes, but due to budget restrictions and staffing reductions, deer check stations will be greatly reduced and will have limited hours of operation. Drop-box locations will be available in some locations. Visit Michigan.gov/DeerCheck for check station locations and hours of operation.

Can I get my deer tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD)?

CWD testing will be available on a limited basis for areas with active surveillance goals. Hunters should check Michigan.gov/CWD for CWD testing information. Hunters outside of these areas can submit heads to a participating USDA approved lab for a fee. Carcasses from deer with CWD-like symptoms accepted statewide, year-round.

Can I get my deer tested for bovine tuberculosis?

Yes. Head submission by hunters is critical in meeting surveillance quotas and managing the disease in deer and cattle. Hunters are also asked to submit deer carcasses with chest lesions suspicious for TB from anywhere in the state.

  • At least 300 heads needed from each of the following counties annually: Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Otsego and Roscommon.
  • At least 500 heads needed annually from Presque Isle County.
  • At least 2,800 heads needed annually from Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties combined.

Go to Michigan.gov/DeerCheck to find check station and drop box locations and hours.

Hunters may check their deer or elk TB lab results at Michigan.gov/DNRLab.

To learn more about bovine TB in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/BovineTB.

Youth hunters 16 and younger and apprentice license holders are exempt from antler point restrictions in all seasons, in all deer management units and under all licenses, which also includes the four-point APR on the restricted tag. A legal buck is one with one antler 3 inches or longer.

NOTE: If the youth turns 17 during the season (or prior to it), he or she must follow APRs.

Can I tag an antlerless deer with my deer license or deer combo license?

Yes, antlerless deer may be taken on the deer license or deer combo license during the archery, firearm and muzzleloader seasons in all Lower Peninsula
deer management units. This is applicable on both public and private lands. Additionally, antlerless deer may be taken on a deer license or deer combo license during both the early and late antlerless seasons in the Lower Peninsula.

Can I bait for deer?

No, BAITING AND FEEDING IS BANNED IN THE ENTIRE LOWER PENINSULA. This includes both public and private lands.

Exception: During the Liberty and Independence Hunts only, hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements may use bait in areas where baiting is banned. See the Hunters with Disabilities section.

Can you define “bait” and “feed” for me?

Bait means a substance intended for consumption by deer composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other food materials used as an aid in hunting.

Feed means a substance composed of grain, mineral, salt, fruit, vegetable hay, or other food material that may attract deer or elk for any reason other than hunting.

Can I use food-scented oils, wicks or urine-based scents to attract deer?

You can use food-scented materials - whether composed of natural or synthetic materials - made inaccessible for consumption by deer and placed in a manner to prohibit physical contact with deer. (Examples: oil-based attractants, scented wicks, etc.) For regulations on the possession or use of natural cervid urine lures and attractants, please visit Michigan.gov/Deer.

Can I plant a food plot to attract deer?

Yes, on private land. You may not construct or maintain a food plot or artificial garden to attract wildlife on public lands. Food plots are naturally occurring foods, standing agricultural crops or food placed as a result of using normal agricultural practices and are not considered to be bait or feed.

Are there restrictions for moving my deer after harvest?

Yes, depending on where the deer was harvested. See transportation rules and additional restrictions for moving deer on pages 32-33 for more information.

Why are there four-point antler point restrictions in Mecosta, Montcalm and Ionia counties?

The Natural Resources Commission requested that the DNR evaluate the impact of antler point restrictions within the five-county Core CWD Area on prevalence and spread of chronic wasting disease, increasing antlerless harvest and decreasing deer population beginning with the 2019 deer season. For this field study, the five-county Core CWD Area was divided in half. In Mecosta, Montcalm and Ionia counties, only bucks with at least four points on one antler can be taken with a valid license. In Newaygo and Kent counties, any buck with an antler greater than 3 inches in length can be taken with a valid license. The data collected will be able to provide estimates on deer abundance and sex/age ratio changes, factors that are likely to contribute to the overall CWD spread. Additionally, deer harvest, hunter numbers and hunter perceptions of APRs will be assessed. However, due to the relatively low CWD prevalence rates currently observed and the historically slow spread of the disease on the landscape, the study cannot provide estimates on the prevalence and spread of CWD. The DNR has partnered with the Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center at Michigan State University to conduct this research. At the end of the project, the results, along with conclusions and management recommendations, will be presented to the Natural Resources Commission in the fall of 2023. Recommendations will include the efficacy of APR regulations as a tool for managing the prevalence and spread of CWD. Additional information on this study available at Michigan.gov/CWD.

Can I bring my deer to a deer check station?

Yes, but due to budget restrictions and staffing reductions, deer check stations will be greatly reduced and will have limited hours of operation. Drop-box locations will be available in some locations. Visit Michigan.gov/DeerCheck for check station locations and hours of operation.

Can I get my deer tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD)?

CWD testing will be available on a limited basis for areas with active surveillance goals. Hunters should check Michigan.gov/CWD for CWD testing information. Hunters outside of these areas can submit heads to a participating USDA approved lab for a fee. Carcasses from deer with CWD-like symptoms accepted statewide, year-round.

Can I get my deer tested for bovine tuberculosis?

Yes. Head submission by hunters is critical in meeting surveillance quotas and managing the disease in deer and cattle. Hunters are also asked to submit deer carcasses with chest lesions suspicious for TB from anywhere in the state.

  • At least 300 heads needed from each of the following counties annually: Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Otsego and Roscommon.
  • At least 500 heads needed annually from Presque Isle County.
  • At least 2,800 heads needed annually from Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties combined.

Go to Michigan.gov/DeerCheck to find check station and drop box locations and hours.

Hunters may check their deer or elk TB lab results at Michigan.gov/DNRLab. To learn more about bovine TB in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/BovineTB.

Upper Peninsula Deer Hunting

Antlered: a deer having at least one antler that extends 3 inches or more above the skull.

Antlerless: a deer without antlers, or antlers extending less than 3 inches above the skull.

Antler point restriction (APR): is a tool used to protect an age class of bucks from being harvested in order to graduate them to the next age class by only allowing hunters to harvest bucks with a certain number of antler points on a side.

APRs vary throughout the state based on the type of deer license and the hunting location. Use the map and chart on these two pages to find the APR for your desired hunt.

Antler point restriction
Upper Peninsula Deer Hunting

Deer License


Youth hunters 16 and younger and apprentice license holders are exempt from antler point restrictions in all seasons, in all deer management units and under all licenses, which also includes the four-point APR on the restricted tag. A legal buck is one with one antler 3 inches or longer.

NOTE: If the youth turns 17 during the season (or prior to it), he or she must follow APRs.

Where can I hunt with my antlerless deer license in the Upper Peninsula?

If you are hunting in the Upper Peninsula with a universal antlerless deer license you may pursue antlerless deer in the southernmost deer management units: DMUs 022, 122, 255, 055, 155, and 121 – see map below.

In the Upper Peninsula, antlerless deer harvest is restricted in new deer management units 351 and 352 (see map below). DMU 351 includes DMUs 021, 349, 249, 149, 017 and 117. DMU 352 includes DMUs 027, 036, 152, and 252.

To hunt in these DMUs, you are required to have an antlerless deer hunting access permit for the DMU you are hunting AND a universal antlerless deer license. One antlerless deer hunting access permit for the DMU you are hunting plus one universal antlerless deer license is required for each deer harvested.

Upper Peninsula Deer Hunting

How do I apply for an antlerless deer hunting access permit to hunt antlerless deer in DMU 351 and DMU 352?

To hunt deer management units 351 and 352 in the Upper Peninsula, you are required to have an antlerless deer hunting access permit for the DMU you are hunting AND a universal antlerless deer license. One antlerless deer hunting access permit for the DMU you are hunting plus one universal antlerless deer license is required for each deer harvested.

A limited number of Upper Peninsula antlerless deer hunting access permits will be available by drawing. For 2021, DMUs 351 and 352 will each have a quota of 1,000 access permits. Permits are free, but there is a cost of $5 to apply for the drawing.

You can apply for one antlerless deer hunting access permit from July 15 – Aug. 15, choosing either DMU 351 or 352 (not both) on your application.

Drawing results will be posted Aug. 30.

Any leftover antlerless deer hunting access permits will go on sale Sept. 7 at 10 a.m.on a first-come, first-served basis until quotas are met. There is noguarantee that leftover access permits will be available.

Apply at Michigan.gov/Deer.

What is the core CWD surveillancearea?

The core CWD surveillance area is that area of Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties bounded by a line beginning in Dickinson County at the junction of the centerline of highway U.S. 141 and highway U.S. 2 (shared road segment) with the centerline of the Menominee River (a coincident line with the county boundary and the state boundary with Wisconsin) located northwest of the city of Iron Mountain, then westerly (about 1 mile) along the centerline on U.S. 141/U.S. 2 to the intersection with state highway M-95, northerly on M-95 to highway M-69 near the town of Randville, southeasterly on M-69 into Delta County to highway U.S. 41 and highway U.S. 2 (shared road segment) located west of the town of Bark River, southwesterly and westerly on U.S. 41/U.S. 2 into Menominee County where U.S. 41 and U.S. 2 diverge (U.S. 41 heads southerly and U.S. 2 heads westerly) near the town of Powers, continue on U.S. 41 southerly into the town of Carney to County Road G-18, westerly on G-18 to the junction of G-18 with the centerline of the Menominee River and the county/state boundary, northerly and northwesterly upstream along the Menominee River and county/state boundary, into Dickinson County along that river-centerline/county/state boundary to the point of beginning. A map of these boundaries can be found at Michigan.gov/CWD.

Can I use a crossbow after Nov. 30 in the core CWD surveillance area?

Yes. Crossbows are allowed during the late archery season in the core CWD surveillance area.

Can I bait for deer in the core CWD surveillance area?

No. Baiting and feeding is banned. This includes both public and private lands.

Exception: During the Liberty and Independence Hunts only, hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements may use bait in areas where baiting is banned. See Hunters with Disabilities section.

Can you define “bait” and “feed” for me?
Bait means a substance intended for consumption by deer composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other food materials used as an aid in hunting.

Feed means a substance composed of grain, mineral, salt, fruit, vegetable, hay or other food material that may attract deer or elk for any reason other than hunting.

Can I use food-scented oils, wicks or urine-based scents to attract deer?

Yes. You can use food-scented materials - whether composed of natural or synthetic materials - made inaccessible for consumption by deer and placed in a manner to prohibit physical contact with deer. (Examples: oil-based attractants, scented wicks, etc.) For regulations on the possession or use of natural cervid urine lures and attractants, please visit Michigan.gov/Deer.

Can I plant a food plot to attract deer?

Yes, on private land. You may not construct or maintain a food plot or artificial garden to attract wildlife on public lands. Food plots are naturally occurring foods, standing agricultural crops or food placed as a result of using normal agricultural practices and are not considered to be bait or feed.

If I’m hunting outside of the core CWD surveillance area, can I bait for deer?

Yes, in the rest of the Upper Peninsula, the following baiting regulations apply:

  • Baiting may occur only from Sept. 15 - Jan. 1.
  • Bait volume at any hunting site cannot exceed 2 gallons. Bait dispersal must be over a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area.
  • Bait must be scattered directly on the ground. It can be scattered by any means, including mechanical spin-cast feeders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute more than the maximum volume allowed.
  • To minimize exposure of deer to diseases that may be present, the DNR recommends not placing bait or feed repeatedly at the same point on the ground, and only baiting when actively hunting.

If I am outside the core CWD surveillance area, can I feed the deer?

In the rest of the Upper Peninsula, you can feed the deer when following the rules for recreational or supplemental feeding. Please visit Michigan.gov/Deer for feeding regulations.

Can I use a crossbow after Nov. 30 in the Upper Peninsula outside of the core CWD surveillance area?
No, hunters in the Upper Peninsula may not use a crossbow or a modified bow during the Dec. 1 - Jan. 1 late archery deer season and December muzzleloader deer season, unless the hunter is disabled and has a crossbow permit or special permit to take game with a modified bow.

Crossbows may be used during the Dec. 1 – Jan. 1 late archery season in the U.P. core CWD surveillance area. Any licensed hunter may use a crossbow during the early archery deer season in the Upper Peninsula (Oct. 1 - Nov. 14).

Can I bring my deer to a deer check station?

Yes, but due to budget restrictions and staffing reductions, deer check stations will be greatly reduced and will have limited hours of operation. Drop-box locations will be available in some locations. Hunters should see Michigan.gov/DeerCheck for check station locations and hours of operation.

Can I get my deer tested for chronic wasting disease (CWD)?

CWD testing will be available on a limited basis for areas with active surveillance goals. Please check Michigan.gov/Deer for CWD testing information.

Deer Diseases

Where has chronic wasting disease (CWD) been found in Michigan?

Since the initial finding of CWD on May 20, 2015, free-ranging deer in Clinton, Dickinson, Eaton, Gratiot, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Kent and Montcalm counties have been positively confirmed with CWD. Please visit Michigan.gov/CWD for more information on CWD and the latest news and testing updates. See pages 56-57 and 61-62 for important regulations pertaining to CWD.

Can I get my deer tested for CWD?

CWD testing will be available on a limited basis for areas with active surveillance goals. For all other areas, hunters who wish to have their deer tested for CWD can contact a U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved laboratory for this service; visit Michigan.gov/CWD and click on “For Hunters” for instructions. Please be aware that test results may take additional processing time this year. Once they are available, testing results will be posted at Michigan.gov/DNRLab.

Does the DNR test deer for bovine tuberculosis (TB)?

Yes, the DNR works in partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish surveillance quotas in order to detect changes in the occurrence of bovine TB in free-ranging white-tailed deer. Head submission by hunters is critical in meeting these quotas and managing the disease in deer and cattle. Hunters are also asked to submit deer carcasses with chest lesions suspicious for TB from anywhere in the state.

  • At least 300 heads needed from each of the following counties annually: Cheboygan, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Otsego and Roscommon.
  • At least 500 heads needed annually from Presque Isle County.
  • At least 2,800 heads needed annually from Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties combined.
  • Go to Michigan.gov/DeerCheck to find check station and drop box locations and hours.

You may check your deer or elk TB lab results at Michigan.gov/DNRLab. To learn more about bovine TB in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/BovineTB.

What is epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD)?

EHD is an acute, infectious, often fatal disease contracted by wild ruminants but most commonly affecting white-tailed deer. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/EmergingDiseases.

Hunting Zones

What are the hunting and trapping zone boundaries?

Michigan is divided into Hunting and Trapping Zones 1, 2 and 3; see map below. Zone 1 includes all the Upper Peninsula. The dividing line between Zones 2 and 3 is from the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Muskegon Lake easterly on Memorial Drive to Ruddiman Drive to Lake Avenue, easterly on Lake Avenue to M-120 in North Muskegon, northeasterly on M-120 to M-20, easterly on M-20 to US-10, easterly on US-10 to Garfield Road in Bay County, northerly on Garfield Road to Pinconning Road, easterly on Pinconning Road to Seven Mile Road, northerly on Seven Mile Road to Lincoln School Road (County Road 25) in Arenac County, northerly on Lincoln School Road to M-61, easterly on M-61 to US-23, easterly
on U.S. 23 to center line of AuGres River, southerly along center line of AuGres River to Saginaw Bay, easterly 90 degrees east for 7 miles into Saginaw Bay, then northerly 78 degrees east to the International Boundary.

Exception: The waterfowl hunting zone lines differ from those above. Refer to the current-year Waterfowl Digest for waterfowl zone descriptions.

What is the limited firearm deer zone and what are the boundaries?

Michigan is divided into a northern zone and a southern limited firearm deer zone where only shotguns, certain firearms and certain handguns may be used for deer hunting (see Equipment Regulations). The dividing line between the northern zone and the southern limited firearm deer zone is as follows: starting at a point on the Lake Michigan shoreline directly west of M-46, then easterly to M-46, then easterly along M-46 to U.S. 131 at Cedar Springs, southerly on U.S. 131 to M-57, easterly on M-57 to Montcalm Road on the Kent-Montcalm county line, southerly on Montcalm Road and the Kent-Ionia county line to M-44, easterly on M-44 to M-66, northerly on M-66 to M-57, easterly on M-57 to M-52 near Chesaning, northerly on M-52 to M-46, easterly on M-46 to M-47, northerly on M-47 to U.S. 10 west of Bay City, easterly on U.S. 10 to I-75, northerly on I-75 and U.S. 23 to Beaver Road (about 1 mile north of Kawkawlin), easterly to Saginaw Bay, north 50 degrees east to the International Boundary.

Hunting Hours

What are the legal hunting hours?

Shown on page 14 is a map of the hunting-hour time zones. Actual legal hunting hours for bear, deer, fall wild turkey, furbearers and small game for Time Zone A are shown in the table on pages 14-16. Hunting hours for migratory game birds are different and are published in the current-year Waterfowl Digest.

To determine the opening (a.m.) and closing (p.m.) time for any day in another time zone, add the minutes shown below to the times listed in the Time Zone A Hunting Hours Table on page 14-16.

The hunting hours listed in the table reflect Eastern Standard Time, with an adjustment for daylight saving time. If you are hunting in Gogebic, Iron, Dickinson or Menominee counties (Central Standard Time), you must make an additional adjustment to the printed time by subtracting one hour.

Time Zone A. Hunting Hours for bear, deer, fall wild turkey, furbearers and small game

Table shows times adjusted for one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset (adjusted for daylight saving time). For hunt dates not listed in the table, please consult your local newspaper or SunriseSunset.com.

Note:

  • Woodcock and early teal hunting season hours are sunrise to sunset.
  • Waterfowl hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset, except

    during the teal season. See the current-year Waterfowl Digest for legal hunting hours.

  • For nighttime hunting of furbearers, see the current-year Fur Harvester Digest.

Zone A Hunting Hours Table

DateTime Zone A a.m.Time Zone A p.m.
September 16:278:38
September 26:288:36
September 36:298:34
September 46:318:32
September 56:328:31
September 66:338:29
September 76:348:27
September 86:358:26
September 96:368:24
September 106:378:22
September 116:388:20
September 126:398:19
September 136:408:17
September 146:418:15
September 156:428:13
September 166:438:12
September 176:448:10
September 186:458:08
September 196:468:06
September 206:478:04
September 216:488:03
September 226:508:01
September 236:517:59
September 246:527:57
September 256:537:56
September 266:547:54
September 276:557:52
September 286:567:50
September 296:577:49
September 306:587:47
October 16:597:45
October 27:007:43
October 37:017:42
October 47:037:40
October 57:047:38
October 67:057:36
October 77:067:35
October 87:077:33
October 97:087:31
October 107:097:30
October 117:107:32
October 127:127:26
October 137:137:25
October 147:147:23
October 157:157:21
October 167:167:20
October 177:177:18
October 187:197:17
October 197:207:15
October 207:217:14
October 217:227:12
October 227:237:11
October 237:257:09
October 247:267:08
October 257:277:06
October 267:287:05
October 277:297:03
October 287:307:02
October 297:327:00
October 307:336:59
October 317:346:58
November 17:366:56
November 27:376:55
November 37:386:54
November 47:396:53
November 57:406:51
November 67:426:50
November 76:435:49
November 86:445:48
November 96:465:47
November 106:475:46
November 116:485:45
November 126:505:44
November 136:515:43
November 146:525:42
November 156:535:41
November 166:545:40
November 176:555:39
November 186:575:38
November 196:585:38
November 206:595:37
November 217:005:36
November 227:025:35
November 237:035:35
November 247:045:34
November 257:055:34
November 267:065:33
November 277:075:32
November 287:085:32
November 297:105:32
November 307:115:31
December 17:125:31
December 27:135:31
December 37:145:30
December 47:155:30
December 57:165:30
December 67:175:30
December 77:185:30
December 87:195:30
December 97:205:30
December 107:205:30
December 117:215:30
December 127:225:30
December 137:235:30
December 147:245:30
December 157:245:30
December 167:255:31
December 177:265:31
December 187:265:31
December 197:275:32
December 207:285:32
December 217:285:32
December 227:295:33
December 237:295:33
December 247:305:34
December 257:305:35
December 267:305:35
December 277:315:36
December 287:315:37
December 297:315:37
December 307:315:38
December 317:325:39

Safety Zones and Other Restrictions

What are the firearm safety zones?

No person may hunt with a firearm within 450 feet of an occupied building, dwelling, house, residence or cabin, or any barn or other building used in connection with a farm operation, without obtaining the written permission of the owner, renter or occupant of the property. The safety zone applies to hunting only. It does not apply to indoor or outdoor shooting ranges, target shooting, law enforcement activities or the lawful discharge of firearms for any nonhunting purpose.

Can I hunt or trap within a road or railroad right-of-way?

You may hunt and trap within a road right-of-way where the adjoining property is publicly owned. If the adjacent property is privately owned, you must have permission from the landowner. Railroad rights-of-way are private property. Trespassing on railroad property is a misdemeanor. You must have written permission from the railroad company to be exempt from trespass.

Can I float hunt?

Yes. You may float hunt and trap on and along waterways that are surrounded by public land and open to hunting. Hunting and trapping are exclusive rights of landowner(s) bordering the waterway and their invited guests. You must secure permission from the landowner before float hunting or setting traps along those waterways that are protected by the recreational trespass law.

Are there townships with hunting restrictions?

Yes. Townships or parts of townships in these counties are closed to hunting or restricted to types of firearms or the discharge of firearms as posted: Alcona, Arenac, Barry, Berrien, Crawford, Dickinson, Eaton, Emmet, Genesee, Iosco, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Livingston, Macomb, Mackinac, Manistee, Oakland, Otsego, Ottawa, Presque Isle, Saginaw, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. These areas are posted with the restrictions. For descriptions, contact the appropriate township clerk or township police department. Find county-specific rules at Michigan.gov/DNRLaws.

Can I hunt with someone who is a member of a federally recognized tribe hunting under treaty-authorized regulations?
A person accompanying a hunter lawfully engaged in treaty-authorized hunting may not harvest a game animal unless also lawfully licensed as a treaty- authorized hunter or as a state-licensed hunter for the applicable species and season.

Public Lands

Where do I find the rules for state lands?

You can find state land-use rules at Michigan.gov/DNRLaws. Please keep in mind that you may NOT:

  • Cut branches, limbs, trees or other vegetation for shooting lanes on public land.
  • Block any gate, road or trail on public land.\
  • Camp on state land without a permit. Permits are free and are available online at Michigan.gov/Camping or at any DNR office. They must be posted at your campsite. A fee is charged for camping at designated campsites in state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds and some state game areas.

Can I hunt on state park or state recreation area lands?

State parks are closed to hunting unless opened by law (Michigan.gov/DNRLaws). State recreation areas are open to hunting unless closed by law. Approximately 92 percent of state park and state recreation area lands are open to hunting. Contact the individual park or recreation area for hunting information specific to that location. Visit Michigan.gov/RecSearch for contact information.

It is unlawful to:

  • Use a centerfire rifle or centerfire pistol to take an animal during nighttime hours in any state park or state recreation area.
  • Trap within 50 feet of the mowed portions of developed areas within state recreation areas. Contact individual parks or recreation areas for current trapping regulations and any restrictions for those areas prior to trapping.
  • Target-shoot in a state park or recreation area, except on designated shooting ranges located at Algonac State Park and Bald Mountain, Island Lake, Ortonville and Pontiac Lake recreation areas.

Within the established season, quail may be harvested only by field trial

participants in the Highland and Ionia Recreation Area field trial areas on days with authorized field trials. Contact the recreation area headquarters for field trial dates.

Can I camp at a state park or recreation area while hunting?

Camping is allowed only on designated campsites. To make camping reservations, go to MiDNRReservations.com.

Do I need a Recreation Passport?

Yes, if you are hunting at or camping on state park or recreation area lands. The Recreation Passport gives you access to all 103 state parks and recreation areas as well as all state forest campgrounds and DNR-administered boat launches in Michigan. Camping fees remain in effect. For more information visit Michigan.gov/RecreationPassport or call 517-284-7275. Michigan residents have the opportunity to buy a Recreation Passport for $12 when renewing their vehicle registration with the Secretary of State. Vehicles registered in other states will require a daily ($9) or annual ($34) fee to enter any state park or DNR- administered boat launch site. State forests and state game areas do not require a Recreation Passport.

Where can I find public hunting lands near me?

You can find places to hunt by visiting Michigan.gov/MiHunt. You will find an interactive map application called Mi-HUNT to help you plan your hunting, trapping and other outdoor recreation adventures. You can also find a collection of maps, under “More Public Lands,” that identify all lands open to public hunting in Michigan. Click on a county and see lands open to hunting administered by the DNR, as well as all federal lands and private lands open to the public. It is the responsibility of the users of these maps to be aware of all regulations relevant
to their hunting activities and hunting locations. These maps show approximate boundaries of the lands open to public hunting.

Do I need authorization to guide hunts on public land?

All commercial hunting guides using state-owned lands must receive
written authorization. Guides are required to meet the conditions of the
written authorization. If you are a guide who utilizes state-owned lands, visit Michigan.gov/WildlifePermits or contact Casey Reitz at ReitzC@Michigan.gov or 517-284-6210 for more information.

Commercial guiding on national forest lands requires a federal special use permit. Applications can be obtained through any national forest (NF) office or by calling - Hiawatha NF: 906-428-5800; Huron-Manistee NF: 231-775-5023; or Ottawa NF: 906-932-1330.

National Wildlife Refuges and National Forest Lands

Can I hunt on national wildlife refuges and waterfowl production areas?

Federal waterfowl production areas are open to public hunting except where prohibited. National wildlife refuges are closed unless expressly permitted.

All state laws apply to national wildlife refuge lands. Additional federal regulations also apply and can be found in 50 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) at FWS.gov.

Please consult the appropriate national wildlife refuge office for refuge-specific regulations.

  • Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge: 5437 West Jefferson Ave, Trenton, MI 48183, 734-365-0219. Limited small game, waterfowl and deer hunting are allowed as shown on maps available at refuge parking areas or online atFWS.gov/Refuge/Detroit_River.
  • Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge: Managed by Seney NWR, 906-586-9851. Open for deer and bear hunting. The use of dogs to hunt black bear is prohibited. More information can be found at FWS.gov/Refuge/Harbor_Island.
  • Huron National Wildlife Refuge: Managed by Seney NWR, 906-586-9851. Closed to hunting. See FWS.gov/Refuge/Huron.
  • Kirtland Warbler Wildlife Management Area: Managed by Seney NWR, 906-586-9851. Parcels of property occupied by the Kirtland’s warbler are closed to all entry during the bird’s breeding season (May 1 – Aug. 15). Closed parcels will be posted. More information can be found at FWS.gov/Refuge/Kirtlands_Warbler.
  • Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge: Managed by Seney and Shiawassee NWRs. Closed to public access. More information is available online at FWS.gov/Refuge/Michigan_Islands.
  • Michigan Wetland Management District: 2651 Coolidge Road, Suite 101, East Lansing, MI 48823, 517-351-6236. Hunting information is available online at FWS.gov/Refuge/Michigan_WMD.
  • Seney National Wildlife Refuge: 1674 Refuge Entrance Road, Seney, MI 49883, 906-586-9851. Refuge-specific regulations apply. See FWS.gov/Refuge/Seney/Visit/Hunting.html.
  • Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge: 6975 Mower Rd, Saginaw, MI 48601, 989-777-5930. Refuge specific regulations apply. See FWS.gov/Refuge/Shiawassee/Visit/Visitor_Activities/Hunting.html.

Can I hunt on national forest lands?

Yes. All state laws apply to national forest lands; however, additional federal regulations also apply. For a complete listing of regulations see 36 CFR 261 (Code of Federal Regulations) at FS.USDA.gov.

A motor vehicle use map that shows designated roads and trails open for motorized travel, including ORVs, is available at U.S. Forest Service offices as well as online. Both state and federal laws governing ORV use must be followed.

Contact for additional information:

  • Hiawatha National Forest: FS.USDA.gov/Detail/Hiawatha or 906-428-5800.
  • Huron-Manistee National Forest: FS.USDA.gov/Main/HMN or 231-775-5023.
  • Ottawa National Forest: FS.USDA.gov/Detail/Ottawa or 906-932-1330.

Private Lands

    Do I need permission to hunt on someone’s private land?

    Yes. Trespassing is unlawful and erodes support for recreational hunting. Written or verbal permission is required from the landowner or leaseholder before you hunt on any farmlands or connected woodlots or on any posted private land or on any property that is fenced or enclosed. Hunters are required to produce their hunting license to landowners upon request.

    What if the game animal I wounded goes onto private land?

    If you wound a game animal or bird and it runs or flies onto private property, you have no legal right to pursue it without permission of the landowner and would be subject to prosecution.

    Can I hunt on commercial forest (CF) lands?

    Yes. Over 2.2 million acres of privately owned forests enrolled in the CF program are accessible by foot to the public for fishing, hunting and trapping. To hunt all species, hunters must possess licenses that are valid for private-land hunting. Use of motorized vehicles for fishing and hunting access is at the landowner’s discretion. CF landowners are not required to identify the property as CF, and CF land may be fenced and/or gated. The presence of a fence or gate does not prohibit public access to CF lands for fishing or hunting. The owner may restrict public access during periods of active commercial logging to ensure public safety. Any activities other than the acts of fishing, hunting and trapping require landowner permission. Leaving anything unattended, other than traps, also requires landowner permission. In addition, hunters may not build structures or construct blinds other than with natural materials found onsite. The use of nails, bolts or tree steps is not allowed. The cutting of shooting lanes or destruction of brush, trees or other vegetation is prohibited. Commercial activity on CF lands is not allowed for any purpose other than forestry or oil and gas extraction. Descriptions of land in the CF program are available on the DNR website at Michigan.gov/CommercialForest (click “Commercial Forest Program Maps”). If you have questions about this program or specific CF parcels, contact the DNR Forest Resources Division at 517-284-5900, DNR-Forestry@Michigan.gov or P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909.

    What is the Hunting Access Program (HAP)?

    HAP provides public hunting opportunities on private land. The DNR leases lands from private landowners to allow public hunting. The program was created in 1977 to increase public hunting opportunities in southern Michigan, where 97 percent of the land base is in private ownership. This program has since expanded throughout the state and is now one of the oldest dedicated private-lands, public- access programs in the nation. Private landowners determine if all hunters, or youth and apprentice hunters only, may hunt on their property. They also determine if hunters may harvest deer only, turkey only, small game only, elk only, sharp-tailed grouse only, all legal species or a combination of any of these options. Property owners specify the maximum number of hunters allowed on the land at any one time. Members of the public can use HAP lands only for hunting purposes; no other activities or recreation are permissible.

    How do I hunt on HAP lands?

    If you utilize a HAP property, you are a guest of the landowner. Respect for the landowner and landowner’s privacy is vital, and you should use the types of registration service provided. Appropriate conduct is expected and helps ensure a good experience for both you and the landowner. All rules and regulations enforced by the DNR apply while hunting on HAP lands.

    Lands enrolled in HAP are available each day on a first-come, first-served basis, and hunters must register at each property headquarters to hunt for that day. To help hunters locate and scout HAP lands, aerial photographs of HAP properties are available on the DNR’s interactive hunting map application, Michigan.gov/MiHunt, and on the HAP webpage at Michigan.gov/HAP.

    1. Find a current listing of enrolled HAP lands at Michigan.gov/ HAP. You also can get listings by visiting a DNR Customer Service Center (locations in front of digest) or by calling 517-284-9453 to get a copy by mail. Listing information for each property includes:

    Landowner Name

    Last name, first name

    Township/Sections

    Township and section

    Headquarters

    Where hunters register to hunt

    Habitat Type
    (including species commonly found)

    WW = Wetlands (ducks, geese)
    FW = Forest (deer, squirrel, rabbit, turkey) FA = Grasslands and brush (pheasant, rabbit, deer)
    CC = Crop lands

    Service Type

    Self-service box or mandatory check-in

    Hunters Allowed

    Maximum number of hunters allowed at one time

    Hunt Type

    Youth and apprentice hunting only (up to two licensed adults may accompany each youth or apprentice hunter)
    All legal hunting, deer hunting only, turkey hunting only, elk hunting only and small game hunting only

    For Eastern Upper Peninsula (EUP) only: SG = Small game hunting only (includes sharp-tailed grouse)
    S = Sharp-tailed grouse only

    Note: EUP lands are not open for big game species

    2. Register at headquarters each time before hunting by providing name, complete mailing address, species hunted and time spent hunting (starting and ending times). Individuals accompanying a hunter, but who themselves will not be hunting, should not register. Registration service types include:

    • Self-service box - Located near headquarters sign; contains folder with registration forms and property information. Please respect landowner privacy; do not contact.
    • Mandatory check-in - Register directly with the landowner.

    What are the rules for hunting on HAP properties?

    • Before hunting, verify hunting seasons, hunt type(s) and hunt dates.
    • Lands are closed June 1 to Aug. 31, and any other dates when hunt types are not currently active on a property.
    • Hunting is the ONLY activity allowed on HAP lands.
    • Do not trespass onto adjacent properties.
    • Hunters must follow all individual landowner rules as described in the registration folder.
    • Every individual hunter (whether hunting or scouting) must register before hunting. See property list for maximum number of hunters allowed.
    • Up to two licensed adults may accompany each youth or apprentice hunter.
    • Private-land hunting rules apply to HAP lands.
    • Hunters are only allowed to hunt during seasons listed for each HAP land.
    • Only species listed under “hunt types” may be harvested at each HAP land.
    • Driving on HAP lands is prohibited without landowner permission.
    • Do not block drives or lanes. Park in designated area when provided by landowner.
    • Use of ORVs is prohibited without landowner permission.
    • Hunting in or damaging standing crops is prohibited.
    • Temporary structures only. Use of permanent blinds, tree stands or nails/ screws in trees is prohibited. Only nonpermanent blinds are permitted and must be removed when you leave.
    • Clean up after yourself; littering is prohibited.

    How do I enroll my property in HAP?

    If you are interested and have a minimum of 40 acres, you may obtain an application and program details by contacting the DNR HAP coordinator at DNR-HAP@Michigan.gov or 517-284-9453. Landowners who enroll their property receive payment for allowing public hunting on their lands. Eligible lands must be located within HAP-eligible areas. Landowners are free from liability as stated in Public Act 451 0f 1994: “A cause of action shall not arise for injuries to persons hunting on lands leased under HAP unless the injuries were caused by the gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct of the owner, tenant, or lessee.”

    Equipment Regulations

    When do I need to wear hunter orange?

    You must wear a cap, hat, vest, jacket or rain gear of hunter orange when taking game during the established daylight shooting hours from Aug. 15 through April 30. Hunter orange includes camouflage that is not less than 50 percent hunter orange. The garments that are hunter orange must be the hunter’s outermost garment and must be visible from all sides of the hunter. Exception: This does not apply to a person engaged in the taking of deer with a bow or crossbow during archery deer season, a person taking bear with a bow or crossbow, a person engaged in the taking of turkey, crow or other migratory birds other than woodcock, a person engaged in the sport of falconry, or a person who is stationary and in the act of hunting bobcat, coyote or fox.

    Are there any equipment prohibitions or methods I cannot use for hunting?

    • You may not set fires to drive out game.
    • You may not use snares, traps, cages, nets, pitfalls, deadfalls, spears, drugs, poisons, chemicals, smoke, gas, explosives, ferrets, weasels or mechanical devices other than firearms, crossbows, bows and arrows, or slingshots to take wild animals, except as provided by trapping rules or special permit. See current-year Fur Harvester Digest for trapping regulations.
    • You may not use cartridges containing tracer or explosive bullets.
    • You may not hunt while under the influence of intoxicating alcohol or controlled substances.
    • For regulations on the possession or use of natural cervid urine lures and attractants, please visit Michigan.gov/Deer.

    Can I use an artificial light or shine for wild animals?

    You may not use an artificial light (including vehicle headlights) to locate wild animals at any time during November and all other days of the year between

    11 p.m. and 6 a.m. You may not use an artificial light on a highway or in a field, wetland, woodland or forest while having in your possession or control a bow and arrow, firearm or other device capable of shooting a projectile. Exceptions:

    • This prohibition does not apply to pistols carried under the authority of a concealed pistol license or properly carried under authority of a specific exemption from the requirement of a concealed pistol license. This does not authorize the individual to use the pistol to take game except as provided by law.
    • Nighttime furbearer hunting of raccoon, opossum, fox and coyote. See the Fur Harvester Digest for nighttime hunting equipment regulations.

    An artificial light may be used from Nov. 1-30 on property you own or property owned by a member of your immediate family if you do not have in your possession or control a bow and arrow, firearm or other device capable of shooting a projectile. It is a violation of federal law to shine at any time on any national wildlife refuge. Deer hunters may use an artificial light one hour before and one hour after shooting hours while carrying an unloaded firearm or bow and arrow when traveling on foot to or from their hunting location. Those not possessing a firearm or bow and arrow while traveling on foot may use lights during dog training or field trials to follow dogs chasing raccoon, opossum or fox. A lighted pin sight on a bow or a scope with illuminated crosshairs may be used to hunt game during legal hunting hours.

    If you are using an artificial light to locate game, you must immediately stop your vehicle when signaled by a uniformed officer or marked patrol vehicle.

    Can I hunt from a vehicle?

    No, you may not hunt or pursue wild animals from a car, snowmobile, aircraft, drone, motorboat, personal watercraft, ORV or other motorized vehicle, or by a sailboat. Exceptions: See current-year Waterfowl Digest. Special permits may apply; see Michigan.gov/DNRAccessibility for more information for hunters with disabilities.

    ORVs and Snowmobiles

    Are there restrictions on where and when I can use off-road vehicles or snowmobiles?

    Yes. Some roads or areas may be closed to ORV or snowmobile use; check Michigan.gov/DNRLaws or contact the nearest DNR office for closures.

    You may not operate an ORV or a snowmobile between the hours of 7 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. on any area open to public hunting during the Nov. 15-30 firearm deer season. Exceptions: The time restrictions on the use of ORVs and snowmobiles do not apply to the following:

    • During an emergency, or while traveling to and from a permanent residence or hunting camp that is otherwise inaccessible by conventional wheeled vehicle.
    • To remove legally harvested deer, bear or elk from state land. An individual shall not operate an ORV at a speed exceeding 5 miles per hour, and the individual must use the most direct route that complies with all ORV restrictions.
    • To private landowners and their invited guests.
    • To motor vehicles licensed under the Michigan Vehicle Code operating on roads capable of sustaining automobile traffic.
    • To a person with a disability using a designated trail or forest road for hunting or fishing purposes.
    • To a person with a valid permit to hunt from a standing vehicle.

    Firearms, Crossbows and Archery Equipment

    Can I use rifles in the limited firearm deer zone?

    Yes, you may use a centerfire or rimfire rifle from Dec. 1 – Nov. 9 in the limited firearm deer zone during the open season for all species, except deer (see pages 50-51 for legal firearms for deer seasons), turkey, and migratory game birds. See the current-year Fur Harvester Digest for nighttime furbearer regulation restrictions.

    If I am carrying hunting equipment in the field during deer seasons, do I need to have my deer license with me?
    Yes. During the deer hunting seasons, it is unlawful for a person taking or attempting to take deer to carry or possess afield a centerfire or muzzleloading rifle, a crossbow, a bow and arrow, a centerfire or black powder handgun, or a shotgun with buckshot, slug or ball loads or cut shells, unless you have in your name and possession a current-year:

    • Deer, deer combo or antlerless deer license, or
    • Deer, deer combo or antlerless deer license with an unused Deer Management Assistance permit kill tag, or an unused managed deer hunting permit.

    What is the shell capacity for shotguns and centerfire rifles?

    You may not hunt with a semi-automatic shotgun or semi-automatic rifle that can hold more than six shells in the barrel and magazine combined, unless it is a .22 caliber or smaller rimfire. All shotguns used for migratory game birds (including woodcock) must be plugged so the total capacity of the shotgun does not exceed three shells.

    Fully automatic firearms may not be used.

    Can I hunt with a crossbow?

    Yes, a crossbow may be used during any season in which a firearm is allowed, for both big and small game, except hunters in the Upper Peninsula may not use a crossbow or a modified bow during the Dec. 1 - Jan. 1 late archery deer season and December muzzleloader deer season, unless the hunter is disabled and has a crossbow permit or special permit to take game with a modified bow. Crossbows may be used during the Dec. 1 – Jan. 1 late archery season in the U.P. core CWD surveillance area. Any licensed hunter may use a crossbow throughout the archery deer season in the Lower Peninsula (Oct. 1 - Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 - Jan. 1) and during the early archery deer season in the Upper Peninsula (Oct. 1 - Nov. 14). When hunting deer, bear, elk and turkey, crossbow hunters must use only bolts and quarrels at least 14 inches in length and tipped with a broadhead point at least 7/8 inches wide.

    How should I transport my firearm, crossbow, or bow and arrows?

    These rules apply whether your vehicle is parked, stopped or moving. Firearms must be unloaded in the barrel, and all arrows must be in a quiver when a hunter is afield outside the legal hunting hours. Muzzleloading firearms are considered unloaded when the cap is removed or priming powder is removed from the pan, or when the battery is removed on electronic systems. The ball and powder can remain in the barrel.

    At all times when carried in or on a motor vehicle, including snowmobiles:

    • Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders and other firearms must be unloaded in both barrel and magazine and enclosed in a case or carried in the trunk of a vehicle

      on private or public property, whether your vehicle is parked, stopped or moving.

    • Crossbows, slingshots, and bows and arrows must be unloaded and uncocked, enclosed in a case or carried in the trunk of a vehicle while that vehicle is

      operated on public land or on a highway, road or street.

    • Note: A crossbow is considered uncocked when it is not in the cocked position and unloaded when a bolt is not in the flight groove. A bow is considered uncocked when the bow is not in the drawn position and unloaded when an arrow is not nocked.

    At all times, when carried in or on an off-road vehicle:

    • Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders and other firearms must be unloaded in both barrel and magazine and enclosed in a case or equipped with and made inoperative by a manufactured key-locked trigger-housing mechanism.
    • Crossbows, slingshots, and bows and arrows must be unloaded and uncocked, enclosed in a case or carried in the trunk of a vehicle while that vehicle is operated on public land or on a highway, road or street.

    At all times, when carried in or on a motor-propelled boat or sailboat:

    • Rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders and all other firearms must be unloaded in both barrel and magazine.

    Exception: See the current-year Waterfowl Digest, under the Joint State-Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations section.

    Exception: These rules do not apply to a pistol carried under authority of a concealed pistol license or properly carried under authority of a specific exception from the requirement of a concealed pistol license. See Handgun Regulations.

    Exception: A person holding a valid permit to hunt from a standing vehicle may transport or possess an uncased firearm with a loaded magazine on a Personal Assistive Mobility Device if the action is open. See page 42.

    Can I hunt with an airbow?

    No. It is unlawful to hunt using an airbow during any season for any species in Michigan.

    Can I hunt with an air gun?

    Pneumatic guns, or “air guns,” are considered firearms for hunting purposes. Pneumatic guns must meet firearm requirements for season, species hunted and zone you are hunting in.

    Can I hunt with a handgun?

    Yes, if following the rules listed below. The rules listed below may not apply to those having a concealed pistol license or specifically exempt by law from a CPL and carrying their handgun in accordance with their license or exemption.

    • A person must be at least 18 years of age to hunt with or possess a handgun.
    • Handguns cannot be borrowed or loaned to another person other than provided for under the CPL.
    • While in the field, handguns must be carried in plain view.
    • Carrying a handgun in a holster in plain view is permitted.
    • You may transport your registered handguns while en route to and from your hunting or target shooting area; however, handguns, including BB guns larger than .177 caliber and all pellet guns, must be unloaded in the barrel and magazines and in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms and cannot be readily accessible to any occupant of the vehicle.
    • It is a crime for certain felons to possess ammunition and firearms, including rifles and shotguns, in Michigan.
    • Nonresidents must have a CPL or a license to purchase, carry or transport issued by their home state in their possession in order to legally carry or transport a handgun in Michigan. For more information about statewide handgun regulations, obtaining a CPL, or concealed weapons and firearms laws, contact your local police department.

    Tree Stands and Ground Blinds

    Can I hunt from a raised platform or tree stand?

    You may hunt from a raised platform or tree stand if you are a:

    Bow or crossbow hunter (all species).

    • Bear, deer, turkey and/or elk hunter using a firearm.
    • Small game (except migratory bird) hunter.
    • Fox, coyote, raccoon and/or opossum hunter (day or night).
    • Bobcat hunter (day only).

    All other firearm hunters are prohibited from using a raised platform or tree stand.

    What is a raised platform?

    A raised platform means a horizontal surface, constructed or manufactured by a person, that increases the field of vision of a person using it beyond the field of vision that normally would be attained by that person standing on the ground.

    Can I use a tree stand on public land?

    Yes. If you hunt on public land, your tree stand must be portable and your name and address, complete Michigan driver’s license number or DNR Sportcard number must be affixed in legible English that can be easily read from the ground. Hunting platforms cannot be affixed or attached to any tree by nails, screws or bolts; however, a “T” bolt or similar device supplied by a tree stand manufacturer can be used. A fall arrest system is recommended. Screw-in tree steps are illegal on public lands. It is unlawful to use any item that penetrates through the bark of a tree in the construction or affixing of any device to assist in climbing a tree.

    When can I put a tree stand up on public land?

    Scaffolds, raised platforms, ladders, steps and any other device to assist in climbing a tree cannot be placed on public lands any earlier than Sept. 1, and must be removed by March 1.

    Can someone else use my tree stand or ground blind that is on public land?

    Yes. Your name on a tree stand or ground blind on public land does not guarantee exclusive use. You may not use an illegal tree stand, scaffold, step, etc., or ground blind regardless of who placed it on public lands.

    Can I use a tree stand on private land?

    Yes. You may use a permanent raised platform or tree stand for hunting on private land with the permission of the landowner. Permanent blinds are not allowed on Commercial Forest lands.

    What is a ground blind?

    A ground blind means a structure, enclosure or any material, natural or manufactured, placed on the ground to assist in concealing or disguising the user for the purpose of taking an animal.

    Can I use a ground blind on public land?

    Yes. Only the following three types of ground blinds are legal on public land:

    (Exception: See the current-year Waterfowl Digest for regulations on waterfowl hunting blinds.)

    Type 1 (portable ground blind): This blind must be clearly portable and removed at the end of each day’s hunt (if you wish to leave your blind out overnight, see Type 3 below). Fasteners, if used to attach or anchor the blind, cannot penetrate the cambium of a tree and must be removed daily. No identification is required. These blinds may be used for legal hunting on public land, including all state game areas, state parks and state recreation areas in Zone 3.

    Type 2 (dead natural materials ground blind). This blind must be constructed exclusively of dead and natural materials found on the ground in the area of the blind, except that a hunter may add netting, cloth, plastic or other materials for concealment or protection from the weather if these materials are not permanently fastened to the blind and are removed at the end of each day’s hunt. These items can be tied to the blind but cannot be stapled, nailed, glued or fastened in any permanent manner. No identification is required. Fasteners (nails, screws, etc.) cannot be used in construction. These blinds may be used for legal hunting on public land, including all state game areas, state parks and state recreation areas in Zone 3 (see page 12).

    Type 3 (constructed ground blind). This includes all other blinds not meeting the requirements of either Type 1 or Type 2, including portable ground blinds, if not removed daily.

    • Bear hunters may place constructed ground blinds on state lands in bear management units open to bear hunting for which they have a bear license beginning Aug. 10 in Zone 1 units and beginning Aug. 17 in Zone 2 units. Blinds must be removed within five days of a bear being harvested, or within five days of the end of the bear season for which the hunter has a license.
    • Elk hunters may place constructed ground blinds on state lands in elk management units open to elk hunting for which they have an elk licensebeginning Aug. 15. Blinds must be removed within five days of an elk being harvested, or within five days after the close of the elk season for which the hunter has a license.
    • Deer hunters may place constructed ground blinds on all Zone 1 and Zone 2 public lands from Sept. 1 to the end of the annual deer season. In addition to being subject to criminal penalties, any constructed blind found on public land prior to Sept. 1 or after the end of the annual deer season will be considered abandoned.

    These blinds are not legal on state game areas, state parks and state recreation areas in Zone 3 (see page 12). Fasteners, if used to anchor or attach the blind, cannot penetrate the cambium of a tree and must be removed with the blind

    Note: If a person’s Type 3 ground blind has been permitted to be placed on land administered by a local public agency (city, township, county), the local agency will establish the length of time that a blind may be placed on its property.

    Do I need to have my name on my ground blind?

    Yes. Your name and address, complete Michigan driver’s license number or DNR Sportcard number must be permanently attached, etched, engraved or painted on your constructed ground blind on public land.

    Hunting Violations

    What are the penalties for hunting violations?

    SpeciesFineJailRevocation of License
    Deer$1,000 per animal + additional $1,000 if antlered AND one of the following:
    8-10 points - $500 each point
    11+ points - $750 each point
    NACurrent year + three years
    AND if antlered: First offense: additional two years Second offense: additional seven years
    Elk and Moose$5,000 per animal + additional if antlered. See notes 1 and 2Five-90 days1st offense: 15 years
    2nd offense: Life
    Bear$3,500 per animalFive-90 daysCurrent year + 3 years
    First offense: additional two years Second offense:
    additional seven years
    Owl, Eagle and Hawk$1,000-$1,500 per animalNANA
    Wild Turkey$1,000 per animal + additional $1,000 for bearded turkeyNAFive years
    Waterfowl$500 per animalNANA

    Notes

    1. Antlered elk: 8-10 points an additional $250 each point, 11+ points an additional $500 for each point.
    2. Antlered moose: an additional $5,000.

    Tagging, Processing, Transportation and Importation

    How should I tag my deer, bear, elk or turkey?

    Immediately after killing and before field-dressing or moving a deer, bear, elk or turkey, you must validate your kill tag and fasten it to the animal. The best way to attach a kill tag is to lay a strong piece of wire or cord across the back of the kill tag so the tag can be folded in half and tape it in place as needed. Tie the wire or cord to the animal’s antler, lower jaw or lower leg in such a manner that the tag remains securely attached. Do not stick or wrap the kill tag directly onto an antler of a deer or to the leg of a turkey. Make sure the kill tag is completely legible

    and visible for inspection. The kill tag must remain attached until you process or butcher the animal or until the animal is accepted for processing and recorded by a commercial processor or taxidermist. Note: If the antlers or head are returned to the person submitting the animal to the commercial processor, the kill tag shall accompany the head or antlers.

    What are the rules for transporting game?

    You may transport your own and another person’s lawfully taken game. You cannot destroy the identity or evidence of the sex of any bird or animal, except for processed or butchered deer, bear and elk as noted below.

    If you are transporting migratory birds, one fully feathered wing must be left on the bird. If transporting another person’s migratory birds, they must be tagged with the person’s name, signature and home address, and the number of birds by species, dates of kill and hunting license number.

    If you process your deer, elk or bear, or have the animal processed by a commercial processor before going home, the head of the animal, along with the kill tag or seal, must accompany the processed animal during transport. Exception: If you submit the head for bovine tuberculosis or chronic wasting disease testing, you must have the kill tag and disease tag receipt in your possession. Nonresidents may need to comply with restrictions in other states for importing game taken in Michigan.

    Are there additional restrictions for transporting deer?

    Yes. A deer harvested in Montcalm County in its entirety; Otisco, Orleans, Ronald or North Plains townships in Ionia County; or Nelson, Spencer, Courtland, Oakfield, Grattan or Cannon townships in Kent County cannot be possessed or transported outside of those listed areas, unless:

    • The harvested deer is deboned meat, quarters or other parts of a cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, antlers, antlers attached to a skull or skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue, hides, upper canine teeth, or a finished taxidermist mount OR;
    • The deer carcass is taken directly to a registered processor; AND/OR
    • The intact deer head detached from the carcass is taken directly to a licensed taxidermist.

    Can I pick up a roadkill deer?

    Yes, but you must apply for a permit. You may NOT possess the carcass, or parts thereof, of a roadkill deer outside of the county where the deer was killed by collision with a motor vehicle except for deboned meat, quarters or other parts of the cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, antler, antlers attached to the skull or skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue, hides, upper canine teeth, or a finished taxidermist mount. This is part of the DNR’s efforts to respond to and manage CWD in the state.

    Roadkill salvage permit applications are available at Michigan.gov/RoadKillPermit.

    Can I bring my deer, elk or moose back to Michigan from an out-of-state hunt?

    You may only bring the following parts from a free-ranging deer, elk, moose or other cervid hunted within another state or province into Michigan: hides, deboned meat, quarters or other parts of the cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached, finished taxidermy products, cleaned teeth, or antlers attached to a skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue. Hunters bringing an entire head, carcass or other prohibited parts into Michigan will be subject to penalties such as fines, jail time and revocation of licenses. In addition, the illegally imported cervid will be confiscated.

    If you are notified by another state or province that a deer, elk, moose or other cervid you brought into Michigan tested positive for CWD, you must contact the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab within two business days (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 517-336- 5030 and provide details. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture may have regulations on importation from Canada; contact them at 301-851-3300.

    Can I buy or sell game?

    You may not buy or sell game, except as provided by the Wildlife Conservation Order 4.3, available at Michigan.gov/DNRLaws.

    I process wild game. Do I need a permit?

    Commercial meat processors who accept wild game for processing and storage are required to register with the DNR. Registration is free. To register, please visit Michigan.gov/WildlifePermits.

    Hunting with Dogs

    Can I use a dog to hunt for deer or elk?

    No, you may not make use of a dog in hunting deer or elk, except that a dog may be used to locate a down or mortally wounded deer or elk if the dog is kept on a leash and those in attendance do not possess a firearm, crossbow or bow. Exception: If accompanied by a licensed dog tracker, a hunter may possess a firearm, a cocked crossbow or a bow with nocked arrow, only at the time and point of kill. If the tracking is done at night, artificial lights ordinarily carried in the hand or on the person may be used. A dog that barks while tracking the deer may not be used on public lands.

    When can I train my hunting dogs?

    Dogs may be trained on game species that can be hunted with dogs from July 8 – April 15. This is statewide in areas open to hunting or on private land. Some lands are not open to dog training and are posted that way. During the closed season of April 16 – July 7, dog training is only allowed under a special permit issued by the Wildlife Division permit specialist. The only dog training permits issued during the closed season are only for fox hound training in Zone 3 (see page 12) or private-land special dog training areas. For additional information on dog training or hunting with dogs, please contact Casey Reitz at 517-284-6210 or ReitzC@Michigan.gov. Visit Michigan.gov/WildlifePermits for dog training information and application forms. See the current-year Black Bear Digest for dog/bear training restrictions. For information on how to release dogs from traps or snares, go to Michigan.gov/Trapping and look under “Additional Resources.”

    Can I track wounded game animals with dogs?

    Yes. A dog may be used to locate a down or mortally wounded deer or elk if the dog is kept on a leash and those in attendance do not possess a firearm, crossbow or bow. If accompanied by a licensed dog tracker, a hunter may possess a firearm, a cocked crossbow or a bow with nocked arrow, only at the time and point of kill. For dog-tracker certification requirements, see Wildlife Conservation Order 2.1(a). Artificial lights ordinarily carried in the hand or on the person may be used. Individuals interested in becoming a tracker can contact the DNR Law Enforcement Division at 517-284-6000.

    If my hunting dog runs on to private property, can I retrieve it?
    Yes, a person not possessing a firearm, unless previously prohibited by the landowner, may enter on foot upon the property of another person for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog. The person may not remain on the property beyond the reasonable time necessary to retrieve the dog.

    If I hunt in the Upper Peninsula, should I be concerned about wolves?

    Wolves will defend their territories and may attack other wolves, coyotes and domestic dogs that are in their territory. Wolf attacks on domestic dogs are relatively rare, with most wolf-dog conflicts involving dogs that are trained or used for bear hunting due to the long distances those dogs travel, noises they make and distance from humans.

    How can I avoid potential problems with wolves and my dogs?

    To minimize the conflict between wolves and dogs, it is best to avoid areas of recent wolf activity. Wolves will concentrate much of their activity around the
    den and meeting sites. These sites may vary from year to year and can change throughout the summer. Meeting sites are usually forest openings or edge areas, and often near water. They can be identified by a concentration of wolf tracks, droppings and matted vegetation. It is best to do some scouting beforehand and look for wolf sign before releasing dogs. Be especially vigilant when starting dogs from a bait site, and make sure wolves have not been using the bait. If wolf sign, particularly the sign of wolf pups, is evident, move to another area before releasing dogs. Become familiar with coyote and dog tracks, so they can be correctly distinguished from wolf tracks. Consider adding bells or beepers to dog collars – this may reduce wolf attacks.

    For more information, including locations where hunting dog conflicts with wolves have occurred, please visit Michigan.gov/Wolves or contact the DNR Marquette Customer Service Center at 906-228-6561.

    What should I do if I suspect my dog has had a conflict with a wolf?

    Report all suspected wolf-dog conflicts to the DNR immediately to allow a timely investigation. To report a dog depredation, call the Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800.

    Wolf lethal control requirements are outlined at Michigan.gov/Wolves. Because the federal status of wolves has changed, and may continue to change, please contact a DNR office to inquire about current rules regarding lethal take of wolves if in the act of killing or wounding a dog.

    Youth Hunting

    What is the Mentored Youth Hunting Program?

    The Mentored Youth Hunting Program allows youth hunters 9 years old and younger to hunt with a mentor who is at least 21 years old, has hunting experience and possesses a valid Michigan hunting license other than an apprentice license.

    What species can be harvested with a mentored youth hunting license?

    The mentored youth license is a “package” license to hunt small game, waterfowl, turkey (spring and fall) and deer, trap furbearers and fish for all species. It also allows the mentored youth hunter to apply for or purchase additional licenses including antlerless deer, bear, elk and fall turkey.

    A deer kill tag issued with the mentored youth license is valid for any deer in any deer management unit, except for units open during an antlerless-only season, when only an antlerless deer may be taken. Antler point restrictions do not apply. See Michigan.gov/MentoredHunting for complete rules and restrictions.

    • Youth hunters 16 and younger are exempt from antler point restrictions during all deer seasons, in all regions and for all deer licenses, which also includes the four-point APR on the restricted tag. A legal buck is one with one antler 3 inches or longer.

    Youth may also fur harvest on public lands and private or commercial forest lands. Youth residents, 8 years old or older, may obtain kill tags for bobcat, otter, marten or fisher. See the current-year Fur Harvester Digest for season dates and regulations for harvest of these species.

    The mentored youth hunting license and kill tags will remain valid for the duration of the license year, even if the mentored youth turns 10 years old during the year.

    What equipment can a mentored youth hunter use?

    Youth may hunt using archery, crossbow or firearm equipment. Any hunting device possessed by a mentored youth must be sized appropriately to fit the physical abilities of the youth.

    What equipment can a mentor carry in the field when mentoring?

    The mentor is limited to two hunting devices (shotgun, rifle, bow or crossbow) in the field while mentoring, and the youth hunter must always be within arm’s length of the mentor. The mentor will be held responsible for all actions of the youth hunter while in the field.

    What are the rules for a youth hunter 10-16 years of age who has an apprentice license?

    Those who are NOT hunter safety-certified may hunt as an apprentice hunter. Apprentice hunters must always hunt with a mentor who is at least 21 years old, possesses a regular current-year hunting license for the same game as the apprentice and is the apprentice’s parent, guardian or someone designated by the parent or guardian. See page 10.

    • Apprentice youth may hunt using archery, crossbow or firearm equipment.
    • Apprentice youth may hunt on public lands and private or commercial forest lands for small game, waterfowl, turkey, deer, bear and elk.
    • Apprentice youth may also fur harvest on public lands and private or commercial forest lands. Youth residents, 8 years old or older, may obtain kill tags for bobcat, otter, marten or fisher. See the current-year Fur Harvester Digest for season dates and regulations for harvest of these species.
    • Apprentice hunters are exempt from antler point restrictions during all deer seasons, in all regions and for all deer licenses, which also includes the four- point APR on the restricted tag. A legal buck is a deer with one antler 3 inches or longer.

    What are the rules for a youth hunter 10-16 years of age who has taken hunter safety?
    Youth 10-16 years of age, and who are hunter safety-certified, must be accompanied by an adult 18 years old or older to hunt, unless:

    • The youth is hunting on land upon which a parent or guardian is regularly domiciled; AND
    • The license is not an apprentice license.

    Nonresidents up to 16 years old may purchase resident and junior licenses but are not eligible to obtain kill tags for fisher, otter, marten and bobcat.

    Youth hunters 16 and younger are exempt from antler point restrictions during all deer seasons, in all regions and for all deer licenses, which also includes the four- point APR on the restricted tag. A legal buck is a deer with one antler 3 inches or longer. NOTE: If the youth turns 17 during the season (or prior to it), he or she must follow APRs.

    When is the youth deer hunt (Liberty Hunt)?

    The Liberty Hunt is a firearm deer hunt that will take place on private or public lands statewide in Michigan open to firearm deer hunting Sept. 11-12, 2021. Youth 16 years old or younger may participate in this hunt in addition to eligible hunters with disabilities (see page 43). Youth 10-16 years old may hunt with archery equipment or a crossbow or firearm, regardless of license used. For youth 10-16 years old, valid licenses include a deer, deer combo or antlerless deer license. Hunters 9 years old and younger must be licensed through the Mentored YouthHunting Program and accompanied by a qualified mentor. During this hunt, a deer or deer combo license may be used for an antlered or antlerless deer. Antler point restrictions do not apply. An antlerless deer license or deer management assistance permit may also be used to take one antlerless deer only, if issued for the area/land where hunting. The bag limit for this season is one deer. All hunters participating in this season must wear hunter orange. In areas of the Upper Peninsula where baiting is LEGAL, youth hunters participating in the Liberty Hunt may bait Sept. 6 through Sept. 12. In the remainder of the state, youth hunters may not use bait during the Liberty Hunt.

    When is the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend?

    The Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend, statewide for properly licensed youth 16 years old and younger, is Sept. 18-19, 2021. Youth 10-16 years old must have a junior base license and be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone 18 years old or older designated by the parent or guardian. Youth hunting with a junior base apprentice license must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older who possesses a nonapprentice base license and waterfowl license. Youth under 10 years old must also be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years old, and the youth and adult must meet all provisions of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. Ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and moorhens may be harvested; accompanying adults are not permitted to harvest these species during the hunt unless hunting during the September portion of the Canada goose hunting season. The daily limits and species restrictions are the same as those allowed in the regular waterfowl hunting season. See the current-year Waterfowl Digest.

    Are there special draws for youth and the managed waterfowl areas?

    Yes. Several areas offer opening-day afternoon youth hunts, as well as other youth priority draws during the season. Opening weekend hunts are by reservation only at several areas. Visit Michigan.gov/WetlandWonders for more information on managed waterfowl hunting areas, and Michigan. gov/Waterfowl for more details on waterfowl hunting regulations. Refer to the current-year Waterfowl Digest for youth hunting details, daily shooting hours, daily limits and species restrictions.

    Hunters with Disabilities

    Additional resources for hunters with disabilities are available through Michigan Operation Freedom Outdoors; visit MIOFO.org for details.

    I am a Michigan veteran with a disability. Do I get a discount?

    Yes. Michigan resident veterans with a disability are eligible to obtain any hunting license that does not require a separate application free of charge if at least one condition listed on page 11 is met. See License Types and Fees section.

    What is a disability bow permit?

    Those with a temporary or permanent disability that affects their ability to use a conventional bow may apply for a disability bow permit. A physician can automatically certify a hunter as eligible for a disability bow permit if the hunter has an amputation involving body extremities required for stable function to use conventional archery equipment or has a spinal cord injury resulting in permanent disability to the lower extremities, leaving the applicant permanently nonambulatory, or has a permanent wheelchair restriction. If none of the above criteria apply, physicians, physical therapists or occupational therapists can certify hunters who fail a functional draw test that equals 35 pounds of resistance and involves holding it for four seconds, a manual muscle test involving the grading of shoulder and elbow flexion and extension, or an impaired range-of-motion test involving the shoulder or elbow. In addition, a physician can recommend a disability bow permit for other temporary or permanent disabilities, such as neuromuscular conditions. For more information and an application, call 517-284-6057 or visit Michigan.gov/DNRAccessibility. Disability bow permits are required for using a crossbow or modified bow during late archery season in the Upper Peninsula.

    Who qualifies for a permit to hunt from a standing vehicle?

    A person who, due to injury, disease, amputation or paralysis, is permanently disabled and unable to walk, may apply for a permit to hunt from a standing vehicle. This permit allows a licensed hunter to hunt, and shoot from, a parked motor vehicle, off-road vehicle or personal assistive mobility device. Subject to all other regulations, including buck limits and antler point restrictions, this permit also entitles the holder to take a deer of either sex under any valid deer license. Visit Michigan.gov/DNRAccessibility.

    Use of off-road vehicles: Those holding a valid permit to hunt from a standing vehicle or those hunting with disabilities while using an ORV may display an orange flag to identify themselves as hunters with disabilities. Hunters with disabilities hunting on Commercial Forest land must get landowner permission for motorized access.

    Use of personal assistive mobility devices (PAMD): An individual whose disability requires use of a wheelchair or PAMD, and who has a valid permit to hunt from a standing vehicle, may use such equipment anywhere foot travel is allowed on public land. Areas that prohibit the use of motorized vehicles are not off-limits to PAMDs. Individuals should use caution where the landscape is uneven or presents other safety concerns.

    I am legally blind; can I hunt with a laser-sighting device?

    Yes. Legally blind hunters may use laser-sighting devices to take game, subject to all other regulations, with a firearm or crossbow if all the following conditions are met:

    • The person is accompanied by a sighted person who is at least 18 years old and possesses proof of a current or previous hunting license (other than an apprentice license) or proof of successful completion of a hunter safety class.
    • The legally blind person possesses the appropriate hunting license and proof of impairment in the form of a Secretary of State ID card. No permit is necessary for this accommodation.

    Can I get a permit to hunt using a laser-sighting device?

    Yes. Hunters with other permanent disabilities may apply to the DNR Law Enforcement Division for a permit to use a laser-sighting device with a firearm or crossbow to take game. Subject to all other regulations, a permittee may take game with the use of a laser-sighting device only if accompanied by a person who is at least 18 years old and licensed to hunt the same game (other than an apprentice license). For application information, please call 517-284-6000.

    As a hunter with a disability, can I use a ground blind on public land?

    Yes. Any person who has been issued a permit to hunt from a standing vehicle,
    a permit to hunt with a crossbow, or a disabled person parking permit by the Secretary of State, or who meets the disability standards set forth in the Michigan Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Law, may use a constructed ground blind on public land. A nondisabled person can assist a hunter with a disability in constructing a legal blind on public land (see note on page 30 for removal of ground blinds exemption on local public lands). If the constructed ground blind is left overnight on public land, the following conditions must be met:

    • The blind is placed on public land no earlier than 10 days prior to the hunting season for which it is used and is removed at the end of the season for which it is used.
    • The hunter with a disability has attached, etched, engraved or painted his or her name and address, complete Michigan driver’s license number, or DNR Sportcard number on the blind.
    • Fasteners, if used to anchor or attach the blind, cannot penetrate the bark of a tree and must be removed with the blind.
    • Branches, limbs, trees or other vegetation are not cut for shooting lanes or to construct blinds.

    What is the Liberty Hunt?

    The Liberty Hunt is a firearm deer hunt that takes place statewide on private
    or public lands in Michigan open to firearm deer hunting Sept. 11-12, 2021. Individuals with qualifying disabilities, as stated below, may participate in this hunt in addition to youth 16 years of age and younger (see page 37).

    During this hunt, a deer or deer combo license may be used for an antlered or antlerless deer. Antler point restrictions do not apply. An antlerless deer license or deer management assistance permit may be used to take one antlerless deer only, if issued for the area/land upon which hunting. The bag limit for this season is one deer. All hunters participating in this season must wear hunter orange.

    What are the qualifications I must meet to participate in the Liberty Hunt?

    To qualify an individual must fit one of the following criteria:

    • Be a veteran who has been determined to have 100% disability, or a resident rated as individually unemployable by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
    • Have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt from a standing vehicle.
    • Have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt using a laser-sighting device.
    • Be blind. “Blind” means an individual who has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction, or has a limitation of his or her field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than 20 degrees, as determined by the Commission for the Blind.
    • Be deaf. An individual is deaf as defined by section 2 of 72 PA 1978, MCL 408.202. “Deaf person” means a person who is not able to process information aurally, with or without amplification, and whose primary means of communication is visual or by receiving spoken language through other sensory input, including, but not limited to, lipreading, sign language, finger spelling or reading.

    Can I bait during the Liberty Hunt?

    Yes, hunters with disabilities who meet the Liberty Hunt qualifications may use bait during the Liberty Hunt. The bait may be any food type. Hunters with disabilities may begin baiting on Sept. 6 and continue through Sept. 12 for the Liberty
    Hunt. All bait must be removed from the bait site by the final day of the season (Sept. 12). Bait cannot be left on Commercial Forest lands unless the landowner gives permission.

    Bait volume at any hunting site cannot exceed two gallons. Bait dispersal must
    be over a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area. Bait must be scattered directly on the ground. It can be scattered by any means, including mechanical spin-cast feeders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute more than the maximum volume allowed. For more information on baiting and feeding, please see pages 44 and 50-51.

    What is the Independence Hunt?

    The Independence Hunt is a firearm deer hunt that takes place on private lands, and some public lands requiring an access permit (contact local offices to find out if they participate), from Oct. 14-17, 2021.

    During this hunt, a deer or deer combo license may be used for an antlered or antlerless deer. Antler point restrictions do not apply. An antlerless deer license
    or deer management assistance permit may be used to take one antlerless deer only, if issued for the area/land upon which hunting. The bag limit for this season is one deer. All hunters participating in this season must wear hunter orange.

    What are the qualifications I must meet to participate in the Independence Hunt?

    To qualify an individual must fit one of the following criteria:

    • Be a veteran who has been determined to have 100-percent disability, or a resident rated as individually unemployable by the U.S. Department of

      Veterans Affairs.

    • Have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt from a standing vehicle.
    • Have been issued a permit by the DNR to hunt using a laser-sighting device.
    • Be blind. “Blind” means an individual who has a visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with correction or has a limitation of his or her field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angular distance not greater than 20 degrees, as determined by the Commission for the Blind.
    • Be deaf. An individual is deaf as defined by section 2 of 72 PA 1978, MCL 408.202. “Deaf person” means a person who is not able to process information aurally, with or without amplification, and whose primary means of communication is visual or by receiving spoken language through other sensory input, including, but not limited to, lipreading, sign language, finger spelling, or reading.

    Can I bait during the Independence Hunt?

    Hunters with disabilities who meet the requirements listed above may use bait during the Independence Hunt. The bait may be any food type. Hunters with disabilities may begin baiting on Oct. 9 and continue through Oct. 17 for the Independence Hunt. All bait must be removed from the bait site by the final day of the season (Oct. 17). Please remember though you can place bait 5 days prior to the start of the Independence hunt, you can only hunt over the bait during the season Oct. 14-17. Bait cannot be left on Commercial Forest lands unless the landowner gives permission.

    Bait volume at any hunting site cannot exceed 2 gallons. Bait dispersal must be over a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area. Bait must be scattered directly on the ground. It can be scattered by any means, including mechanical spin-cast feeders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute more than the maximum volume allowed. For more information on baiting and feeding, please see pages 44 and 50-51.

    Protected Wildlife and Live Animal Restrictions

    What wildlife are protected?

    • Eagles, hawks, owls, spotted fawns, spruce grouse, flying squirrels, wolverines, lynx, moose, cougars, cub bears and sow bears accompanied by cubs may not be taken at any time. All nongame birds are protected, except starlings, house sparrows and feral pigeons.
    • You may not shoot reptiles, amphibians and songbirds with a firearm (including spring-, air- or gas-propelled).
    • You may not harm or harass a deer, bear or elk when it is swimming in a stream, river, pond, lake or other body of water.

    If I wound or kill an animal, do I have to include it as part of my daily bag?

    Yes. You may not kill or wound any game without making a reasonable attempt to retrieve the animal and include it in the daily bag.

    Can I possess a live wild animal?

    No, it is unlawful to possess live game or protected animals taken from the wild except under a permit issued by the DNR. Visit Michigan.gov/WildlifePermits.

    Can I bring a live wild animal into Michigan?

    No, it is unlawful to bring live raccoon, skunk, wild rabbit or hare, Russian boar, wild turkey or wild turkey hybrid or their eggs, or mute swan or their eggs into Michigan. It is unlawful to import or possess a threatened or endangered species without an approved permit from the DNR permit specialist.

    Do I need a permit to rehabilitate an injured animal?

    Yes, a permit is required to rehabilitate a wild animal in Michigan. It is unlawful to possess a live bat, bear, skunk, mute swan, Russian boar, moose or elk. Contact DNR Wildlife Division permit specialist Casey Reitz at 517-284-6210 or ReitzC@Michigan.gov for regulations regarding the rehabilitation of deer.

    Can I shoot a Russian boar?

    Yes, Russian boar can be taken on public land by anyone possessing a valid hunting license or a concealed pistol license, or on private land with the landowner’s permission. For more information on how to identify Russian boar sign, go to Michigan.gov/FeralSwine. Hunters are encouraged to report all Russian boar seen or taken, online at Michigan.gov/FeralSwine or by calling 517-284- 4725.

    Can I shoot a deer with ear tags?

    Yes, deer with ear tags may be taken following all applicable deer hunting regulations. All exotic cervids, including all white cervids, that do not bear visible identification and are found outside of a fence of a cervidae facility for more than 48 hours may be taken by hunting year-round if the individual has a valid hunting license. To report escaped cervids, call 517-284-9453.

    Can I shoot an albino or piebald deer?

    Yes, albino and piebald may be taken following all applicable deer hunting regulations.

    Wildlife Diseases

    What should I do if I see sick wildlife?

    Please report any sightings of sick or dead wildlife at Michigan.gov/WildlifeDisease.

    Should I be concerned about lead in game meat?

    Wildlife shot with bullets or pellets containing lead can have particles of lead remaining in the meat, some too small to be seen or felt. Lead can be harmful to humans and wildlife, even in very low amounts. If you have questions about the health effects of lead exposure from lead shot or lead fragments, call the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab at 517-336-5030 or find information at Michigan.gov/WDM. You may also contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-648-9642 or visit Michigan.gov/MDHHS.

    Where has dioxin been found in wild game?

    Health risk assessors from the DNR and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services determined that samples of wild game taken in 2003, 2004 and 2007 from the floodplains of the Tittabawassee River and Saginaw River downstream of Midland contain high levels of dioxin and dioxin-like compounds in meats, skin and other consumable portions. Eating deer, turkey, squirrel, wood duck or Canada geese that contain dioxin at these levels could result in adverse health effects, particularly for children and women of childbearing age. Specific information can be found at Michigan.gov/Dioxin.

    How should I handle and process wild game?

    Keep yourself and others healthy by taking care of your harvested meat. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recommends proper food safety practices when cooking venison, as well as any other meat or poultry. When field-dressing deer from DMU 487, remember to wear a mask and gloves (ex: latex gloves) to protect yourself. For more information on venison field-dressing, meat preparation and recipes, see the DNR publication “How to Field Dress a White-Tailed Deer,” available at Michigan.gov/Deer.

    Report fish and wildlife observations online at Michigan.gov/EyesInTheField.