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Michigan

Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting Seasons

ZoneSpeciesSeason DatesDaily Bag LimitsPossession LimitsNotes
North ZoneDuckSept. 25 – Nov. 21 and Nov. 27-28618a,b
North ZoneCootsSept. 25 – Nov. 21 and Nov. 27-281545b
North ZoneMergansersSept. 25 – Nov. 21 and Nov. 27-28515a,b
North ZoneDark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)Sept. 1 – Dec. 16515c
North ZoneLight goose (snow, blue and Ross’s)Sept. 1 – Dec. 162060
Middle ZoneDuckOct. 2 – Nov. 28 and Dec. 11-12618a,b
Middle ZoneCootsOct. 2 – Nov. 28 and Dec. 11-121545b
Middle ZoneMergansersOct. 2 – Nov. 28 and Dec. 11-12515a,b
Middle ZoneDark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)Sept. 1 – Dec. 16515c
Middle ZoneLight goose (snow, blue and Ross’s)Sept. 1 – Dec. 162060
South ZoneDuckOct. 9 – Dec. 5 and Jan. 1-2618a,b
South ZoneCootsOct. 9 – Dec. 5 and Jan. 1-21545b
South ZoneMergansersOct. 9 – Dec. 5 and Jan. 1-2515a,b
South ZoneDark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)Sept. 1-30, Oct. 9 – Dec. 5, Jan. 1-9 and Feb. 5-14, excluding some GMUs515c
South ZoneLight goose (snow, blue and Ross’s)Sept. 1-30, Oct. 9 – Dec. 5, Jan. 1-9 and Feb. 5-14, excluding some GMUs2060
StatewideEarly tealSept. 1-16618
StatewideCommon snipeSept. 1 – Nov. 9824b
StatewideVirginia rail and sora railSept. 1 – Nov. 92575b
StatewideMoorhens (gallinules)Sept. 1 – Nov. 913b

a. See Daily Limit for Ducks and Mergansers.

b. See the Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl and Youth Hunting Weekend section for requirements.

c. The dark goose aggregate daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five, only one of which can be a brant.

Waterfowl Hunting Zones


Daily and Possession Limits for Ducks, Mergansers and Geese

What is the daily bag limit for ducks and mergansers?

The daily bag limit is six ducks of any species. No more than four may be mallards (no more than two of which may be hens), no more than three wood ducks, two redheads, two canvasbacks, two black ducks, one pintail, and one or two scaup (depending on season date – see table below). In addition to the duck limit, hunters may take five mergansers, only two of which may be hooded mergansers. The possession limit is three times the daily limit for ducks and mergansers. As part of the total daily limit for ducks as described above, the daily limit for scaup for the zones and dates specified is as follows:

ZoneDatesDaily Limit
North ZoneSept. 25 – Nov. 8No more than 2 scaup
North ZoneNov. 9 – Nov. 21 and Nov. 27-28No more than 1 scaup
Middle ZoneOct. 2 – 17No more than 1 scaup
Middle ZoneOct. 18 – Nov. 28 and Dec. 11-12No more than 2 scaup
South ZoneOct. 9-24No more than 1 scaup
South ZoneOct. 25 – Dec. 5 and Jan. 1-2No more than 2 scaup

What is the daily bag limit for dark geese?

Canada geese, white-fronted geese (or specklebellies) and brant are part of a dark goose aggregate daily bag limit. For the entire goose season, the daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five in any combination, only one of which can be a brant. The possession limit is three times the daily limit for dark geese.

What is the daily bag limit for light geese?

Snow geese, blue-phase snow geese and Ross’s geese are part of a light goose aggregate daily bag limit. For the entire goose season, the bag limit for light geese is 20 in any combination. The possession limit is three times the daily limit for light geese.

South Zone – Local Goose Management Units (GMU)

Season dates differ from the South Zone goose season dates listed above for Allegan County and Muskegon County Wastewater System GMUs.

GMUSpeciesSeason DatesDaily Bag LimitsPossession LimitsNotes
Allegan County GMUDark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)Sept. 1-30, Nov. 6-13, Nov. 25 – Dec. 5 and Dec. 18 – Feb. 13, 2022515c
Allegan County GMULight goose (snow, blue and Ross’sSept. 1-30, Nov. 6-13, Nov. 25 – Dec. 5 and Dec. 18 – Feb. 13, 20222060
Muskegon County Wastewater System GMUDark goose (Canada, brant and white-fronted)Oct. 16 – Dec. 23515c
Muskegon County Wastewater System GMULight goose (snow, blue and Ross’sOct. 16 – Dec. 232060

c. The dark goose aggregate daily bag limit for Canada geese, white-fronted geese and brant is five, only one of which can be a brant.

Muskegon County Wastewater System GMU

Muskegon County Wastewater System GMU

Allegan County GMU

Fennville Farm Unit of the Allegan State Game Area is closed to goose hunting Sept. 1-30. The Fennville Farm Unit will be open to goose hunting by self- registration Nov. 6-13 and Nov. 25 – Dec. 5; and open by drawings only on Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday from Dec. 18 – Feb. 13. Drawings are held at 5:30 A.M. with hunting permitted from shooting time in the morning, until 4 P.M.

Allegan County GMU

Early Teal Season

Which species can be hunted during the early teal season?
Only
blue-winged and green-winged teal may be hunted during the early teal season. Hunters are strongly encouraged to refresh their duck identification skills for this season. Do not shoot if you are not sure of your target.

When is the early teal season?

The season runs from Sept. 1-16, statewide.

What is the daily bag limit and possession limit during the early teal season?

The daily bag limit is six teal, and the possession limit is 18 teal.

What are some tips for teal hunting?

Here are a few teal hunting tips:

  • Decoys will easily attract teal, so use them to bring birds in closer to aid in identification.
  • Pass shooting is not recommended.
  • Teal prefer shallow waters and areas along shallow margins of ponds and lakes.
  • Look for areas with lots of mud flats and sparse vegetation.
  • Avoid forested wetlands, where you are likely to encounter wood ducks.
  • Visit Michigan.gov/Waterfowl and click on “Early Teal Season” to find more information about the season.

What time of day can I hunt teal?

Teal can be hunted from sunrise to sunset. See the table below for early teal season shooting hours for time zone A.

DateTime Zone A a.m.Time Zone A p.m.
September 16:578:08
September 26:588:06
September 36:598:04
September 47:018:02
September 57:028:01
September 67:037:59
September 77:047:57
September 87:057:56
September 97:067:54
September 107:077:52
September 117:087:50
September 127:097:49
September 137:107:47
September 147:117:45
September 157:127:43
September 167:137:42

Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas

What is a managed waterfowl hunt area, and where are they located?

Managed waterfowl hunt areas, or Wetland Wonders, offer first-class waterfowl hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities. There are seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areas located in southern Michigan. Daily drawings are conducted locally for free hunting-zone permits throughout the season.

What equipment should I bring to a managed waterfowl hunt area?

Use of waders, decoys, calls, retrievers, and small boats and motors is recommended.

Are there special rules at managed waterfowl hunt areas?

Yes. Special rules are enforced, including shell limits, shot size limits, hunting party size, etc. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/WetlandWonders.

Are managed waterfowl hunt area drawings ever canceled?

Normal managed-area drawings may be canceled late in the season if extreme weather results in low hunter participation. Area managers will post amended check-station hunting rules a minimum of two days prior to any changes. Late in the season, hunters may wish to call area headquarters to verify that drawings will be held.

Do managed waterfowl hunt areas hold waterfowl reserved hunts?

Yes. Some hunts during the opening weekend of duck season are by reservation.

Will drawings be different in 2021?

It is unknown at the time of publishing whether there will be a need for
physical distancing related to COVID-19 at the managed waterfowl hunt areas this fall. We strongly advise hunters to check the current status by visiting Michigan.gov/WetlandWonders or contacting the managed waterfowl hunt areas.

Area, County and Nearest TownPhoneYouth Hunting DatesDrawing Dates and Times
Fennville Farm (Allegan County, Fennville)269-561-2258Dec. 18 (a.m.) non-reserved
Jan. 1 (a.m.) non-reserved
Morning hunts: Wed., Sat., and Sun. from Dec. 18 – Feb. 13. Drawing at 5:30 a.m. Permits valid until 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon hunts: No afternoon draws.
Closed: Closed for goose hunting Sept. 1-30.
No drawings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from Dec. 18 – Feb. 13.
Self-registration available for goose hunting outside of drawing dates from Nov. 6-13, and Nov. 25 – Dec. 5 at the Fennville Farm Unit office.
Self-registration available for duck hunting outside of drawing dates at the Fennville Farm Unit office.
Duck hunting is open during entire South Zone duck season by self- registration or through drawing.
Fish Point (Tuscola County, Unionville)989-674-2511Oct. 2 (p.m.) reserved
Nov. 6 (p.m.) non-reserved
Morning hunts: Daily 5:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
Afternoon hunts: Daily 11:00 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
Muskegon County Wastewater (Muskegon County, Twin Lake)231-788-5055 Call for opening datesOct. 30 (a.m. and p.m.) non-reservedMorning hunts: Tues. and Sat. 5:30 a.m.
Afternoon hunts: Thurs. and Sat. 11:00 a.m.
Hunts continue through November; no longer closed Nov. 15-30.
Permits for Tues. morning drawings are valid until close of shooting hours.
Nayanquing Point (Bay County, Linwood)989-697-5101Oct. 2 (p.m.) reserved
Oct. 16 (p.m.) non-reserved
Morning hunts: Daily 5:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
Afternoon hunts: Daily 11:00 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
Pointe Mouillee (Monroe County, Rockwood)734-379-9692Oct. 9 (p.m.) reserved
Nov. 7 (a.m.) non-reserved
Morning hunts: Sun., Thurs., and Oct. 9 5:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt opening weekend of duck season)
Afternoon hunts: Sun., Tues., and Oct. 9 11:00 a.m. (Reserved hunt opening weekend of duck season)
Permits for Thurs. morning drawings are valid until close of shooting hours.
Shiawassee River (Saginaw County, St. Charles)989-865-6211Oct. 9 (p.m.) reserved
Nov. 6 (p.m.) non-reserved
Morning hunts: Daily 5:00 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
Afternoon hunts: Daily 11:00 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
St. Clair Flats (Harsens Island, St. Clair County, Algonac)810-748-9504Oct. 9 (p.m.) reserved
Nov. 5 (p.m.) non-reserved
Morning hunts: Daily 5:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
Afternoon hunts: Daily 11:30 a.m. (Reserved hunt first and second weekend of duck season)
Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (Saginaw County, Saginaw)989-777-5930Oct. 31 (a.m.) non-reservedMorning hunts: Tues., Sat., and Sun. 5:30 a.m.
Afternoon hunts: Thurs. 12:00 p.m.
Note: Please go to www.fws.gov/ refuge/shiawassee/ prior to your hunt to see updates and Refuge specific regulations.
There will not be a reserved hunt at Shiawassee NWR for the 2021 season.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend

When is the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend?

The Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend will be Sept. 18-19, statewide for properly licensed youth 16 years old and younger.

Which licenses do I need to hunt the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend?

You will need a base license, an apprentice base license or a mentored youth license. If you are 16 years old, you also need to have a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp.

I am a youth waterfowl hunter under 16 years old. Do I have to hunt with an adult?
Yes. If you are 10-16 years old, you must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone 18 years of age or older designated by your parent or guardian. If you are under 10 years old, you must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older, and the adult must meet all the provisions of the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.

I am a youth waterfowl hunter hunting with an apprentice license. Do I have to hunt with an adult?
Yes. Youth who are hunting with a base apprentice license must be accompanied by an adult 21 years old or older who has a nonapprentice base license and a waterfowl license.

What can I hunt during the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend?

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.

Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days

When will these days take place?

The Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days will take place statewide Sept. 18 -19, concurrently with the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend.

What documentation do I need to hunt?

Participating veterans and active-duty U.S military personnel are required to have documentation afield and must present it upon request of a Michigan conservation officer, tribal conservation officer or any law enforcement officer. The following documentation will be accepted as proof of status: military ID, leave papers, duty papers, military orders, copy of DD Form 214, enhanced driver’s license or documentation from the Veterans Administration regarding disability status.

Which licenses do I need to hunt?

You must have a base license, a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp.

What can I hunt during the Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days?
Ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and moorhens may be harvested. The daily limits and species restrictions are the same as those allowed in the regular waterfowl hunting season.

Veterans Preference Drawings at Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas

When will these drawings take place?

Veterans preference drawings at the following managed waterfowl areas will take place Nov. 11, for properly licensed resident active-duty U.S. military personnel and veterans. There will not be a veterans preference drawing at Fennville Farm.

  • Fish Point
  • Harsens Island
  • Muskegon County Wastewater
  • Nayanquing Point
  • Pointe Mouillee
  • Shiawassee River
  • Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

What documentation do I need to hunt during the veterans preference drawings?
The following documentation, along with a valid Michigan driver’s license or voter registration card, will be accepted as proof of status: military ID, leave papers, duty papers, military orders, copy of DD Form 214, enhanced driver’s license or documentation from the Veterans Administration regarding disability status. If you were discharged from the Army or Air Force National Guard, you may provide a copy of NGB Form 22 or NGB Form 23.

Which licenses do I need for the veterans preference drawings?

You must have a base license, a waterfowl license and a federal duck stamp.

Which parties will be eligible for the veterans preference drawing?

To be eligible for the veterans preference draw, single hunters must be active-duty military personnel or veterans; party hunters must have at least one member in their party that is active-duty military or a veteran.