Deer Population in Michigan

The state of Michigan is known for many things.  Beautiful lakes, avid football fans, and a booming dairy industry are just a few of the things that make Michigan so special.  Something you may not know, however, is that the state is also famous for it’s high population of deer.

Types of Deer and Deer Habits in Michigan

White-tailed deer are the most popular types of deer that reside in Michigan, with roughly 1.75 million deer living in the state between 2016 and 2018.  The habitat for most deer changes with each season, with summer and winter being the two most different. During the summer months, deer tend to seek shelter under aspen and northern hardwood trees, as well as spruce-fir and white pine trees.  During these months, deer tend to feed on beech nuts and acorns, the latter of which has been shown to contribute to the physical condition of deer, as well as antler development.

During the winter months, deer tend to seek shelter under cedar and hemlock trees, as these kinds of trees provide better protection from the harsh winter conditions.  Winter is the most challenging season for deer, as snow can last anywhere from November to April in many parts of the state, and the depth and duration of snowfall can make it difficult for many deer to survive.  The deer who do survive the winter often experience diminished physical condition, and low fawn birth weights is also a common factor. Deer with easy access to early spring vegetation tend to recover better and more quickly from the harsh winter, however, these deer are typically considered lucky, as adequate shelter during the winter can be scarce.        

Number of Deer in Michigan

As mentioned earlier, there were approximately 1.75 million deer living in Michigan between 2016 and 2018.  This number has been rapidly declining over the last several years following a series of harsh winters, especially in the upper peninsula of the state.  In 2017, an estimated 376,000 deer were harvested, showing an increase compared to the year prior. However, the estimated number of hunters had dropped by 2 percent.  This could be due to the fact that the baby boomer generation, who had been driving the sport for the past several decades, have aged out and stopped hunting. This could be bad news for the state, as an overpopulation of deer could lead to an increase in animal-related diseases and car accidents involving deer.  The number of hunting licenses sold during the state’s firearm hunting season has also gone down by nearly 21 percent in the last 20 years, a shocking statistic that only seems to be growing. According to recent reports, the younger generation simply isn’t hunting as much as generations of the past, which could mean bad news for Michigan’s economy, as hunting supports more than 34,000 jobs in the state, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Tips for Hunting in Michigan

For those looking forward to this year’s Michigan hunting season, there are several things you should take into consideration before heading out into the woods.  Early anterless firearm hunting season in Michigan starts on September 21st this year, with archery season starting on October 1st. Where you choose to hunt can also have a significant effect on the outcome of your hunting excursion, so be sure to put a lot of thought into this step.

If you’re an avid hunter and plan on spending a lot of time in the woods this season, purchasing your own piece of hunting property in Michigan will let you get you closer to the action.  Something else to consider is whether or not you’ll be hunting solo or with friends.  As a general rule of thumb, it is almost always safer to hunt with other people rather than by yourself, so long as everyone is aware of their surroundings and taking the necessary precautions.

It is also imperative that you are aware of the different regulations and tags when going out into the woods.  Doing some research and finding out the local laws and regulations where you plan to hunt will save you the hassle of being unprepared, so make sure you get all of this sorted out before heading out for the day.

Michigan is a beautiful state with prime hunting opportunities for hunters, and purchasing a piece of land will allow you to take full advantage of the hunting season.  This year, take your hunting experience to the next level and check out the incredible land Michigan Whitetail Properties has to offer!  


Fish Lake Michigan

Being the third largest of the Great Lakes and the sixth largest lake in the world at 22,394 square miles, Lake Michigan has become a popular fishing destination. Every year, Lake Michigan attracts fishermen from all over the world because of the diverse fish that live there. Lake Michigan is considered one of the best places in North America to go fishing for coldwater fish.

With millions of fish in the lake, there’s plenty of room for anyone looking to fish on Lake Michigan.

Species of Fish in Lake Michigan

A wide variety of fish species live in Lake Michigan, many of which are highly coveted catches. Lake Michigan is great for catching coldwater and warmwater fish, but the coldwater fish are what many fishermen travel to the lake for.

Atlantic salmon - One of the most prized game fish in the world, Atlantic salmon, are found in Lake Michigan and are difficult to catch because of their jumping and fighting abilities.

Brown trout - Fishing on Lake Michigan makes catching brown trout easy and they can also be caught by fly fishermen.

Chinook salmon - Chinook salmon is more commonly known around Lake Michigan as king salmon. The Michigan state record weight for king salmon is 46 pounds.

Coho salmon - Since they were brought to the Great Lakes in 1966, coho salmon have been extremely popular in Lake Michigan and can weigh as much as 18 pounds.

Lake trout - Lake trout allow for year-long fishing on Lake Michigan. On average they weigh up to 10 pounds, although Michigan’s record is 61 pounds.

Rainbow and steelhead trout - These types of trout are the same, the only difference is their lifestyles. The two are Michigan’s most popular sport fish and on average weigh around six to seven pounds.

Walleye and Sauger - These fish are extremely similar relatives. Both types are easy to catch on Lake Michigan and many consider Walleye to be the best-tasting freshwater fish.

Yellow perch - Yellow perch fish are the most commonly caught game fish in Michigan and are active during the winter, so they’re a great opportunity for ice fishers.

Best Time for Fishing

Depending on what type of fish you’re looking to catch, you can fish on Lake Michigan year round. Since Lake Michigan is famous for its coldwater fish, like salmon, you’ll be able to find them in areas where the water is cooler. Coldwater fish can be caught in shallow water during cooler months, but in the spring and summer, you’ll need to go deeper into the lake to fish.

Spring - Starting in early spring and going into early summer, you’ll be able to start catching coho salmon. Later the spring, you’ll also be able to start fishing for rainbow and brown trout.

Summer - During the summer is when you’ll be able to find the most rainbow trout in Lake Michigan. You might still be able to catch some coho salmon and king salmon during the summer.

Late summer - Late summer is when the peak of king salmon fishing is.

Fall and winter - If you’re looking to fish on Lake Michigan during the fall or winter, you’ll be able to catch a few brown trout, but the chances of getting something during this time aren’t very likely.

Year-round - Whenever you choose to go fishing on Lake Michigan, you’ll be able to find Lake trout.

Rules and Regulations

Because Lake Michigan borders four different states, the rules for fishing on the lake will vary depending on what state you’re licensed in. If you decide to fish on Lake Michigan coming from a different state, you’ll have to get a non-resident fishing license for the state you’ll be in.

When you fish on Lake Michigan, your daily limit for trout, salmon, and steelhead is five fish per person, with no more than three of any one species. You also have to be sure to follow the minimum size for fish caught on the lake, which is at least 10 inches for many species.  

Lakefront Property On Lake Michigan

With 1,640 miles of coastline, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to buy property close to Lake Michigan. Fishermen from all over the world travel to Lake Michigan for its abundance of fish, making it a great place to buy property

When you buy fishing property near Lake Michigan, you could be eligible for an in-state fishing license when you’re a resident there. Fishing licenses for in-state residents are typically less expensive than for visitors, so it could be useful if you plan on fishing often. Many people who own hunting property also choose to rent it out when they aren’t using it. With so many people traveling to Lake Michigan for fishing, you could use that opportunity to rent out your property to out of town fishermen to have a place to stay. With Michigan Whitetail Properties, you can find the best options for lakefront properties next to Lake Michigan.


Best Time for Deer Hunting

For many Americans, there is no better time of year than hunting season.  Packing up and setting out into the wilderness for the day can be a calm and relaxing experience, whether you’re with friends or decide to take a solo trip.

Each year around September, hunters across the country pack up and head into the woods in search of the perfect trophy buck.  If you’re planning on taking a hunting trip this fall, here are some tips to ensure you yield good results.

Understanding Deer Habits

Before heading out into the woods, it is important that you have an understanding of the habits and behaviors of deer.  

Feeding

The feeding habits of deer are some of the most important to take note of, as this can affect the outcome of your hunting trip.  Deer are typically food-driven animals, which is imperative information to know when coming up with a hunting plan. Bucks, for example, tend to feed only after the sun sets, making the likelihood of scoring one all the more rare.  Deer are also more likely to feed in “staging areas”, which are essentially small plots of land found between bedding areas and major food sources. Because of this, you may have a better chance of bagging a deer in these areas rather than an open field.

Sleeping

Deer typically sleep anywhere they bed, whether solo or in a group.  Being that they are creatures of habit, deer tend to bed in the same location for weeks and even months, with bucks having their pick of bedding spots.  The sleep cycle of a deer typically includes 30 seconds of sleep broken up with brief periods of alertness, lasting for about 30 minutes. Once every 30 minutes, a deer will usually stand and urinate or defecate if they need to before lying back down.

Deer tend to spend the majority of their time bedding, especially during the cold winter months.  When they’re not sleeping, deer will often clean themselves or “chew their cud”, which means they regurgitate, rechew, and digest their food.  Even when sleeping, deer are never completely unaware of their surroundings, and they can wake up instantly if they hear a noise or sense any movement around them.  Sneaking up on a sleeping deer is no easy task, and even the most skilled hunters can vouch for this fact. If you spot a sleeping deer, your best bet is to keep your eye on it from a distance, rather than try to approach it.  

Watering

Deer tend to drink several times per day, meaning you will have plenty of opportunities to catch one off-guard.  While the amount of water different types of deer drink each day will vary, a large buck will typically drink between 3-5 quarts of water per day, especially during the summer or on hotter days.  Deer often water close to their bedding areas, so if you happen to see a deer drinking from a watering spot, there is a good chance they are bedding nearby as well. One common misconception many people have is that deer only drink from large watering holes, when in reality they will often drink from something as small as a puddle.  Many experienced hunters will even make their own watering holes in order to attract deer, which is something to keep in mind when heading out on your next hunting excursion.

Best Times to Hunt Deer

The success of your hunting trip greatly depends on when you set out into the woods.  Depending on the type of deer you’re after, the ideal time for you to be in the woods will vary.  Typically, younger deer can be seen out and about in the late morning and afternoon, while bucks tend to come out only after the sun sets, making them a more rare catch.  Many hunters like to get into the woods early in the morning to find their spot and set up for the day, as they will have the rest of the day to scout out deer. However, if you’re on the lookout for a buck, it may not be necessary to go out into the woods until later in the day.  

Whether you’re an avid hunter or looking to invest more time in the sport, purchasing your own plot of Michigan hunting property can get you up close and personal with majestic deer.  At Michigan Whitetail Properties, we offer everything from recreational hunting land to country homes and ranches, so you can be close to the action any time you want.  Check out the various hunting properties for sale at Michigan Whitetail Properties and happy hunting!


Shooting Deer - Target Spots

Every deer hunter goes into the woods with the same goal--to shoot and kill a deer. There is no worse feeling than shooting a deer only to find out it didn’t die. This may result in having to trail your deer a great distance as it runs for its life, forced to suffer from poor shot placement. Sometimes, even worse, hunters are never able to recover the deer.

Any good hunter knows the importance of a one and done kill shot. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who does not agree. Locating the right target spot on your deer will help to eliminate this problem, giving you a clean kill shot each and every time, saving you, and deer, time and misery.

 

Take Careful Aim

The goal should be a single shot that takes down the whitetail each time. That said, there are many ways to shoot a deer that will result in an immediate kill. When hunting, keep these spots in mind.

 

  1. The brain- a deer will die instantly with a direct hit to the brain. A shot to the brain results in very little loss of meat. Be careful with this shot, though. It can be difficult to hit which might mean you miss the deer altogether or wound it
  2. Heart/lung area-this is a highly lethal area to shoot. This area is a little more forgiven due to the larger surface. You have a better chance of hitting your deer shooting in this area. Beware of clipping a lung--the deer may recover, leaving you to follow a blood trail. Light bullets that careen off a rib or shoulder bone aren't always lethal.
  3. High shoulder-when properly executed, this shot can lead to an instant kill. Most hunters tend to shy away from this spot due to the misconception that aiming here will result in errors. Those trying to hunt during archery season may find this to be a less desirable shot.
  4. Neck- A correctly placed bullet will kill with massive shock to the spinal cord and vertebrae while damaging very little meat. Do be careful with this shot. If you miss, you may need to execute a second shot or slit the deer’s throat.

 

Practice Makes Progress

 

Fine-tuning your shooting ability takes hard work and practice. Sure, there will always be the hunter who gets lucky, but those who put in the work will reap the most reward. Over time, you will develop an understanding of angles and direction and how they affect your shot. You will also learn to shoot from varying distances. Shooting distance does affect where you need to aim.

Your means of shooting will also affect the type of shot. Archers will have other considerations than those using a gun. If you are using a rifle, invest in the best possible scope to ensure top shot accuracy.

The local circumstances can help you determine the best place to shoot a deer. For instance, shooting at under a heavily overcast sky can make it difficult to aim small parts like the brain. Instead, chose a target area that matches the bow-sight alignment.

Hit the woods this hunting season with more confidence and become more skilled at shooting deer.


White-Tailed Deer - Why Michigan is the Place to Bag Some Trophy Bucks

Michigan ranks among the top places in the US to hunt whitetail deer, with many hunters putting it on their own personal bucket list. Not only does it rank among dream hunting spots for outdoorsmen, it’s known to be among the best locations for a successful hunt. If you’re looking to bag that monster this year, head to Michigan for a chance at that whitetail buck.

 

Hunting Season in Michigan

 

Early antlerless firearm season in Michigan typically begins in Mid-to-late September, and bow season begins Oct. 1. The most popular is regular firearm season, which runs Nov. 15-30. In 2017, deer hunters found the most success in Central and Southern  . More than 600,000 hunters hit the woods last year, with the majority of hunters being men. It is important to note, however, that the number of females, as well as youth hunters in MI,  has surged over the past several years, helping to reinvigorate hunting’s identity.

 

Hunters in Michigan spend an average of 15 days hunting each year, one of the highest in the country. Deer hunting is an important part of Michigan’s identity, and sportsmen across the nation look for Michigan as a beacon for whitetail deer.

 

Bag a Wall Hanger in Michigan

 

There’s something of a fascination with antlers. After all, it’s antlers that peak the attention of woodsmen, both old and young. What is it about Michigan that makes it such an attractive location for not just whitetail deer, but LARGE whitetail bucks.

 

Michigan is a hospitable climate for trophy bucks. Plentiful food sources, as well as abundant cover spots, make it an ideal environment for deer to thrive--some of the largest bucks on record have been harvested from Michigan! Whitetail deer in Michigan are common, making it a draw for hunters throughout the land. Michiganders are more likely to have a hunting license compared to those in other states. Hunters favor both archery and rifle equally, with separate seasons for both.

 

Deer will find a bounty of nutrient-dense food to eat in an unpressured environment that allows them to reach a larger size than in other regions. Michigan’s population of whitetails continues to increase, having bounced back from several years of depletion. Here, hunters flock to deer camps and on to guided hunts with great ferocity, in hopes of capturing that awe-inspiring rack to mount on their wall.

 

If you are planning on hitting the woods of Michigan this hunting season, be sure to follow all rules and regulations. Leave the woods better than you found them to ensure hunters who follow after you will find good conditions. Michigan has so much to offer in its forests and hunting lands; it seems that hunters and deer can agree.


Duck Hunting in Michigan

Calling all hunters. Test your mettle this hunting season--embark on duck hunt. Here in Michigan, duck hunting season is eagerly anticipated by hunters statewide. From the upper peninsula and beyond, Michigan ducks everywhere are hoping to avoid becoming dinner.

Continue reading, and plan your Pure Michigan duck hunt.

Michigan is divided into 3 zones, each with different hunting season dates. These dates for the 2018/2019 Michigan duck season are as follows:

  • North Zone – Sept. 29 - Nov. 25 and Dec. 1-2
  • Middle Zone – Oct. 6 - Dec. 2 and Dec. 15-16
  • South Zone – Oct. 13 - Dec. 9 and Dec. 29-30

Hunt Ducks Like a Pro, This Season and Every Season

Like any good hunter knows, it is important to mind your manners before, during, and after your hunt. Always practice good hunting etiquette. Don’t dump garbage, respect the land, be a gracious host, and never take a shot that isn’t yours. Doing any of these things will ensure you don’t get invited on hunts in the future.

Whether you’ve been hunting ducks your entire life, or you’ve never gone out duck hunting before, there are few basic things to know.

 

  • Choose the right gear
    Finding the right camo is perhaps one of the biggest hurdles in duck hunting. The type of camo you choose depends on where you choose to hunt. After you choose your camo, get yourself a good set of waders. A more breathable style is ideal. Ducks inhabit the water. Find yourself a good duck hunting kayak for the easiest access to your ducks.
  • Hunt with permission
    If you do plan to hunt on private land, ensure that you have full permission from the land owner. Treat their property with respect, the way you would treat your own. After a successful hunt, take them a duck or two to show your gratitude.
  • Do your homework
    Hunt where the ducks are going, not where they’ve been. Put in the time to scout and learn their behaviors. Go for a drive or a hike and look for the waterways where ducks are spending their time. Here, you’ll be able to identify where their roosts and their feeding spots are. One important thing to remember--don’t hunt the roost unless you’d like the ducks to find a new one.
  • Perfect your duck call
    Learning the ways of duck calling takes practice. The more you practice, the better you will become at calling ducks. Duck calling is an art, a blend of the proper “accent”, the right volume and proper timing. Find a video on YouTube and get to work!
  • Select a decoy
    Seasoned duck hunters know the importance of choosing a decoy for your duck hunt. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get great decoys--plenty of hunters have put ducks on the table using nothing more than a painted milk jug! You will want to select a decoy that offers some degree of movement. The idea is to mimic a real duck--real ducks don’t sit still.
  • Hunt legally
    Duck hunting is highly regulated--make sure you’re staying within the full limits of the law. Complete your hunter education courses, have the right licenses or permits, and know all the rules and regulations, bag limits, and possession limits. Know how to identify the ducks when they are flying and when they are killed.
  • Have fun!
    Always remember to enjoy your hunt. It can be frustrating when you don’t see anything, but it’s important to enjoy the time you’re spending in pursuit of that duck kill. Hunting, especially duck hunting, comes with a great deal of camaraderie. So grab your buddies, hit the water, and let the hunt begin!

 

 

Easy Duck Recipes the Whole Family Will Enjoy

You bagged a few duck on this season’s hunt. Now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. A highly versatile meat, duck can be used for almost anything. Grilled, roasted, made into jerky or put into a pot of chili, the ways you can cook your duck are limited only by your own imagination. You’ll find wild duck to be a welcome addition to your dinner table.

You can freeze your meat or use right away. However you plan to enjoy it, few things are as satisfying as killing your own meat. Like duck hunting, eating duck is best done when shared with the people you care about.

This duck hunting season and in the future, keep the tradition alive and share it with future generations. Pursue your next waterfowl hunting adventure in Pure Michigan.


Houses with Land For Sale

Close your eyes for a moment and think about what your dream home looks like. Is it a cookie-cutter monstrosity in the suburbs without a yard? Or is it a slice of heaven in the country with a few acres and a modest house? Increasingly, more people are deciding they want to own land. If you’re considering it, it's time to get serious.

 

When considering purchasing a parcel of hunting land, there are many factors to consider. Are you tired of fighting for a hunting spot on public game lands, or having to travel large distances to bag deer? Do you wish you just had your own land that you could live on and hunt? If you want to live on your hunting land, as many hunters do, a piece of land with a house already built might be right for you.

 

Purchasing some land with a house already built means you can farm, hunt or fish immediately. A property like this is a true hunter’s paradise. Imagine being able to hunt on your own land, chasing deer or turkeys all day long, and then retreating to your own warm, cozy home.  We’ve got a variety of houses with land for sale right now on our site, waiting for you to browse.

 

Benefits of Purchasing Property with a House Already Built

 

  • Move-in ready
  • Pay one flat price with no additional need for land financing
  • No need to build new
  • Maximum flexibility
  • Hunt on your own property

 

You might still have questions about buying land, and that’s ok. Choosing to invest in acreage is a big decision. These helpful tips will give you some insight on what you need to look for before taking the leap.

 

What to Know Before Buying Hunting Land

 

The first thing to keep in mind when considering buying a home is your list of must haves. These are the things you will not do without, your top priorities for the type of property you’re after. Do you want to buy a home with acreage? Should it have a pond, or food plots, or perhaps farm fields?

 

What is your budget? This will be the first thing any realtor or property management company will ask. If you have a number you have to strictly adhere to, or you’re more flexible, we’ll need to know up front. It is also good to look at other properties within your price range to give you an idea of what you can realistically afford, before you decide to buy.

 

Location is another thing to consider. Do you want a shared property that has neighbors? Should It be on a paved road, or is dirt just fine?

 

Arm yourself with this information and use it to find that perfect hunting property where you can live your dream.


Hunting Season: Are you Ready?

Fall brings with it many things-- back to school, cooler temps, changing leaves, the start of the holidays. For hunters alike, the fall signifies one very important thing--hunting season! If you’re a hunter, you’ve waited all year for this. Get ready to make this your best hunting season ever.

 

Don’t Get Caught Without a Strategy

 

Any good deer hunter knows that you don’t venture into hunting season unprepared. If you want to increase your chances of getting a deer this year, start with a detailed plan to remain at the top of your game.

 

  • First things first-- get your license. Don’t wait-- apply now so you aren’t scrambling on opening day.
  • After you apply for your license, make sure you’re aware of local and state regulations. Double check on dates and limits.
  • Find your spot. Start scouting--look for sheds, install trail cameras and start searching for your ideal spot well in advance of opening day. Determine whether you will hunt on private or public land.
  • Shoot in your gun. Check for inaccuracies, as well as any loose parts. Stock up on ammo. You don’t want to be caught off guard while you’re in the woods.
  • Check your gear. Make sure your equipment is free of damage and your clothing is free from tears. Sharpen broadheads and knives now so they’re ready when you get a deer.

 

Gear Up for Hunting Season, with Michigan Whitetail Properties

 

Hunting season is an exciting event for deer hunters. However, it can also be a busy, crowded time, with many hunters vying for a spot. This means more people in the woods all trying to shoot that monster rack. If you’re tired of the same old game lands, why not call on the team at Michigan Whitetail Properties. We’ve got all sorts of private hunting land available for sale.

 

We can find you a strip of land to call your own. Enjoy your own private hunting land plot, many with houses already built. Financing is available to put your dream of owning land within reach. Our prime hunting properties are available in every corner of the state, even in the Upper Peninsula. You might even snatch up the deal of a lifetime at one of our many property auctions.

 

Don’t make the search for private hunting property alone. Partner with the team at Michigan Whitetail Properties to make your dream a reality. Make this year your most successful hunt ever.

 

Michigan boasts a storied history of hunting. If you’re eager to head into the woods and test your mettle this year, Pure Michigan awaits. What are you waiting for? Get out there now and track that trophy buck. All it takes is one shot.


Turkey Hunting in Michigan

Michigan has a rich tradition of hunting, with some 763,618 hunters getting out in the woods last year. With 7.4 million acres of forest land open to public hunting, there are ample opportunities to enjoy the hunt, no matter which part of the state you reside in.

 

When most people think about hunting, they think of whitetail deer. If you’re a hunter in Michigan, you know that spring turkey season will soon be here, and it’s time to start thinking about bagging that bird.

 

Few things bring a smile to a hunters face like hearing the phrase “wild turkey season”. Winter will be over and the world will come alive with green, giving hungry turkeys a veritable buffet of greenery to enjoy.

 

Spring Turkey Season--a Rite of Passage for Michigan Hunters

 

Turkey hunters in Michigan remain steadfast in preserving the state’s rich turkey hunting heritage. Michigan ranks 7th in the nation for turkey hunting, with hunters flocking here from all across the U.S. and Canada. The turkey population has grown steadily since 1968 when an official turkey hunting season was established after successful repopulation efforts.

 

Turkey hunting is unlike most other hunts. Many hunters consider turkey hunting to be more interactive than other hunts, enjoying pursuits that can last for miles and end with a turkey flying into a tree. Hunters can revel in taking trophy gobblers year in and year out in Michigan’s millions of acres of land.

 

Many turkey hunters will tell you that it’s a family affair, with generations of hunters going out together when spring gobbler season opens. Bow hunting a turkey is both a skill and an art, requiring patience above all else.

 

Apply for your spring turkey hunting license now. See you in the woods!


Michigan Black Bear Hunting

Looking for a different type of hunt? How about a black bear? Michigan is home to more than 14,000 black bears, with 7,140 licenses available for the 2018 season. That means nearly 2 black bears for every license are available. If you’ve always wanted to hunt a bear, now is your chance.

 

Bountiful Black Bears with Little Competition

 

Most hunters pursue whitetail deer. In fact, hunting bears likely don’t cross their mind. Black bear season in the state of Michigan takes place in the fall, over the course of three separate seasons occurring between September 10th and October 26th. Dates vary by which bear management unit (BMU’s) you reside in (the state is divided into 10).

 

When applying for your bear tag, you must choose your season and zone to hunt. Bear tags are available in the form of a lottery system. Hunters receive one point for each year they didn't receive a tag.

 

For each of the three bear hunting seasons, different amounts of licenses are available. When you apply, you will be mailed a notification that tells you the number of points you’ve acquired. If your name is drawn in the lottery, you can purchase your bear tag online or at an approved retailer.

 

When Hunting Bears, Follow the Regulations

 

Within 72 hours of harvest, the bear head (unfrozen) and pelt, or the entire animal must be brought to a bear registration station (by the licensee that killed the bear) for examination, sealing, and registration. You must provide the identification used to acquire the license. After the pelt is sealed, the DNR reserves the right to collect additional bear parts, such as a tooth, for research or management purposes.

 

Never bait a bear, especially with chocolate or cocoa. Always stay within the law.

If you’ve applied for a tag in the past with no luck, don’t stop. You can apply for your bear license for the 2019 season starting in May.  Keep checking for updates to the Michigan Black Bear Digest for the latest dates. Best of luck in your pursuits of a Michigan black bear in 2019.