Michigan Deer Hunting Regulations

If you’re a hunter, you know that the woods of Michigan are widely regarded as a prime hunting destination. With hunting season in full swing, it’s important to understand state hunting regulations to ensure you’re staying within the law while you’re in the woods.

Licenses and fees

Deer hunters in Michigan can use a bow or a firearm to shoot their deer, and each requires a separate license which you must purchase and carry separately. Michigan does, however, offer a single combination license, which allows you to use either weapon interchangeably without the need for carrying separate licenses.

Licenses are available for youth hunters, state residents and non-residents, and seniors.

The State of Michigan does charge a fee for hunting licenses. To legally obtain your hunting license in the State of Michigan (depending on your age), you must take a state-approved hunter safety course. Once you’ve done this, select the correct type of license and then purchase through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website, or a state-approved vendor.

Photo credit: https://www.hunter-ed.com/michigan/hunting-license.html

Deer antlers

Deer hunted in the state of Michigan are designated as either antlered or antlerless. Antlered deer must have one antler that is at least 3 inches in length. The antlerless designation covers all other deer. To shoot any deer, you must be in possession of the correct tag, which can be obtained through the state. Hunters may shoot one deer per their respective tag.

Deer hunting season dates

Keep these important dates handy to ensure you are not hunting outside designated seasons.

    • Early Antlerless Firearm: Sept. 22-23, 2018
    • Liberty Hunt: Sept. 22-23, 2018
      • Youth and Hunters With Disabilities Hunt
    • Independence Hunt: Oct. 18-21, 2018
      • Hunters With Disabilities Hunt
    • Archery: Oct. 1 - Nov. 14, 2018 and Dec. 1, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019
    • Regular Firearm: Nov. 15-30, 2018


  • Muzzleloading:
    • Zone 1: Dec. 7-16, 2018
    • Zone 2: Dec. 7-16, 2018
    • Zone 3: Dec. 7-23, 2018
  • Late Antlerless Firearm: Dec. 17, 2018 - Jan.1, 2019

Special regulations

The Michigan DNR implements special regulations in specific geographic zones to target changes in the area's deer population. Michigan is divided into three zones, each with its own seasonal exemptions or changes. Sometimes, hunting opportunities in a specific zone are increased or limited to moderate the excessive growth or decline of the area's deer population.

Contact your local DNR Operation Service Center for this year’s specific regulations.

We wish you a successful hunt as you head out in Michigan’s woods this hunting season.

Whitetail Deer Hunting Tips to Follow This Season

Hunting season is once again upon us. Before you suit up and head out into the woods, use these helpful tips to increase your chances of bagging yourself a deer.

      1. Make a plan

Decide where to hunt in advance so that you don’t find yourself scrambling on opening day and beyond. Be sure paths to your stand are free from obstructions to sneak in and out of your stand undetected.

Know where all your equipment is and have it ready beforehand. Much easier to grab your gear and go than to be scrambling looking for misplaced items.
Practice with your weapon of choice before the season begins to ensure your shots are accurate and your kills are ethical.

      2. Study the land

If you want to be a successful hunter, it is important to understand the area where you plan to hunt. Scout the area as frequently as possible, install trail cameras and observe the deer. Check them regularly to learn their patterns. Try to learn their habits, their patterns. Look for areas where you can set up.

      3. Hunt the wind

Experienced hunters know that reading the wind is a crucial component of any hunt. Deer have a keen sense of smell, with 297 million olfactory receptors, compared to 220 million in dogs and about 5 million in humans. It is important that you set up down wind from where the deer are located. While natural odors won’t startle them, human scents will. Shower with unscented soaps and apply unscented deodorant before you venture out. Keep your hunting clothes in a tote or plastic bag with a handful of dirt or leaves from the area you hunt.

      4. Know when to hunt

You know where the deer are, now know when they’re there. Generally speaking, deer are most active in the morning and in the evening. For a morning hunt, try to set up near the deer’s bedding areas. During the evening, set yourself up near their food. It is important to note, however, that this rule does not apply at all times, as things such as weather, the rut, and hunting pressure can alter the deers normal movement patterns. During the rut, the deer mating season, it is likely that you will see more deer throughout the day, and not just at peak times.

      5. Be quiet, be still

It is important to remember to be quiet when hunting deer, particularly during morning hours. Deer have an acute sense of hearing, picking up many small sounds you may not even be aware that you are making. Additionally, you want to pay attention to visual cues and be as still as possible. Even though you may not be able to see a deer, that deer may still be able to see you. A whitetail’s eyes are found on the sides of its head, enabling the deer to have a field of view of approximately 310 degrees. Deer do, however, have poor depth perception.

       6. Above all else, OBEY THE LAW

If you do nothing else when hunting, make sure that you are always staying within the law. Do not exceed your tag limit, always properly tag deer, and always be sure to properly dispose of deer entrails.  Only hunt within designated seasons and designated hours, and do not bait animals. NEVER hunt on restricted land. Being ethical is critical if you want to be a successful hunter.

While we can’t guarantee these tips will guarantee you a deer, we can promise that following them will help you become a better hunter.  Wishing you many happy and successful hunts this season.


Protect Your Farm with Farmer’s Insurance from GreenStone

Farming is a tough, rewarding business. Farming the land can be deeply satisfying, but it’s not without stress. Between managing crops, taking care of livestock, managing equipment and attending to farm chores, there’s a lot to worry about. Take some of the worry off your shoulders with farm insurance from GreenStone Farm Credit Services.

When farming goes according to plan, you feel great--you’re feeding others and living off the land. It is important to remember, though, that farming is a business and you need to treat it as such. Do you have a plan in place if things go wrong?

Farm insurance protects your future

Each farming season brings with it new goals, and new challenges. With many unknowns to contend with like the weather, pests and blight, poor soil, animal illness and so many others, Stop hoping and praying, and get farm insurance from GreenStone.

We understand farming business cycles and the market challenges even the most experienced farmer can face. We also understand that no two farms are the same. It’s why we offer a variety of financial products to meet the changing needs of farmers like you.

We offer flexible, affordable loans for young farmers just starting out. We also provide financing for farm equipment, land, operational costs and more. We also offer whole farm insurance and a range of other things to protect your business. Not sure if you need farm insurance?

Farm Insurance keeps some farms in business

If you’ve never had to deal with a claim for your farm, you’re fortunate. Farm insurance is there for those times when you have suffered a loss, and need to recoup the money. While you may not have had to file a claim this year, or in years past, next year could be different. We cannot state it enough--farm insurance can be the difference between staying in business, or closing. While crop insurance may not eliminate the full bill, it can certainly lessen the blow.

If you’re considering insurance for your farm, contact the team at GreenStone Farm Credit Services at 800-968-0061.

Michigan archery season opens

We are officially into October and Michigan's archery deer season has begun!  Fall food plots have had plenty of rain and sunshine to be in full growth and maturity by now.  We still have many quality parcels of Hunting Land for sale in Michigan, all around our state so get with us and let's take a walk!

Michigan Hunting Seasons

The whitetail deer is Michigan’s most hunted animal and many people migrate to Michigan in the winter months to bag some of the biggest bucks in the United States.

In fact, Michigan was ranked by Outdoor Life as the state with the 2nd largest deer harvest in the nation.

As hunting season nears once again, it pays to stay up to date on the latest rules and start times for different hunting seasons. To purchase a license and get the official start time of hunting and trap season, visit the website of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources.

For land to safely and legally hunt on within season, Michigan Whitetail Properties offers hunting properties all across Michigan.

With this said, here is everything you need to know about Michigan hunting seasons this year.


Michigan Deer Season

Michigan Hunting Season

Firearms Season: November 15-30

Archery Season: Oct. 1 - Nov. 14, 2018/ Dec. 1, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019

These dates are the same each year, although antlerless firearm seasons differ each year.

For private land only this year:

  • Early Antlerless Season is: Sept. 22-23
  • Late Antlerless Season: Dec. 17, 2018 – Jan. 1, 2019

Muzzleloader season differs each year on public and private lands. This year, muzzleloader season will run from Dec. 7-16, 2018 for Zone 1,2 and Dec. 7-23, 2018 for Zone 3.

All hunters must be above 10 years old and are required to purchase a base license for antler-less deer seasons. Hunters are allowed one deer per tag. Fortunately, tags are very cheap and generally under $10.

All hunters are required to wear orange when hunting and using drones to track down deer are illegal. Baiting is also illegal in a number of counties including: Alcona, Alpena, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oscoda, Ottawa and Shiawassee. In other counties, baiting can only occur between Sept. 15 - Jan. 1. For more information visit this webpage.

Michigan Turkey Season

Michigan turkey season

Fall Turkey Hunting Season: Sept. 15 through Nov. 14, 2018
Hunt 234 Licenses for Spring Turkey Season is Valid May 7-31 each year

The introduction of a fall turkey season was meant to help control a rapidly growing turkey population across public Michigan lands.

Generally, the rule of thumb is one turkey for one tag, any sex. There is a quota for both public and private turkey tags for each season that differs based on county and zone.  

Baiting is illegal and so is using the same tag for multiple turkeys or using someone else’s tags.

Hunting methods for spring turkey season include:


Michigan Small Game Season

Michigan small game season

Aside from turkeys, you may be interested in other small game animals. With an applicable license, the following animals are open for hunting and trapping year round with no bag limits:

  • Weasels
  • Skunks
  • Woodchucks
  • Opossums
  • Ground squirrels
  • Starlings
  • Feral swine
  • Feral pigeons
  • Porcupines

The following are small game seasons available in Michigan:

  • Woodcocks Sept. 22 - Nov. 5, 2018
  • Crows Aug. 1 - Sept. 30 and Feb. 1 - Mar. 31
  • Qual Oct. 20 - Nov. 14
  • Rabbit: Sept 15 - Mar 31
  • Sharp Tailed Grouse Oct 10 - Oct 31
  • Ruffed Grouse Sept 15 - Nov 14 and Dec 1 - Jan 1

Coyotes can be trapped and hunted year round if they damage or present a threat to your private property without a license.

For more information about small game seasons and bag limits, visit here.  


Trapping Season

Michigan trapping season

Base licenses and fur harvesting licenses for trapping and fur harvesting are required and limited to the following animals:

  • Badger
  • Beaver
  • Bobcat
  • Coyote
  • Fisher
  • Fox
  • Marten
  • Mink
  • Muskrat
  • Otter
  • Raccoon

To see when these animals are in season for fur harvesting, visit here.


Michigan Bear Hunting

Michigan Bear Season

Unfortunately, bear hunting season varies greatly by county and zone. Licensing and bag limits do as well, so you can visit this site for more information. If you do catch a bear, it’s imperative that you bring the pelt, head, or entire bear to a proper DNR station for registration.

And into September we go!

Well it's that time of the year that we've all been waiting for since the last days of our season ended last winter.  It's September!  With archery seasons opening all over the midwest this month and our Michigan opener less than a month away, it's time to be making those last minute preparations, hanging stands, getting that last bit of seed in the ground.....and PLEASE remember to always wear a harness while hanging stands and hunting.  BE SAFE.  No animal in the world is worth being in a wheel chair for the rest of your life....or worse.

Last chance weekend coming up to get those fall food plots in!

With Labor Day weekend coming up, it's really your last chance to get out there and plant those fall food plots.  Warm weather and rain seems to be the forecast so conditions will be perfect!

Time to prepare!

Well here we are in Mid August everyone.  Archery season is right around the corner.  Now is the time to be making those final preparations, hanging stands if you haven't already hung them, clipping branches that may deflect an arrow, and getting those fall food plots planted.  Rain is in the forecast this week so now is a great time to get that fertilizer and seed in the ground.  Get out there and get ready for a fantastic fall in Michigan!

Weed control on food plots during hot summer months

Well we are definitely in the "dog days" of summer.  This growing season in Michigan has been a difficult one due to our up and down weather.  We had snow coming down sideways in April when we should have been in the fields planting, and that was followed by torrential rains that had nearly everyone's fields in a flooded muddy mess..........oh yeah, and then the rain stopped and it turned into heat index's of over 100 degrees.  This created a perfect storm for weed growth, and algae covering our ponds.  Feel free to contact us if you're having any of these issues on your property and we can share ideas on what we do to combat these problems.

Great new listings of Hunting Land for sale in Michigan! Spring is here and it's time!

Spring has arrived.....well at least a little bit here in Michigan and NOW is the time to contact Michigan Whitetail Properties to take a walk with one of our knowledgeable agents and find that particular parcel that you've been looking for.  We have many new listings all around our great state and in many different price and size ranges.  Contact us today!