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.  


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.


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.  


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!

Michigan Whitetail Hunts

Michigan has a long history of deer hunting. The state has the perfect natural habitat to call home for one of the largest deer populations. Because of this, Michigan has continuously been considered one of the best states to hunt whitetail deer. Naturally, Michigan also has one of the highest populations of hunters in the country. Of these hunters, 90% hunt deer. Along with deer, it’s very popular to hunt game animals throughout Michigan, like goose, pheasant, and hare.

For this post, we’re going to focus on the importance of whitetail deer hunting to the state’s history, as well as its importance to preserving the ecosystem of Michigan.


Whitetail Deer Facts

  • During some years, you can find over one million deer in Michigan. The deer in Michigan are often larger than you’d find in other parts of the country (a male buck can weigh over 150 pounds). This tends to attract more hunters to the state.


  • Michigan has historically had the perfect environment for deer, with plenty of forests, dense trees, and water sources. The state still has many large forests that have been well preserved over the last century, but industrialization has also left its mark. However, whitetail deer are very adaptable and have learned to manage and thrive as the states have become more developed over the last few centuries.


  • Not only do Michiganders love hunting whitetail deer, but it’s also become a popular place for out-of-staters to travel to. Roughly 20,000 people travel into the state a year to be able to hunt.


  • Michigan has separate rules for hunting male and female deer. Male deer can easily be found due to their antlers (at least one antler being more than three inches are considered to be antlered). Hunting antlered deer don’t have a large impact on Michigan’s deer population, so a hunter can get these deer from any area of the state and aren’t limited as to how many they can hunt.


  • Antlerless deer, however, are more regulated. These deer can only be hunted in certain areas of the state designated by the Deer Management Unit. In addition, hunters are only allowed to hunt a certain number per individual. To ensure that Michigan’s deer population continues to flourish, antlerless deer need to be protected from hunters.


Hunting Season

All year hunters in Michigan look forward to Fall and the start of deer hunting season. There are two different 2019 start dates for deer hunting in deer in the state of Michigan:

Archery:  Oct. 1 - Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 - Jan. 1

Regular firearm: Nov. 15 - Nov. 30

Fall is the best time for deer hunting, both for hunters and Michigan’s wildlife. The majority of wildlife animals are born during the spring and summer, so the fall is when you’ll find animals in their best physical shape. Michigan’s dense woods have become an ideal hunting location in the fall when leaves drop and shrubbery is easier to see through.


Why Whitetail Hunting in Important

Hunting is a big tradition for families, especially those in Michigan. With such a high number of hunters in the state, Michigan has a very strong hunting culture that spans generations. Many throughout the country find hunting to be a good way to relax. It can also be a fun way to spend quality time outdoors with your family and friends. Many hunters grow up in families that hunt and teach them, which is something they look forward to passing on.

Having such a large number of deer can become an issue if they are not maintained. Without hunters, the whitetail deer in Michigan can easily become overpopulated. Deer no longer have many natural predators in their natural habitat, leaving it up to hunters to help keep their numbers manageable so they can live healthily.

Many hunters find that hunting keeps them closer to nature. Hunting allows you to spend hours enjoying the outdoors and to bring home food you caught yourself. Recently, people have started paying close attention to what’s in their food and where it came from. Hunters have a better understanding of natural food than others who purchase meat at the store.

Hunting whitetail deer continues to be a beloved and important pastime in Michigan. Those looking to experience one of the greatest hunts in the country should consider a Michigan whitetail hunt.

Tips for Planning a Hunting Trip in Michigan

For hunting enthusiasts, planning a trip dedicated entirely to hunting can be a great way to spend some time in the woods and bag a trophy buck. Whether you’re going with a group of other hunters or you’d rather take a solo trip, planning a hunting excursion is a prime opportunity to unplug from the rest of the world and get back to a grounded and centered place.

When thinking about where to go on your trip, Michigan is a great place to consider. With beautiful scenery, lush forests, and a variety of wildlife, Michigan is one of the premier hunting destinations in the United States.

If this is your first extended hunting outing, there are a few things you should know before hitting the road. Here are some tips for planning a memorable hunting trip in Michigan.


Choose Your Location

Deciding on a location for your Michigan hunting trip can be difficult, as there are so many great places to choose from! If you’ll be traveling with other hunters, ask around and find out where they like to hunt. If you’re traveling solo, however, make sure you do your homework and choose a location that will help you yield the results you desire. For example, if you’re in the market for some white-tailed deer, it may be helpful to scout out a few different places for the best chance at finding that kind of deer.

For dedicated hunting enthusiasts, purchasing property will allow you to hunt whenever you want! Owning a hunting property or ranch in Michigan will get you closer to the action, and you won't have to travel far for game.


Pack Your Bags

Packing the right things for a hunting trip is imperative to the overall success of your trip, so make sure you put extra thought into this step. Some crucial items you’ll need to pack include:

  • Warm camouflage clothing
  • Headlamp
  • Knives
  • Water and snacks

When it comes to specific things you should bring, it’s all about personal preference. A good rule of thumb is to try to purchase all of your clothing items a few months in advance so you can break them in. There’s nothing worse than trekking around the woods in uncomfortable hunting boots, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to purchase these kinds of things.

Other supplies, like water, snacks, a headlamp, and a knife can make all the difference on your hunting trip, so be sure to put extra thought into this as well. Things like a water-resistant poncho (in the event that it rains, personal toiletries, and a small first aid kit can all come in handy when you’re out in the woods, so be sure to pack accordingly.


Understand Regulations and Tags

This next point is crucial. Before setting out on your hunting trip, it is imperative that you have an understanding of the laws and regulations in the place you will be hunting. This is especially important if you will be hunting in an area you are unfamiliar with, as the area may have it’s own set of rules and regulations. However, finding out the local regulations of where you will be hunting doesn’t have to be a complicated process- a quick Google search should pull up all of the information you need to know!

Another important part of preparing for a hunting trip is making sure you have all of the necessary tags, as well as a valid hunting license, to ensure you are legally allowed to hunt. The consequences of hunting without the proper paperwork aren’t worth taking a chance, so make sure to get this sorted out well in advance of your trip.


Pack Enough Ammunition

You don’t want to discover that you didn’t pack enough ammunition once you get out into the woods, so make sure you take this into consideration before heading out for the day. Depending on how long you plan to be out, pack what you think you will use, and don’t be afraid to overpack a bit. If you’re new to hunting or this is your first trip, don’t hesitate to ask a seasoned hunter and get their opinion on how much ammunition you should bring. Being prepared will only enhance your trip and increase your chances of scoring a trophy deer!


Scout Your Spot

When it comes time to actually head out into the woods, it is important that you find a good hunting spot. If you’re traveling with a more experienced hunter, ask them for tips on how to choose a prime spot where you’ll have a better chance at seeing deer. Places like swamps, watering holes, and low flats are great places to set up camp and spot deer, so think carefully about where you settle for the day for the biggest payoff

Hunting is a sport that can be incredibly rewarding if done with precision and skill. Purchasing a piece of hunting land in Michigan can really elevate your hunting experience, allowing you to get closer to the action. Check out the beautiful land Michigan Whitetail Properties has to offer and take your hunting to the next level!

Game Ranches in Michigan

With Michigan ranking 3rd in the nation for the number of licensed hunters, game ranches are the ideal spot for both Michigan hunters and visiting hunters. Owning a ranch in Michigan gives owners the opportunity to make decisions about the land and wildlife that other locations don’t.

Hunting on private ranches ensures that animals are well cared for and the land is taken care of. Using a ranch for hunting also gives you the comfort of knowing who’s hunting along with you. Michigan is rich with hunting lands and has many ranches across the state for hunters to take advantage of.

Anyone who’s gone hunting on a privately owned ranch has probably been left feeling jealous of the owner. If a ranch feels like your perfect hunting location, you might also consider buying a ranch of your own. Owning a game ranch is a fantasy for many hunters. Those with game ranches find that nothing beats having the opportunity to hunt right on their own property.

Purchasing a home with a lot of land can be a big decision, even for avid hunters. Michigan has a long history of hunting that will continue to be strong going into the future, so hunting ranches have become a popular buy in recent years. Hunters interested in purchasing land should start looking into finding theirs now to get their top choice.


Which Game Ranch Is Right for Me?

Michigan has ranches in a wide variety of acreages for whatever size you’re interested in or for different budgets. From hundreds of acres of land to just a few dozen, there are plenty of land options and beautiful family homes for hunters.

Those who have been hunting for years or are accustomed to managing large properties might jump at the chance for 500 acres of land. Ranches with a lot of land give hunters plenty of opportunities to hunt deer all season long. Not only will you have the space to hunt, you’ll also have a nice secluded area away from neighbors. Larger families or families who enjoy spending time in nature will love having a space of their own.

For those who have never managed land before or who have a smaller budget, might want to test the water and buy a smaller piece of land with their ranch. While there might not be as much space to hunt, it can help you decide what amount of land you’d feel comfortable owning in the future. Smaller ranches are also ideal for families who aren’t as interested in the hunting aspect of a ranch but enjoy not having neighbors. Many are choosing to leave urban and suburban spaces to enjoy the peaceful environment that comes with ranches.


Advantages to Game Ranches

The best part of owning a game ranch is that hunters have the chance to make choices for themselves. By owning your own property, you can ensure that all the animals on the land have good lives. You also have a say in your landscape, as well. You can make decisions regarding things like trees and shrubs to have the best hunting experience possible. If your land doesn’t have any accessible water, you can add it to draw in more wildlife.

While you might like your property the way it is when you purchase it, you can still enjoy knowing that any future changes are up to you. If your land turns out to have a large population of antlered deer, you can hunt for as many as you can manage thanks to Michigan’s hunting laws.

Hunting is not the only incentive for buying game ranches. Owning a ranch can also come with some financial benefits. Well connected hunters can take advantage of their property and lease out hunting right on their ranch. Because of all the perks that come with hunting on game ranches, many will be sure to pay to hunt on your property. Some who buy game ranches don’t always intend for it to be their primary home. If you’re looking to purchase a ranch without the intention of living in it year round, you can consider renting it out for others to take hunting trips.

Additionally, ranch owners with a lot of land might have the space for farmland. Many with farmland on their ranch find that they won’t have the time to tend to it properly. Most hunters will not want to be wasteful when it comes to nature, so they choose to rent it out to farmers, instead. Buy renting out your land, you gain extra income for little work.


Buy a Game Ranch Today

Game ranches are the best real estate option for serious hunters, and Michigan is the best place to buy them. With the state’s abundance of wildlife, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the top hunting in the country right on your own property. Michigan Whitetail offers game ranches for sale all across the state. Be sure to browse our huge selection and contact one of our agents to inquire further.

Michigan Fishing Guide

2019’s fishing season has begun once again and Michigan residents are taking the rivers and Great Lakes to get an early piece of the action. While every fisherman may have their favorite spots, there are so many beautiful waterways that are littered throughout the Lower and Upper Peninsula that make for a great weekend trip.

From Burt Lake to Saginaw Bay, Michigan is considered one of the best places to fish for salmon and trout in the midwest. With such a rich history of fishing and hunting throughout the great state of Michigan, it's no wonder that thousands of visitors flock to this region for a little outdoor fun.

For more information about obtaining a fishing license and what it covers, check out our guide down below.


Michigan Fishing Licenses


Obtaining a Michigan Fishing License

Fishing licenses are distributed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and available at their website or participating retailers. Licenses are required for all people over the age of 17 and older. If purchased online, please allow 7-10 business days for the license to arrive.

Michigan Fishing License Cost

Licenses are available to both residents and nonresidents for the small price of $26 and $76 respectively. 24-hour passes are available at $10 for both residents and nonresidents. Annual licenses are valid through April 31, 2020.


Michigan Fish Species 


Catch and Release: All Waters - All Year

Catch-and-keep: All Waters + Great Lake - May 25 – December 31

Catch-and-keep: Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers -  June 15 - December 31



Catch and Release: All Waters - All Year

Catch-and-keep: Inland + St. Mary's River - June 1 - March 15

Catch-and-keep: Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers -  June 1 - December 31


Northern Pike

Catch-and-keep: Lower Peninsula Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair & St. Clair & Detroit Rivers - All Year

Catch-and-keep: Lower Peninsula & Inland Waters - April 27 – March 15

Catch-and-keep: Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, Inland waters & St. Marys River - May 15 – March 15


Salmon & Trout

Catch-and-keep: Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, St. Marys River, St. Clair & Detroit Rivers - All Year

Catch-and-keep: (Inland) Type 3 & 4 Streams and Type B, C, E & F lakes - All Year

Catch-and-keep: (Inland) Type 1 & 2 Streams and Type A & D Lakes - April 27 – Sept. 30

Gear Restricted Streams - Page 40-42 of the 2019 DNR Fishing Guide


Lake Sturgeon

Lake Sturgeon are highly regulated fish and are not legal to be harvested in certain waters. Harvesting a Lake Sturgeon does not require an additional tag, but is only limited to one sturgeon the entirety of the calendar year. All sturgeon are required to be reported within 24 hours to:

  • 844-345-FISH (3474)
  • Any DNR Customer Service Center

Lake Sturgeon are limited to the following waters with the following sizing requirements:

The Detroit River: Fishing & Possession: July 16 - March 15

All Sturgeon require immediate release

Otsego Lake: Fishing & Possession: July 16 - March 15

50” Minimum to Keep

Lake St. Clair: Fishing July 16 - March 15/ Possession July 16- Sep. 30

Between 42-50” to Keep/All others require immediate release

The St. Clair River: Fishing July 16 - March 15/ Possession July 16- Sep. 30

Between 42-50” to Keep/All others require immediate release

Black Lake: Fishing & Possession “1st Saturday in February to the following Wed. or until the quota is reached”

No Size Limit

All Michigan and Wisconsin Water Boundaries: 1st Saturday in Sept. - Sept. 30

60” Minimum to Keep


Additional Fish

The following fish are available to catch and keep all year round in all waters:

  • Channel Catfish
  • Cisco
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Lake Whitefish
  • Smelt
  • Sunfishes
  • White Bass
  • Yellow Perch


Fishing in the Great Lakes and Other Popular Destinations

The Great Lakes are a great place to go for some deep sea fishing and catch plenty of Lake Trout. In general, lake Michigan is known for its yellow perch and salmon, while Lake Huron to the east is famous for its whitefish.

There are dozens of species in the great lakes to find and harvest, which is why it's important to understand the regulations surrounding them. St. Joseph and Manistee offer great harbors to fish from Lake Michigan, and it’s always worth a trip to Chicago to get out on the lake. On the other hand, Rogers City and Detour are great cities on Lake Huron with excellent harbors to fish the lake and services to get you deep at sea.

Of course, the best way to enjoy the fishing season is to buy up a piece of land near the waterways of your own. For properties near the Great Lakes or any of Michigan's historic rivers, check out our properties page to see what’s available.

Best Fishing Lakes in Michigan

Fishing is a favorite pastime for many Americans, especially during the warm summer months.  For many people, there is no better way to spend a sunny day than hanging out by the water with some tunes, a cooler full of drinks and a fishing rod.  

For fishing enthusiasts, there is no better place to cast your line than one of Michigan’s incredible lakes.  Michigan, appropriately nicknamed “The Great Lakes State”, is home to some of the largest lakes in the world, making it a fisherman’s paradise.  If you’re looking for a new spot to fish this summer, here are some of the best fishing lakes Michigan has to offer.


Burt Lake

Burt Lake is Michigan’s fourth largest lake and is located in the Northwest region of the state.  Burt Lake is home to several different fish species, including smallmouth bass and deep water trout.  The lake is one of the most popular places to fish in the state and is also a popular boating spot, making it the place to be on weekends during the summer.  Burt Lake is a large lake with a lot of offer, making it a great spot for anyone looking to do some fishing this summer.


Lake St. Clair

Located between Ontario and Michigan, Lake St. Clair is commonly referred to as “the sixth Great Lake” due to its size and proximity to Lakes Erie, Huron, Michigan, Ontario, and Superior.  This freshwater lake has long been known as one of the best fishing destinations in the world due to the different species of fish that can be found in the lake, including smallmouth bass, walleye, and giant channel catfish.  Being that the lake is so popular, be sure to plan ahead if you decide to visit. For avid fishers, a trip to Lake St. Clair will never leave you disappointed!


Hubbard Lake

For true Michiganders, Hubbard Lake is the premier vacation spot in the state.  The lake, located in the Northern part of the state, is a popular vacation destination and is frequently praised for being a top fishing spot.  Hubbard Lake is home to a variety of fish, including whitefish, lake trout, and yellow perch, and the clear waters lend to why so many people continue to visit the lake to fish.


Saginaw Bay

Saginaw Bay is one of the most popular lakes in Michigan, and for good reason!  The lake is known for its abundance of walleye fish, as well as smallmouth bass and yellow catfish, and droves of people come to the lake during the summer months to get in on the action.  The lake is also home to the Saginaw Bay Yacht Club, one of Michigan’s most elite of its kind. During the warmer months, Saginaw Bay locals enjoy a variety of events, including Walleyes for Warriors, a weekend of fishing and fun dedicated to honoring veterans.  Saginaw Bay is undoubtedly one of the best fishing spots in Michigan and definitely worth a visit!


Hamlin Lake

If you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly place to fish, Hamlin Lake has got you covered!  The lake is known for its abundance of fish, including bluegill, tiger muskie, and northern pike.  Hamlin Lake is also a popular ice fishing spot, so avid fishers don’t have to stop just because the temperatures drop.  In addition to fishing, the lake is also great for canoeing, kayaking, or simply lounging on the beach and soaking in the sun!


Manistique Lake

For a world-class fishing experience, it doesn’t get much better than Manistique Lake.  The lake is home to tons of different fish, including northern pike, walleye, large and smallmouth bass, and sunfish.  Manistique Lake is also a popular destination for trophy fishing, and the lake’s annual ice fishing tournament is known to draw large crowds.  For fishers looking for their next big catch, Manistique Lake is a must-visit.


Kent Lake

Kent Lake is another great place to kick back, relax, and catch some fish!  Catfish, trout, walleye, and round goby can all be found in the lake, and you never know what you’ll hook!  Kent Lake is also one of the most beautiful lakes in Michigan, and there is no better way to spend a clear day than out on a boat with your line in the water.  For a laidback fishing excursion, Kent Lake is definitely worth a visit.

With so many incredible fishing lakes to choose from, purchasing a plot of land near one of these lakes means you can fish every day!  Michigan Whitetail Properties offers beautiful land that will let you be close to the action, meaning you’ll never have to travel far for a good catch!  Check out our properties and start fishing today!

Michigan Elk Hunting: All You Need to Know

Prized for their delicate meat and enormous antlers, winning the opportunity to hunt for elk in the great state of Michigan is the chance of a lifetime for most hunters. Despite the rebound of the elk population in Michigan over the past 100 years, the elk population remains very small.

This has led the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to severely limit the amount of elk hunting licenses to just around 100 per  year. Unlike most other small and large game in Michigan, elk are some of the most protected and the regulations surrounding elk hunting are some of the most misunderstood by hunters.

Of course, winning a license to hunt elk does not automatically mean you’ll bag your prize, as every hunter knows. That’s why it pays to be prepared and why Michigan Whitetail Properties has prepared this convenient guide for Michigan elk hunters.


A Brief History of Elk in Michigan

Elk once roamed the North American continent free and unabated by hunters. Unfortunately, the population of elk plummeted in the 19th century, leading to a complete disappearance of elk in Michigan in the middle of the century.

To save the dwindling population, seven elk were transferred from out west to the small village of Wolverine where they were protected. From there, the elk population reached approximately 1,500 by the mid-60s, which allowed for the reintroduction of hunting. Unfortunately, poaching and poor habitats led to another significant downturn in populations until it could be stabilized by the mid-70s.

Now, the state of Michigan has reintroduced the right to hunt elk with a special permit that’s issued by a lottery. Unfortunately, the lottery is very difficult to win as you’ll find out.


How to Receive a Michigan Elk License

Around 31,000 hunters apply for elk hunting licenses in Michigan each year, but only around 100 are awarded. Of the 100 that are awarded, 70 are for antlerless elk hunting and 30 for general elk hunting. According to Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, the lottery system is weighted, which means the more you apply for a license over the years, the greater the likelihood you will receive one in the future.

Those who are drawn for a general elk hunting license are ineligible from all future lotteries in the state of Michigan and those who are drawn for an antlerless license are barred from the next 10 lotteries.


Where and When to Hunt for Elk in Michigan

The Lower Peninsula offers specified land units where hunters can roam for elk in the months of October through December. Land units may have different dates for each hunting period, so it’s best to check this guide for specific information.

There are often ranches and public areas where hunters are free to hunt for elk with a specially issued license.

Most of Michigan’s elk are located in Pigeon River Country State Forest, which are managed by the state. Ensuring the healthy population growth of elk are the state’s main interest so it’s important that hunter follow guidelines accordingly.


Elk Hunting: What to Pack

Depending on where you hunt for elk in the state of Michigan, most reserves provide great materials to assist on your hunt from altimeters to water tablets for hiking trails and mountains. Every good hunter knows to bring his favorite rifle for deer season and the same is true of the larger elk.

In total, elks can weigh anywhere from 500-750 pounds, depending on whether or not it is a male or female. For this reason, we recommend purchasing the right bag with approximately 50 feet of parachute cord to properly string up elk.

It’s also recommended that you hunt in a group or provide a way to transport elk back to your base if you happen to bag one in the wild.

Elk hunting remains one of the biggest prizes hunters can dream of in Michigan and many other states, so it pays to be prepared ahead of time if you happen to win a license. Michigan Whitetail Properties offers hunting properties that put you right up close to some of the best hunting spots in all of Michigan. Be sure to view our listings for properties available now before they’re gone!

Michigan Hunting Trips

Michigan is renowned for its hunting. With a long-standing history and reputation of being an outdoorsman’s paradise, there’s never been a better time to head to Pure Michigan to pursue your passion. Here, you won’t just find whitetail deer. Michigan is home to a variety of small game, bears, turkeys, and ducks. Whatever you like to hunt, you’ll find it in Michigan.


Hunting in Michigan--A Storied History

Each year, more than 28,000 hunters from out of state head to Michigan on a conquest for the next big prize to hang on their wall or put in their freezer, and with good reason. Michigan is consistently rated in the top states for hunting all kinds of game, with more and more people heading there on hunting trips each year. These excursions have a positive impact on Michigan’s economy, with hunting bringing in an estimated 6 billion dollars in total revenue yearly. Yes, billion with a B.

In-state hunters spend an average of $4,400 yearly on gear, ammo, gas and other related expenses. They fill hotel rooms, lunch counters, and sporting goods stores, and will happily spend their funds doing what they love.

Ask any hunter about their dream hunting destination and over and over you’ll hear resounding cries for Michigan. Michigan wasn’t always abundant with deer and other game. Starting in 1972, funds were allocated for deer population management, intended to improve range and number of whitetails roaming the state. By 1994, the state experienced a surplus of antlered and antlerless deer, leading more hunters back into the woods in a state where hunting once waned in popularity.

Youth hunting has also gained steam in Michigan. In December of last year, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed a new bill into law allowing younger hunters to harvest whitetail deer, elk, and bear on public hunting land. Prior to the signing of this bill, many youth hunters had been denied access to hunting large game on public hunting lands. This new law permits children, who are age 10 and up, to hunt large game. Before the signing of this bill, Michigan’s minimum hunting age was 14.


Thinking About Purchasing Hunting Land?

Guided hunts are increasing in popularity, becoming both more affordable, and more accessible. Moreover, sportsmen are looking to purchase plots of hunting land, ranches where they can go hunting at their leisure, without the worry that they will need to share the land with anyone else. Owning a hunting property in Michigan delivers a sense of freedom and control. It can even serve as an income stream--many hunters rent out their land for others to enjoy when they are not using it.

Hunting seasons in Michigan extend into much of the year, depending on what you are hunting (small game, deer, turkey, etc). This makes the idea of owning a plot of land even more valuable. Purchasing a tract of land in Michigan, even a small one gives you a place to return to throughout the year, and the freedom to choose which hunting seasons you’d like to participate in. Spring brings turkey hunting, and the opportunity to find antlers, or sheds, from deer who lose their antlers when the weather begins to warm. Summer is great for hunting crows, and you can also hunt for porcupines, squirrels and wild boars.

Probably the best part of owning your own land is being the only one hunting on it. No more competing for a spot on opening day, and no losing the prey you’ve been scouting all season long to another hunter. You can hang trail cameras freely, without the worry that someone will come along and remove them, and you can scout the land at your leisure. Every inch of that land is free for you to comb and explore.

You may even opt to build a cabin or camp on the property for your own use, giving yourself a nice little spot to come home to after your day spent in the woods. Use this cabin as your base camp when you head out on one of your many Michigan hunting trips.

Hunting land needs little maintenance throughout the year if that’s all you’re using it for. When you own a property, you can explore every inch, really getting to know the lay of the land and scouting all sorts of game that inhabit the area. And of course, as the owner, you do not have to seek out permission to use the land--it’s yours! Additionally, you can plant food plots that will attract even the pickiest of deer.


Buy Hunting Land in Michigan

Owning hunting land is a dream for many, and it’s a reality that is far more attainable than you might realize. By starting small, you can find the right piece of land for all your hunts. By investing in land, you’ve all but guaranteed yourself a spot that will grow in value. Improving that small plot will enable you to leverage it into something larger, eventually leading to your dream hunting property.

When you’re not hunting, spend your time in nature enjoying the natural splendors that Michigan has to offer, from incredible lakes to breathtaking vistas, and numerous opportunities for camping, hiking, biking, and fishing, The Wolverine State offers something for everyone. Hunting aside, Michigan is a vacation destination all of its own. Venture there alone, with your hunting buddies, or bring the entire family along for an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Hunters know that you’re either hunting or preparing for hunting season. This year, why not consider taking a hunting trip to Michigan? While you’re there, it doesn’t hurt to look at available land for sale and start dreaming. The perfect piece of hunting land awaits in Michigan, your Midwestern outdoor paradise.