3 Best Outdoor Activities in Branch County, MI

In Michigan, you can find great outdoor activities all year round. With plenty of amazing outdoor spaces and more lakes than you could hope to visit, Michigan is the perfect place for those looking to spend more time outside. With so much opportunity, you might not know where to go to see some of the best places to visit in Michigan. If you’re looking for somewhere to go for outdoor activities in Michigan, Branch County is a great place to check out. 

Not only are outdoor activities fun to do but they can be extremely beneficial to your mental and physical health. We spoke to Michael J. Brown with Sunshine NTC who told us just how beneficial being outdoors can be. “Our bodies need sunlight to properly utilize vitamin D. This vitamin is important for strong bones and teeth. It helps our body to absorb calcium.”

Branch County is a great area of Michigan to go to spend time outside and relax. After enjoying the outdoors here, you might even want to look into buying some of the Branch County land for sale. During your time in Branch County, here are three of the best outdoor activities you can do. 

Go on a Trip to a Park 

One of the best ways to spend a nice day outside is to take a trip to one of your local parks. You can spend the day outside doing whatever you like best. For many, this is the perfect way to have some space to play your favorite sports. If you’re not up for playing sports, a picnic is also a great way to utilize one of your local parks. Pack a homemade meal or get takeout and enjoy an afternoon. Dr. Nancy B Irwin told us about some of the benefits to taking a trip to a local park. “Being outside tends to give us a natural feeling of openness and freedom. Fresh air is healing to the lungs vs breathing recirculated air, and sunshine stimulates the production of Vitamin D in the body.” You don’t even need to plan anything to go to the park, just spend some time on your own or bring along a book. Find some time today to meet up with your closest friends and family today to go out and enjoy your favorite park or try visiting a new one. 

Take a Walk

Going on a walk is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get some exercise, and see more of the Branch County area. Taking a walk is just about the easiest thing you could do to get yourself outside. We spoke with Spencer Bomboir with TeamLinkt who spends tons of time outdoors walking. “Some of the benefits of being outdoors include increasing cardiovascular health through exercise, receiving Vitamin D through sunlight, and improving one's mental state by enjoying nature and exercising.” You can go almost anywhere in Branch County for this, or you can travel a little out of the way to explore somewhere new. If you’re interested in walking through a new area, finding a walking trail is the best way to do it. The next time you’re looking to go on a walk, consider the Union City Heritage Water Trail. This gives you a great trail to follow and includes multiple makers along the way to give you some interesting information about the history of this area of Branch County.

Visit a Lake

Of course, you can’t talk about outdoor activities anywhere in Michigan without mentioning spending time at a lake. We spoke to Simon with Globo Outdoors who’s favorite activity is kayaking. He has been spending more time at lakes to remain active while social distancing among a global pandemic. “I am a keen kayak angler and I am still practicing my favorite hobby. Of course, I am following the recommendations and keeping a distance from the crowd. The greatest benefit of being outdoor is that it allows you to relax, keep you in good shape and generally make you feel better.” Michigan is famous for its lake and Branch County is the perfect place to experience it. Here, you have several great lakes that you can plan a visit to, including Coldwater Lake, Marble Lake, and First Lake. At some of the lakes you’ll find in Branch County, you can enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating. On a nice warm day, there’s nothing better than this.  Of course, you can always spend some time just relaxing by the water as well. 

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.

Tree Stand Placement

With hunting season in full swing, hopefully you have already been thinking about that choice hunting spot. Most hunters are on a yearly quest for not just that monster buck, but the perfect spot to shoot him from. If you hunt from a tree stand, make sure you know just where to place it to ensure you get that optimal shot.


What Type of Tree Stand Are you Using This Season?


There are a variety of tree stands on the market today to meet different hunters needs. Read on to learn more and find the right stand for your hunt.

  • 2-person Tree Stand
    Besides the obvious benefit of holding 2 hunters at the same time, the two of you can enjoy varying vantage points, and maybe even work together to shoot a deer.
  • Tripod Deer Stand
    This gives hunters the advantage to hunt from off the ground when traditional tree stands are not available.
  • Ladder Tree Stand
    Ladder tree stands work best when put up in advance. While they are heavy and require quite a bit of work to install, they give hunters a fixed, stable platform to shoot from.
  • Rotating Tree Stand
    Sometimes the perfect tree in the perfect spot is crooked, and thus, cannot accommodate a traditional tree stand. A rotating or swivel tree stand solves the problem. With a 360 degree rotating seat, you can enjoy greater visibility and safer tree stand entry. View your hunting area in all directions.


Timing of Placement Matters

Like hunting in general, timing is everything. Any good hunter knows that you don’t just hang a tree stand whenever you feel like it. Knowing when to hang a tree stand is as important as deciding where to hang it.

Many hunters prefer to hang their stands in late January, after hunting season has ended. For those with limited amounts of time, there can be an advantage to hanging your stand early. However, trees expand and animals can chew, so if you do hang your stand during between January and May during the summer. This will save you the hassle of an unwanted surprise during hunting season if something does happen during that time.

Some hunters prefer to carry their treestand with them, install it, and hunt it that day to keep scents down.


Finding that Ideal Location

Just like the when matters, so does the where. Optimal tree stand placement is critical for a successful hunt. Looking for a few helpful hints for your tree stand location? Try these.

  • Farm Fields
    An absolute must for anyone in farm country, farm fields are rich in resources that attract deer. Boasting great visibility and plentiful food sources, a farmer’s field is a wise location for your tree stand to go.
  • Hunting Plots
    These are areas specifically designed to attract hungry deer. These locations should be planted with high attraction food crops such as clover and cereal grains. Their smaller size and more covered locations offer security to passing deer.
  • Double-Whammy Lots
    Here, deer will find a water source and a large amount of cover to conceal them. Deer will typically bed nearby areas like these, making them a must for anyone in pursuit of a whitetail deer this year.

Whatever strategy you use this season, finding that sweet spot takes skill, luck and time. Use this guide to increase your chances of seeing that shooter deer.


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.