At Michigan Whitetail Properties, we are, of course, passionate about setting our clients up with the best private hunting land in Michigan so they can enjoy this one-of-a-kind pastime on their own terms. Occasionally, however, we hear that people want to take part in Michigan deer hunting but are looking to simplify things by taking this sport to public lands, rather than private.

We get this. You see, it is a myth that there is no good public hunting land in Michigan. In fact, there are more than 8 million acres of public deer-hunting land in Michigan. As with anything, however, it comes down to having insider knowledge to know where to go to find it. That is if you want land that isn’t overly crowded with other hunters.

If the best hunting in Michigan is what you are after, keep reading, as our experts detail some ways of locating the best public spots for yourself.

How to Hunt Deer on Public Land on Michigan

When we talk about public hunting land in Michigan, we have to mention four key types: there is public county land, state land, federal land, and private land that is available for public use. Learn more about each below.

County Land

Public hunting land owned by a Michigan county is a good place to start because it is not exactly easy to locate. When it comes to hunting, that’s good news, because little-known hunting grounds will tend to have less hunting pressure. For the beginners out there, hunting pressure is essentially the human activity in deer environments that cause deer to stay away. The more hunters, the more pressure. The more pressure, the fewer deer. We recommend you check Michigan county websites to see what public hunting land is available. When you’re looking for the best hunting in Michigan, you do sometimes have to put some work in.

State Land

State hunting land is unlike county land in that it is simply better known to Michigan residents. That’s because the Michigan Department of Natural Resources maintains a map of state-owned hunting lands. Just check out the map to find state deer-hunting grounds near you. However, know this: because the state publishes that information, weekends will tend to be crowded with other hunters, and pressure in that area may be quite high.

Private Lands Open to the Public

Then there are the private hunting lands that the public can access. Michigan facilitates this primarily through its Hunting Access Program, or HAP. Basically, the state pays private landowners to allow public access to their prime deer-hunting grounds. HAP began opening these kinds of lands in southern Michigan in the late 1970s, but the program now includes land in the northeastern part of the Lower Peninsula and the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula. This is another well-known program, so you may find these lands somewhat crowded when you go, but again, remember this: the more remote the area, the fewer hunters and the less pressure there will be.

Federal Land

The final piece of this puzzle of public hunting land is federal lands. You can go online and view GIS websites for most of Michigan’s counties. The sites contain satellite images of hunting parcels in the state. You can search for parcels to see who owns them. Federal lands in Michigan might be owned by the “United States of America” on the sites. So, you do have to do some digging, as per usual with public hunting grounds, but the payoff in hunting opportunities could be more than you ever imagined.

Take Advantage of the Best Hunting in Michigan

Like we said above, Michigan Whitetail Properties is all about connecting hunters with some of the best hunting in Michigan. We enjoy finding top-quality hunting and farming land for sale to show to our clients, but we also understand that buying your own land is not always a reality right at this moment. However, our passion for deer hunting never ceases, and so we want everyone to know we are still here for you if public hunting land is what you’re currently after.

Get in touch with us to learn more about finding quality hunting grounds throughout Michigan. We may have to do some searching, but if we can hook you up with what you want, that will make us happy.