Make safety a priority this hunting season

Courtesy of Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Whether this is your first season hunting or you are a seasoned veteran, remember to put safety first.

Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction at all times.
Put your finger on the trigger only when you are ready to shoot.
Be aware of your surroundings – know your target and what is beyond it.
Keep the safety of your firearm on until you are prepared to take your shot.
Unload the firearm when crossing obstacles and/or getting in or out of a tree stand.
When transporting firearms in vehicles, make sure that they are unloaded and in a case.
Obey “no trespassing” signs – they are there for a reason.
If your game goes onto property marked as “no trespassing,” you must have the landowner’s permission to retrieve your game.
Hunter orange should be worn as the outermost layer of clothing and must be visible from all directions. Camouflage garments legally must be at least 50 percent hunter orange.
For more hunting safety tips and resources, go to Michigan.gov/HuntingSafety.

For more hunting safety tips and resources, go to Michigan.gov/HuntingSafety


Deer hunting

Firearm deer season begins Nov. 15.

Make sure you are up to date with the 2019 regulations. The 2019 Hunting Digest has all deer hunting regulations, season dates and bag limits.

Important changes:

  • Deer baiting and feeding are banned in the entire Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula Core Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Area.
  • New regulations in the Upper Peninsula Core CWD Surveillance Area.
  • New antler point restrictions. 

Visit Michigan.gov/Deer for more deer hunting details.

Small Game Hunting

Small game seasons are in full swing, and pheasant hunting opens soon. Visit Michigan.gov/Hunting to plan your trip.

  • Pheasant (male only):
    • Zones 2 and 3 are open through Nov. 14.
    • Don’t forget to get your free pheasant/sharp-tailed grouse endorsement if you plan to hunt pheasants.
  • Cottontail rabbit and snowshoe hare:
    • Open statewide through March 31.
  • Squirrel (fox and gray):
    • Open statewide through March 31.
  • Ruffed grouse:
    • Open statewide through Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 1.
  • Woodcock:
    • Open statewide through Nov. 4.
  • Quail:
    • Open through Nov. 14 in select counties*.

*See the 2019 Hunting Digest for specific details on open areas

Waterfowl hunting

Waterfowl hunting opportunities continue through the fall.

  • Common snipe, Virginia rail, sora rail and moorhen (gallinule) seasons are open through Nov. 9, statewide.

North Zone:

  • Duck, coot and merganser hunting is open through Nov. 24 and Nov. 30 – Dec.1.
  • Dark and light goose hunting is open through Dec. 16.

Middle Zone:

  • Duck, coot and merganser hunting is open through Dec.1 and Dec. 14-15.
  • Dark and light goose hunting is open through Dec. 20.

South Zone:

  • Duck, coot and merganser hunting is open through Dec. 8 and Dec. 28-29.
  • Dark and light goose hunting is open through Dec. 8, Dec. 28-29 and Jan. 25-Feb.10, 2020.

Waterfowl hunting dates, bag limits and regulations are available at Michigan.gov/Waterfowl.

Furr Harvesting

Hunting

Coyote, raccoon and fox (gray and red) hunting opportunities are available statewide in November.

Trapping:

Opportunities for trapping badger, beaver, coyote, fox, muskrats, mink, otter and raccoon are available in November.

See the 2019 Fur Harvester Digest for season dates, unit boundaries, bag limits and other regulations.

Remember: Bobcat kill tags are available only until Nov. 30.

Get licenses and kill tags online at MDNR-eLicense.com or anywhere licenses are sold.

Fall turkey hunting

Fall turkey hunting is open through Nov. 14. 

Any limited-quota licenses that remain may be purchased by any hunter with a current base license or mentored youth license, including those who did not apply for a fall turkey license. Hunters may purchase one license a day until quotas are met.

Find leftover license availability at Michigan.gov/Turkey.

Need a place to hunt?
GEMS ►Check out our Grouse Enhanced Management Sites for premier bird hunting locations. 
HAP lands ►Find a complete list of private lands available to hunt through the Hunting Access Program. 
Mi-HUNT ►Find places to hunt using Mi-HUNT – a mapping tool that shows lands open to public hunting.
Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-WILD (9453).

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