With more than 90% forest land in the Upper Peninsula, hunting a variety of game makes it the greatest hunting experience in the nation. Hunters have a wide variety of game, large or small to choose from. Big game includes white-tailed deer, black bear and Elk. Available for the bird hunters are wild turkeys, pheasant and quail.
Managing wild turkeys in Michigan involves the multipart interactions of turkey populations, their habitat and their relationship to people. Hunting plays an important role in the management of turkeys by regulating their numbers.
The goal of the spring wild turkey hunting season is to make the most of hunter opportunity while maintaining a pleasing hunting experience. Limited to bearded turkeys only, this conventional harvest approach has allowed the continued growth and expansion of the wild turkey population in Michigan.
Wild turkey hunting in the fall enables the DNR to even out or reduce wild turkey numbers in certain areas of the state to meet local goals based on habitat conditions and public attitudes. License quotas are developed to harvest the preferred number of turkeys to meet the management goal. To help reach these goals, hunters are encouraged to harvest female turkeys during the fall season. Hunters may use a bow and arrow, a crossbow, a firearm that fires a fixed shotgun shell, or a muzzle loading shotgun for turkey hunting. It is illegal to use or carry any other firearm.
Residents and nonresidents 12 and older are entitled to purchase only one license with two kill tags (regular and restricted) for use during any firearm deer hunting season (regular firearm and muzzle loading) or archery seasons. A hunter can use both kill tags in the firearm seasons, both in the archery season or one in each season. Youths age 12 and 13 are allowed to hunt on private land only. Youths 10 and 11 are restricted to archery-only hunting. Â Firearm hunting season usually starts Nov. 15 and runs through Nov. 30th. Archery season runs Oct. 1st.-Nov. 14th or Dec. 1st-Jan.1st.
The first day of deer hunting in the Upper Peninsula is practically a national holiday where some schools even close on opening day. The woods are full of hunters in their blaze orange hunting gear heading to deer camp.Â Coolers stocked with cold beverages and enough food to feed an army.Â Let it be said that you never go hungry or thirsty at hunting camp.
Venison is as popular as Thanksgiving turkey and recipes abound for versions of venison stew, roasts and jerky.
For black bear and elk hunting information, please see the Michigan DNR website for more details.
A small game license entitles you to hunt rabbit, hare, squirrel (fox and gray), pheasant, ruffed grouse, woodcock (HIP endorsement required), quail, crow, coyote (applies to Michigan residents only) and waterfowl (with a federal waterfowl stamp and Michigan waterfowl hunting license, if age 16 or older) during the open season. Opossum, porcupine, weasel, red squirrel, skunk, ground squirrel and woodchuck also may be taken year-round with a valid hunting license. No license is required for a resident, resident’s spouse or resident’s children to hunt small game on the enclosed farmlands where they live, except a federal waterfowl stamp and state waterfowl license are required to hunt waterfowl.
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