Michigan Hunting Seasons, 2018 – 2019

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Are you interested in hunting various species? Michigan hunting seasons are a perfect choice for either experienced or inexperienced hunters since it’s one of the best hunting grounds!

In Michigan, the hunt is on! Over 10 million acres of land is at every hunter’s disposal with a proper license, and of course, there are 111 wildlife management areas as well. All you need to do is to find your perfect spot and enjoy the hunt. There’s an abundance of game species such as deer, elk and turkey. There are also small game species such as cottontail rabbit, snowshoe hare, squirrel and many others.


Michigan Hunting Seasons and All Available Games

michigan hunting seasons 2019

#1. Michigan Deer Seasons



Bag Limit

Firearms, Early Antlerless

September 22 – 23

Bag Limit – 1 kill per tag

Liberty Hunt

Bag Limit – 1

Independence Hunt

October 18 – 21


October 1 – November 14
December 1 – January 1

Bag Limit – 1 kill per tag

Regular Firearm

November 15 – 30


*December 7 – 23

Late Antlerless, Firearms

December 17 – January 1

*NOTE: Dates may vary by the zone.

#2. Michigan Elk Seasons



Bag Limit

Hunt Period 1

August 28 – October 1

Limited License Hunts

Hunt Period 2

December 15 – 23

Hunt Period 3

January 16 - 19

NOTE: Hunting for elks is lottery permit system restricted.

#3. Michigan Wild Turkey Seasons



Bag Limit

Spring General Season

April 23 – May 31

Limited License Hunts

#4. Michigan Small Game Seasons



Bag Limit

Snowshoe Hare

September 15 – March 31

Daily bag limit – 5
Possession limit - 10

Cottontail Rabbit


*October 10 – January 1

Daily bag limit – 2
Possession limit - 4

Ruffed Grouse

September 15 – November 14
December 1 – January 1

*Daily bag limit – 5 or 3
*Possession limit – 10 or 6

Squirrel (Gray and Fox)

September 15 – March 1

Daily bag limit – 5
Possession limit - 10

Porcupine, Weasel, Opossum, Red Squirrel, Skunk, Ground Squirrel, Feral Swine, Feral Pigeons, Woodchuck, Starling, House Sparrows

Open Season

Bag limit – No limit

*NOTE: Season dates may vary by zone, and for ruffed grouse, bag limits may vary by zone as well.

License Requirements

In Michigan, if you want to hunt small game you will need a Base License, but that license also allows you to purchase additional hunting licenses for the big game, and waterfowl.

Is there any age limit for hunting? There is an option for youth hunting in Michigan, so there isn’t an age limit; minors from 10 to 16 years old can purchase a youth license, but persons younger than 9 years old need to have a Mentored Youth License. This means they have to be accompanied by a person who has a license and is 18 years or older.

Senior residents in Michigan who are 65 or older can buy a discounted license, as well as, active military personnel. Military veterans can purchase their license free of charge.

Can both residents and non-residents hunt? Yes, but their license fees are different. Fees for non-residents are higher.

All first time hunters before buying any license need to pass a Hunter Education Course, if they are born on or after January 1960. These courses are available for taking all year round and provide basic information about hunting, safety, game care, and first aid.

You can purchase all the licenses online.

Night Hunting in Michigan

In Michigan, night hunting is allowed but only with handheld lights. All lights that can be carried in hand or on the person, like a headlamp, flashlights, portable spotlights, are considered legal. Use of natural light, like the moon, is also allowed.

Can you use any night vision? The use of night vision scopes and optics is permitted by the law of the state of Michigan.

Where to Hunt in Michigan?

michigan hunting seasons and bag limits

Michigan has a system of public lands which are managed primarily for wildlife hunting. There are more than 340, 000 acres available for camping and hunting. These units are called Wildlife Game Areas and are divided into counties.

There are also Managed Waterfowl Areas for hunting which were created to provide perfect waterfowl habitat and are open for hunting or just for enjoying in nature.

If you are interested in locations for bird hunting, then check out the Grouse Enhanced Management Sites with walking trails for the easier approach.

Are there more places for hunting? You can hunt on National Forest Lands and State Parks and Recreation Areas as well, but there are different regulations that apply to these areas. So, you should always check the regulations for the specific area you are planning to hunt in.

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