Michigan Deer Hunting Season

John Lewis

Michigan Deer Hunting Digest 2023-2024: A Complete Guide!

MI Deer Season, Michigan Deer Hunting Season

The Department of Natural Resources has released the Michigan Deer Hunting Digest 2023, which offers hunters the most latest season dates, rules, and details necessary to prepare for upcoming deer hunts. Before heading out into the woods this season, hunters should check the annual digest, which includes important information on licensing, chronic wasting disease monitoring, hunting zone borders, and permissible guns.

The digest is a crucial resource for one of the most well-liked outdoor leisure pursuits in Michigan. This article will highlight all the information from the 2023 edition that hunters need to know in order to hunt deer effectively, securely, and legally. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or first-time hunter, be sure to thoroughly read and understand the newest version of the Michigan deer digest before the season opens.

Michigan Deer Season 2023

Early Antlerless Firearm Season, which runs from late September through early October, is a great time to hunt deer. It’s a great opportunity for first-time hunters to go hunting. The Liberty and Independence Hunt is a special September-October hunting season for young hunters and veterans. This is a great chance for beginners and veterans to get back into hunting. Michigan’s hunting season peaks in November with the Regular Firearm Season. Anyone may hunt a big buck or doe during this peak hunting season. Late Antlerless Firearm Season: Doe and fawn hunters should hunt in December. Hunters may have a successful season finale around this time. In January, muzzleloader hunters may participate in Michigan Muzzleloader Season. At this time of year, shooting deer or bucks is easy. It’s a unique and challenging hunting approach.

General Deer season

Michigan Deer SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
ArcherySunday, October 01, 2023Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Friday, December 01, 2023Monday, January 01, 2024
Regular FirearmWednesday, November 15, 2023Thursday, November 30, 2023
Muzzleloading (Zone 1)Friday, December 01, 2023Sunday, December 10, 2023
Muzzleloading (Zone 2)Friday, December 01, 2023Sunday, December 10, 2023
Muzzleloading (Zone 3)Friday, December 01, 2023Sunday, December 10, 2023
Late Antlerless FirearmMonday, December 11, 2023Monday, January 01, 2024

Michigan muzzleloader season 2023-2024

Following are some specific guidelines regarding muzzleloader hunting in Michigan:

  • The regular muzzleloader hunting season in Michigan is from December 1 to 10, 2023, for Zones 1, 2, and 3.
  • Black powder or a commercially produced black powder alternative must be used to load muzzleloaders.
  • Deer muzzleloader hunters in Michigan may only bring a crossbow into the field during the state’s December muzzleloader hunting season (with the exception of the Upper Peninsula).
  • Only muzzleloading rifles are permitted to be used during the muzzleloading season in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula.
  • There is no minimum allowed caliber for muzzleloader deer shooting in Michigan.

Early Deer Seasons in Michigan 2023

A series of deer hunting seasons will start in Michigan in 2023 with the early doe season and early antlerless season, both of which are restricted to private properties in the Lower Peninsula and set for September 16–17. These consist of the Independence Hunt and Liberty Hunt, which will take place in 2023 on October 19–22 and September 9–10, respectively. For complete compliance and a successful hunting experience, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources recommends hunters to carefully review the specific dates and regulations for each season they plan to participate in to ensure compliance and a successful hunting experience.

Liberty HuntSeptember 9-10, 2023Youth and disabled huntersStatewide
Early Antlerless FirearmSeptember 16-17, 2023Limited to private landsLower Peninsula
Independence HuntOctober 19-22, 2023Hunters with disabilitiesStatewide

Liberty Hunt in Michigan

The Liberty Hunt in Michigan is planned for September 9–10, 2023, and is intended just for youth and hunters with disabilities. Along with the Independence Hunt and the Early Antlerless Firearm season, this special hunt is part of Michigan’s early deer hunting seasons.

Youth Hunts in Michigan 2023

Liberty HuntSeptember 9-10, 2023
Early Antlerless FirearmSeptember 16-17, 2023
Independence HuntOctober 19-22, 2023

Elk Season

Michigan Elk SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Plains archery elk season Saturday, September 02, 2023Saturday, September 30, 2023
Monday, September 02, 2024Monday, September 30, 2024
Plains muzzleloader elk seasonSaturday, September 09, 2023Sunday, September 17, 2023
Saturday, September 14, 2024Sunday, September 22, 2024
First regular rifle elk seasonSaturday, October 14, 2023Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Saturday, October 12, 2024Wednesday, October 16, 2024
Second regular rifle deer and elk combined seasonSaturday, October 28, 2023Sunday, November 05, 2023
Saturday, October 26, 2024Sunday, November 03, 2024
Third regular rifle deer and elk combined seasonSaturday, November 11, 2023Friday, November 17, 2023
Saturday, November 09, 2024Friday, November 15, 2024
Fourth regular rifle deer and elk combined seasonWednesday, November 22, 2023Sunday, November 26, 2023
Wednesday, November 20, 2024Sunday, November 24, 2024
Late rifle elk seasonMonday, November 27, 2023Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Monday, November 25, 2024Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Moose Season

Michigan Moose SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Antlered rifle seasonSunday, October 01, 2023Saturday, October 14, 2023
Antlerless rifleSunday, October 01, 2023Saturday, October 14, 2023
Archery seasonSaturday, September 09, 2023Saturday, September 30, 2023
Saturday, September 07, 2024Monday, September 30, 2024
Muzzleloader moose seasonSaturday, September 09, 2023Sunday, September 17, 2023
Saturday, September 14, 2024Sunday, September 22, 2024

Pronghorn Season

Michigan Pronghorn SeasonHunting Start DateHunting End Date
Archery season (Buck only)Tuesday, August 15, 2023Thursday, August 31, 2023
Archery season (Either Sex)Friday, September 01, 2023Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Archery season (Buck only)Thursday, August 15, 2024Saturday, August 31, 2024
Archery season (Either Sex)Friday, September 01, 2023Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Muzzleloader seasonThursday, September 21, 2023Friday, September 29, 2023
Saturday, September 21, 2024Sunday, September 29, 2024
Rifle pronghorn seasonSaturday, October 07, 2023Sunday, October 15, 2023
Saturday, October 05, 2024Sunday, October 13, 2024

Approved Michigan Deer Regulations 2023-2025 Hunting Seasons

2023-2025 MI Deer Hunting RulesDetails
Duration of RegulationsThe deer restrictions have been approved for a three-year period, including the hunting seasons of 2023, 2024, and 2025.
Changes and UpdatesMichigan deer hunting, especially in the southern Lower Peninsula, has improved due to several modifications.
Restricted Tag of Deer Combo LicenseA four-point antler point limitation has been reintroduced for 19 Lower Peninsula counties' deer combination license limited tag. All deer combination licenses in southern Lower Peninsula counties have unrestricted regular and four-point restricted tags.
Liberty HuntLiberty Hunt hunters may now take numerous antlerless deer alongside one buck. Each deer taken during this hunt needs a license.
U.P. CWD Surveillance ZoneHunters may now bait and feed after the Upper Peninsula Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Zone was lifted. Deer combo license limitations and hunter's choice antler point rules have been reintroduced.
Late Archery Season and CrossbowsAn Upper Peninsula proposal to allow crossbows in late archery season was rejected, retaining the ban.
Antlerless Harvest in Northern DMUsRestoring antlerless harvests in numerous northern deer management areas using archery equipment was refused, save for eligible Liberty Hunt and Deer Management Assistance Permit holders.
Commitment to Sustainable Deer Population ManagementThe DNR is dedicated to scientifically sound and sustainable deer population management in Michigan.
Additional InformationCloser to hunting season, authorized deer restrictions will be summarized. Learn more at Michigan.gov/Deer.

Other MI Deer Hunting Regulations

  • Michigan deer baiting is legal in Michigan from September 15 through January 1 of 2023, with the exception of the Lower Peninsula, where it is not allowed. Five days prior to the start of the hunting season, eligible hunters may start baiting for the Liberty Hunt. Notably, despite the fact that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has altered a number of hunting laws in order to improve possibilities for the forthcoming season, deer baiting is not included in those revisions. To guarantee adherence to Michigan’s baiting laws, hunters are encouraged to research the guidelines applicable to each season and locality.
  • Michigan shooting hours for Deer hunting 2023 normally range from dawn to dusk. There are, however, certain exceptions, like the Liberty Hunt, when hunting is permitted from 30 minutes before dawn to 30 minutes after dusk. The permissible shooting hours for deer hunting in Michigan in 2023 may be found by reviewing the appropriate rules that apply to each hunting season and region. This will help to assure adherence to the set hours.
  • Obtaining a hunting license and deer hunting tag in Michigan is mandatory for each hunter.
  • Early antlerless firearm season, regular firearm season, and muzzleloader season are the customary divisions of Michigan’s deer hunting season.
  • Deer hunting in Michigan is regulated by bag restrictions that change with the season and the kind of deer being pursued.
  • For certain seasons and locations in the Great Lakes State, antler point limits are in effect.
  • In order to avoid creating a situation where deer and other animals are artificially concentrated, laws prohibiting the practice of baiting and feeding are in place during hunting seasons.
  • Hunting deer over bait piles or on property where bait has been put or distributed within the previous 10 days is prohibited.
  • During hunting seasons, it is illegal to pursue or kill certain kinds of protected wildlife or certain living animals.
  • In order to lawfully hunt in Michigan, hunters must first complete hunter education and training courses.
  • Wearing the proper safety gear and adhering to all safety requirements are highly advocated for all hunters.
  • When an incident occurs during hunting, sportsmen must notify the state game warden or conservation officer in their area promptly.
  • It is against the law to use a plane or helicopter to pursue or drive a deer.
  • Deer must be tagged as soon as possible after being killed and before being transported.
  • Centerfire rifles are restricted to designated shooting ranges in the state of Michigan.
  • Except for a small number of disabled hunters, it is against the law to use a semi-automatic rifle when hunting deer.
  • Deer hunting with any kind of silencer or suppressor is illegal.
  • Late in the weapon season, bowhunting for deer is prohibited.
  • Deer cannot be hunted using a muzzleloader that can only fire a single round.
  • Smokeless-powder handguns must fulfill certain requirements. Straight-walled.35-caliber or larger cartridges are required. The barrel and magazine of these firearms cannot hold more than nine bullets.
  • Rifles have to use straight-walled cartridges and be.35-caliber or larger. Cartridges should be 1.16 to 1.80 inches long.
  • Hunting deer north of the restricted weapon deer zone is authorized with any firearm except a.22-caliber or smaller rimfire rifle or pistol.

Deer Hunting Licenses

The first step in getting ready for Michigan’s Deer Season is to get a hunting license. Deer hunting in Michigan may require both a general hunting license and a specific deer hunting license. You may get one via an approved licensing agent or online through the DNR website in Michigan. Also, special licenses or tags may be needed for access to some hunting regions. Hunters can find complete list of license details on the eregulations website and also should educate up on the local rules and laws.

Types of LicensesUSDNote
Base License (Junior)$6
Base License (Resident)$11
Base License (Nonresident)$151
Base License (Senior)$5
DEER (Resident)$402 deer licenses: $20 regular, $20 restricted
DEER (NonResident)$190 2 deer licenses: $20 regular, $170 restricted
DEER (Senior) (65+, Michigan residents only)$28 2 deer licenses: $8 regular, $20 restricted

Michigan Doe Permits and Antlerless Deer

The following information about doe hunting and antlerless deer licenses in Michigan:

  • Antlerless Deer Hunting Access Permit: This permit is only valid in the mid-U.P. DMUs (Deer Management Units), and the application period is from July 15 to August 15, 2023.
  • Reserved Deer Hunt Permit: Similar to the previous, the application window for reserved deer hunt licenses will be open from July 15 through August 15, 2023.
  • Universal Antlerless Deer License: Hunting antlerless deer on public or private property in any deer management area that allows hunting is permitted with this license, which is valid for both citizens and non-residents.
  • Youth Hunters: From July 15 through August 15, 2023, young hunters who are 16 years old or younger may acquire antlerless deer permits at the counter. The auction of any remaining licenses will start in September.
  • Not Necessarily Required: In Michigan, obtaining an antlerless deer license is not strictly mandatory for most deer hunters.
  • All deer hunting seasons in Michigan, including archery, regular firearm, muzzleloader, and late antlerless firearm, are covered by these antlerless deer licenses. If hunters want to hunt in Michigan, they must examine the precise dates, the rules for each season, and the specifications for getting antlerless deer licenses in order to assure compliance.

My Successful Deer Hunting Spots in Michigan

Hunting SpotAdditional Information
Upper PeninsulaOne of Michigan's top areas for whitetail deer hunting. The county of Ontonagon is especially well known.
Northern Lower PeninsulaAnother fantastic area in Michigan for whitetail deer hunting.
Southern CountiesJackson, Calhoun, and Hillsdale counties in the south are well recognized for producing large whitetail deer.
Mackinaw Bridge AreaSome of the most legendary hunting areas in the state are located just south of the Mackinaw Bridge.
Isabella CountyAmong Michigan's top locations for deer hunting, with a high harvest rate in 2016.

Tips from My Years of Hunting Michigan Whitetails

Hunting TipAdditional Information
Hunt the WindWhen choosing your approach and a tree stand placement, take advantage of the wind.
Organize Your GearMake sure you have everything you'll need, such as a bow or gun, clothes, and shoes.
Blind and Treestand SetupPrior to hunting, choose a spot with sufficient sight and cover and secure your setup.
Hunt All DayTo increase your likelihood of seeing deer, think about hunting all day.
ScoutingTo prepare for your hunt, keep an eye out for deer activity indicators like tracks, rubs, and scrapes.
Picking a SpotChoose spots close to passageways or sleeping spaces that include shelter, food, and water supplies.
Sight in Your GunMake sure your gun is correctly scoped in, then practice shooting from various distances.
Talk to a BiologistFor useful information on deer numbers, habitat, and laws, speak with your local biologists.
Contact Your Soil Conservation DistrictLearn more about the habitat management techniques that may help the local deer population.

Recipes for Delicious Michigan Venison

Venison ChiliIdeal for cold winter days, this hearty chili is prepared with ground venison, beans, tomatoes, and spices.
Venison StewTraditional stew made from leftover venison and including cubed deer, potatoes, onions, and carrots.
Grilled Venison SteakWith marinating advice for juiciness, here's a recipe for easy and delicious grilled venison steak.
Venison BackstrapA recipe for seasoned salt, pepper, and garlic venison backstrap, a lean and soft cut.
Venison MeatballsUnique meatballs that go well with spaghetti and sauce are cooked with ground venison, breadcrumbs, and spices.
Venison RoastIdeal for special events, this roast has venison and is made with potatoes, carrots, and onions.

Michigan Hunting Season General Information 2023

Deer hunters also face DNR changes. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 52, decreasing the penalty for not reporting a deer harvest. Failure to report deer harvests within 72 hours included a $500 fine, a misdemeanor prosecution, and prison time. The revised measure caps the cost at $150 and removes the misdemeanor threat. The DNR’s eLicense system lets hunters submit harvest statistics. Hunters will pay less and not be penalized for small mistakes.

For Complete list of games in Michigan Hunting Digest 2023 you may review the Michigan hunting season page and explore all the regulations, latest season dates, bag limits and more.

FAQs related to Michigan Deer Hunting Season

What time of year does Michigan open for deer hunting?

Michigan begins its deer hunting season on September 11 for the Liberty Hunts and runs through September 18–19 for the Early Antlerless, Firearms season.

What kinds of deer hunting seasons are there in Michigan?

There are many deer hunting seasons available in Michigan, including the Early Antlerless Firearm Season, the Liberty and Independence Hunt, the Regular Firearm Season, the Late Antlerless Firearm Season, and the Muzzleloader Season.

What are the straight-walled cartridge requirements for deer hunting in the shotgun zone?

Straight-walled cartridges with a minimum case length of 1.16 inches and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches, as well as a rifle caliber of.35 or above, are required for deer hunting in Michigan’s shotgun zone.

Are there any seasons designated just for young hunters or those with disabilities?

Yes, the September 11th Liberty Hunt is intended for young people (those under 16) and those with disabilities.

For complete details on all hunting season you may read our article MI Hunting Season 2023.

Source: Michigan Hunting Digest

John Lewis
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