Michigan hunting seasons

MIDNR has announced the latest dates for Michigan hunting season 2024, and this is the best times to harvest both big and small game. Elk, deer, bear, turkey, and Coyote are just few of the many species of wildlife that can be found in the state for hunters to pursue.

In Michigan, you may go on either public or private land to pursue. Hunters Helping Landowners (HHP) and the Hunting Access Program (HAP) work together to turn privately owned property into open and legal grounds. A mapping program called Mi-HUNT is provided by the state’s Department of Natural Resources to aid hunters in locating legal sites around the state.

Both residents and non-residents may apply for and get hunting licenses. A licensing agency or the Department of Natural Resources’ website are also good options for obtaining the necessary permits.

Michigan Hunting Seasons

Find out when the season is, what the bag restrictions are, how to get a license, and where to go for more information. The information presented herein will appeal to you. Let’s get started.

Big Games

Deer Hunting Season in Michigan

Hunt TypeStart DateEnd Date
Liberty HuntSept. 14Sept. 15, 2024
Early Antlerless FirearmSept. 21Sept. 22, 2024
Independence HuntOct. 17Oct. 20, 2024
ArcheryOct. 1Nov. 14, 2024
 Dec. 1Jan. 1, 2025
Regular FirearmNov. 15Nov. 30, 2024
Muzzleloading (Zones 1, 2 and 3)Dec. 6Dec. 15, 2024
Late Antlerless FirearmDec. 16Jan. 1, 2025
Extended Urban ArcheryDec. 1Jan. 31, 2025


Hunt PeriodStart DateEnd Date
Elk Hunt Period 127-Aug-2430-Aug-24
Elk Hunt Period 214-Dec-2422-Dec-24
 13-Dec-2521-Dec-25 Top of Form Bottom of Form

Note: There are restrictions on elk because of a lottery system. Randomly chosen places and seasons, from August to January, are allotted to hunters.


Bear Zones Allowed Methods
A, B, D4-Sep – 10-SepAid of bait, all other legal methods
 11-Sep – 1-OctAll legal methods, including bait and dogs
 2-Oct – 8-OctAid of dogs
C, E, F4-Sep – 4-OctAid of bait, all other legal methods besides using dogs Top of Form Bottom of Form


Spring20-Apr – 7-Jun
Fall15-Sep – 14-Nov

Small Games


Fox and gray-black phase includedSept. 15 – Mar. 31
Red and ground squirrelYear-round

Cottontail Rabbit

  • Sept. 15 – March 31



Management UnitMethod 
A and BTrapping25-Oct – 26-Dec
  1-Nov – 14-Nov
  1-Dec – 18-Jan
 Hunting1-Jan – 1-Mar

Note: The closed period within the trapping season is from November 15 to November 30.


15-Jul – 15-AprStatewide


First Friday in December9 days afterAll of Zone 1 except Drummond Island


  • October 1 – March 31

Opossumporcupineweasel, red squirrelskunkground squirrelwoodchuckRussian boar

  • Year-round


Gray and red foxOct. 15 – March 1

Upland Birds


Ruffed GrouseGeneral Season15-Sep – 14-Nov
  1-Dec – 1-Jan
Sharp-tailed GrouseZone 110-Oct – 31-Oct


110-Oct – 31-Oct
2 and 320-Oct – 14-Nov
31-Dec – 1-Jan


  • Oct. 20 – Nov. 14

Migratory Birds


Aug. 1 – Sept. 30
Feb. 1 – March 31


  • Sept. 15 – Oct. 29

Feral Pigeon, Sparrow and starling

  • Year-round

MI Waterfowls

Ducks, Mergansers, Coots
NorthSeptember 28 – November 24
 November 30 – December 1
MiddleOctober 5 – December 1
 December 14 – December 15
SouthOctober 12 – December 8
 December 28 – December 29

Daily Bag Limit for Ducks: Six ducks

Species-specific Restrictions:

  • Four mallards (no more than two hens)
  • Three wood ducks
  • Two black ducks
  • Two redheads
  • Two canvasbacks
  • Two scaup for 45-days, one scaup for 15-days
  • One northern pintail


  • Five mergansers, only two of which may be a hooded merganser

Possession Limit: Three times the daily limit for ducks, coots, and mergansers.

Zones Bird Limit
NorthSeptember 28 – November 11Two
 November 12 – November 24One
 November 30 – December 1
MiddleOctober 5 – October 20One
 October 21 – December 1Two
 December 14 – December 15
SouthOctober 12 – October 27One
 October 28 – December 8Two
 December 28 – December 29

Goose (Canada, White-fronted Goose, Brant, Snow, and Ross)
NorthSeptember 1 – December 16
MiddleSeptember 1 – September 30
October 5 – December 20
SouthSeptember 1 – September 30
October 12 – December 8
December 28 – January 5, 2025
February 1 – February 10, 2025
Allegan Goose Management UnitSeptember 1 – September 30
November 19 – December 8
December 21 – February 15, 2025
Muskegon County Wastewater Goose Management UnitOctober 15 – December 21

Early Teal
Schedule1-Sep – 16-Sep
Daily BagSix teal
Possession18 teal
Hunting HoursBegin at sunrise

  • September 1 to November 9
Youth, Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl
  • September 21 – September 22
30-Dec-24 – 12-Jan-25
22-Feb-25 – 10-Mar-25

Liberty Hunt 2024

  • Sept. 14 – 15, 2024

Hunting Zones in Michigan.

For a summary of Michigan’s game zones, see the map below:

anterless deer hunting units map
Anterless deer units map/Map Credit: eregulations.com

special deer hunts
special deer hunts/Map Credit: eregulations.com

Bag Limits in Michigan

Deer bag restrictions are as follows:

It should be noted that bag limits, designated hunting areas, and regulations vary by species and season in Michigan. For further information on obtaining licenses, permits, and restrictions, see the Michigan (Department of Natural Resources) website.

Michigan Hunting digest 2024

A thorough guide to hunting in Michigan may be found in The Michigan Hunting Digest.  All of the game species that may be hunted in Michigan are covered, including details on schedules, bag limits, grounds, and laws.

Here are some of the key changes to the Michigan Hunting Digest:

  • In 19 Lower Peninsula counties, the four-point antler limitation on the restricted tag of the deer combination license has been reintroduced.
  • In the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula, the spring turkey season has been extended by one week and two weeks, respectively.
  • In the Upper Peninsula, the fall turkey season has been extended by one week.

Michigan hunting season
Michigan hunting season

Hunters are urged to thoroughly read the Michigan Hunting Digest before heading out. You may print it off or download it for free from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website or the categories below.

MI Migratory Birds Digest

MI Elk Digest

MI Furbearer Digest & Regulation

MI Turkey Digest

The digest is divided into several sections:

MI Hunting Digest SectionContent
IntroductionOverview of Michigan hunting, including licensing requirements and animal handling.
Hunting SeasonsList of Michigan hunting seasons, bag limits, and locations for all game species.
Hunting RegulationsGame species hunting rules, including authorized techniques, hours, and safety.
Other InformationInformation about chronic wasting disease, hunting instruction, and safety.

The 2024Michigan Hunting Digest is accessible online, at DNR locations, and at license retailers all around the state. Additionally, there is an iPhone and Android mobile app for it.

License to hunt in Michigan.

Everyone who hunts small game needs an annual basic license as well as an extra license.

Visit page https://www.mdnr-elicense.com/ to get your H&F license.

License Specifics(Resident)(Nonresident)
(Annual all species)26 $ US76 $ US
(Hunt/ Fish Combo)76 $ US266 $ US
(Base License)11 $ US15 $ US
(Antlerless Deer)20 $ US
(Bear)25 $ USN/A
(Deer)40 $ US20 $ US
(Turkey)15 $ USN/A

Regulations in Michigan.

• Taking an animal from a vehicle may result in a $200 to $1,000 fine, 5 to 90 days in jail, $1,500 in restitution for a bear and $1,000 for a deer or turkey, loss of pursuing rights for the remainder of the year, and three years of license ineligibility.

• Possession of a loaded, uncased weapon in a moving vehicle is unlawful, and the offender might face a $500 fine, up to 90 days in jail, and loss of hunting rights, depending on the circumstances.

• It is illegal to hunt with a rifle within 150 yards of an occupied residence, building, cabin, or barn without written permission. Depending on the circumstances, violators may face penalties ranging from $50 to $500, up to 90 days in jail, and/or the cancellation of licenses.

• Driving or disturbing animals for allowed game is a crime punished by imprisonment for less than 93 days, a fine of $500 to $1,000, the loss of licenses at the court’s discretion, and the prosecution’s expenditure. Repeat offenders face up to a year in prison, a $1,000 to $2,500 fine, and extra legal expenses.

• A $100 to $500 fine, up to 90 days in jail, and the loss of hunting licenses for the remainder of the current year and the next year are all potential punishments for using artificial light to catch the game or in animal-friendly areas unless specifically approved.

• A $50 to $100 fine, up to 90 days in prison, and the loss of hunting rights are potential penalties for using artificial light to find animals between December 1 and October 31 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. and between November 1 and November 30 between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. When going to and from game areas with an unloaded weapon, licensed hunters are allowed to use artificial light for one hour before and after shooting hours.

• If a person disobeys an order to stop using artificial light to discover game issued by a peace officer or indicated by a flashing signal light or siren, they might face a minimum of 5 days in prison, a fine of $50 to $100, and the loss of hunting privileges.

• Between August 15 and April 30, it is mandatory to wear appropriate apparel, such as hunter orange or hunter pink; failure to do so may result in a fine of $50 to $100 and/or a prison sentence of up to 90 days.

• The grounds of any public or private school are considered safety zones, and hunting is forbidden. Depending on the circumstances, violators may face penalties ranging from $50 to $100, up to 90 days in prison, and/or the loss of their license.

• Pursuing from a moving vehicle is banned, and the court may impose a fine of up to $500 or a prison term of up to 90 days in addition to the loss of the hunter’s license, depending on the circumstances.

• Hunting on another person’s property without their authorization is also forbidden. Offenders may face a $50 to $500 fine, up to 90 days in prison, and/or the cancellation of hunting permits, depending on the circumstances.

• When someone takes more than they are authorized to in a given day or has more than they are allowed to have in their possession at any one time, they have breached the law and have been charged with a Take/Possess Over the Limit infraction. If convicted, the offender risks up to 90 days in prison, a $200 to $1,000 fine, the loss of their hunting license for the remainder of the year and the following three years, and the expense of replacing the animal (which varies based on the type of animal).


• If a person is found with more than the authorized number of elk, they may be imprisoned for 30 days to 18 months, fined $500 to $2,000, compelled to make restitution, and have their hunting rights revoked for the remainder of the year and the following 15 calendar years.

• Repeat offenders risk having their licenses canceled permanently. If you use a dog to hunt deer or elk without a license, you might face up to 90 days in jail, a fine of $50 to $500, and your hunting rights could be revoked.

• If an offender is found guilty of pursuing outside the permissible hours (one hour before dawn to one hour after sunset) without permission, the court may impose a fine of $50 to $500 and/or restrict the offender’s hunting rights for up to 90 days.

• Unless you’re going elk hunting, you can’t build up a platform taller than a tree trunk on public land after August 1 and must take it down by March 1. In addition to a fine of $50 to $500 and the loss of pursuing rights, offenders may face up to 90 days in jail.

• If you’re found hunting while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may face up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine, and having your hunting license canceled for the remainder of the year and the following three calendar years.

Resources that are beneficial.

Official State Website: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/.


What kind of hunting game season can you find in Michigan?

There are seven different types of game that may be hunted in Michigan: bear, deer, elk, turkey, small game, waterfowl, and trapping fur harvesting.

Is using a rifle to hunt in Michigan during muzzleloader season legal?

Hunters are permitted to use any lawful guns during the muzzleloading season in Zone 3, which includes all of the southern Michigan counties of Bay, Isabella, Mecosta, Midland, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana. Accordingly, compared to other regions where just a few types of guns are permitted, hunters in this region have more options when it comes to their choice of rifle during this particular hunting season.

How many rounds are legal for hunting in Michigan?

The maximum number of rounds that semi-automatic rifles and shotguns may contain in their magazines is six, according to Michigan state hunting laws. Recreational shooting are not anticipated to be adversely affected by this limitation, and it may even improve safety and sportsmanship.

Is it legal to shoot crows in Michigan?

There is no bag restriction for crow games in Michigan, but hunters must possess a small game license. In accordance with federal law, crows may be shot outside of the legal hunt window if they are considered dangerous to people or a nuisance.

Is hunter safety course completion required for basic hunting license application in Michigan?

If you wish to apply for a hunting license and you were born on or after January 1, 1960, you must first finish a hunter safety course. If you are making an application for an apprentice license, this condition does not apply.

What is the punishment for baiting deer in Michigan?

Baiting is currently prohibited and regarded as illegal conduct in Michigan. Fines, up to 90 days in prison, and the loss of their hunting license are all possible penalties for infractions. Senate Bill 800 also adds $1 state civil penalty for infractions.

How many deer tags can you get in Michigan?

A hunter may purchase up to 10 universal antlerless deer licenses over the course of the season.

What kinds of animals can you capture in Michigan?

You may hunt opossums, porcupines, weasels, red squirrels, skunks, ground squirrels, woodchucks, and feral pigs all year long in Michigan if you have a current hunting license. There is no bag limit for these species.

How much does a deer combination license in Michigan cost?

This year, the price of a single deer license for inhabitants of the state increased from $15 to $20, while the price of a combo license increased from $30 to $40.

Is it legal to go hunting in Michigan without a license on my own property?

A resident, a resident’s spouse, or a resident’s children may hunt small game on enclosed farmlands where they reside without a license, but they must have both a federal waterfowl stamp and a state waterfowl license to hunt waterfowl.

How many acres are required to hunt in Michigan?

It is no longer necessary to have at least 5 acres of property to go hunting, provided that all other regulations regarding proximity to other structures are observed.

What is the minimum antler length for a standard tag deer in Michigan?

It’s crucial to keep in mind that throughout the majority of Michigan, any deer with at least one antler measuring three inches or longer qualifies for a standard tag.

John Lewis
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2 thoughts on “Michigan Hunting Season 2024-2025 New Digest Rules & Dates!”

  1. I’m really mad that mi. discontinued the hunting digest are group always used it to make sure we were always in compliance with the regulations and with the money we spend the DNR not making it easy for residence bring back the digest.

  2. Hunting regs have certainly changed since I left Michigan in the early 1970’s. Mostly for the better, and there is a lot more game available! While perhaps little else has improved.


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