Hunting in Huron-Manistee National Forest

Hunting in Huron-Manistee National Forest

A Guide to Hunting in Huron-Manistee National Forest

Are you planning a hunting trip in the Huron-Manistee National Forest? This region is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, making it a popular hunting destination. Here is a look at Michigan's hunting seasons and the types of animals you can hunt in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. 

Can You Hunt in the Huron-Manistee National Forest?

You can hunt in the Huron-Manistee National Forest with the appropriate hunting licenses. The type of hunting license you will need depends on what you want to hunt and where. The Huron-Manistee National Forest is broken up into three main hunting zones, including:

  • The Upper Peninsula or Zone 1.
  • The northern zone or Zone 2.
  • The southern zone or Zone 3.

Hunters must have a base license before purchasing additional licenses for particular game types. A base hunting license is only valid for hunting small game types, like pheasant and rabbit. If you want to hunt deer, bear, elk, turkey, waterfowl or something else, you will need a hunting license specific to that game. You will also need a separate trapping license for trapping or fur harvesting.

You can learn more about Michigan's different hunting licenses from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website or the DNR Hunt Fish App.

When Is Hunting Season in Michigan?

Michigan hosts an open hunting season on public and private lands from Aug. 1 through March 31 every year. However, other hunting seasons depend on the zone, game type and weapon you intend to use. For example, there are several deer hunting seasons in the Huron-Manistee National Forest, including the following:

  • Archery
  • Firearm
  • Muzzleloader
  • Early Antlerless Firearm
  • Liberty Hunt

What Animals Can You Hunt in Michigan?

You can hunt several different animal species in the Huron-Manistee National Forest. Whether you prefer hunting small game or large animals like bears, you can probably hunt them in the Huron-Manistee National Forest! There are certain animals you can hunt year-round with the appropriate hunting license, including:

  • Opossum
  • House sparrow
  • Russian boar
  • Feral pigeon
  • Porcupine
  • Starling
  • Weasel
  • Red squirrel
  • Skunk
  • Raccoon
  • Ground squirrel
  • Woodchuck

However, like the different deer seasons, you can only hunt certain game types during particular times of the year. The exact season dates vary by year. For specific information regarding these dates, visit Michigan's DNR website or use the DNR Hunt Fish App to learn more. That said, you can expect to hunt the following animals around the months listed below:

  • Bear: September through October
  • Elk: August, September, October and December
  • Deer: September, October, November and December
  • Cottontail rabbit: September through March
  • Ruffed grouse: September through November and December through January
  • Squirrel: September through March
  • Snowshoe hares: September through March
  • Crow: August through September and February through March
  • Quail: October through November
  • Wild turkey: September through November
  • Woodcock: September through October

Depending on the zone and species, you can also hunt waterfowl — including ducks, coots, geese and mergansers — from September through February. You can learn more about waterfowl hunting seasons in Michigan's Waterfowl Hunting Digest. 

You can also trap and harvest the fur of the following animals in the Huron-Manistee National Forest:

  • Muskrat
  • Racoon
  • Mink
  • Bobcat
  • Fox
  • Badger
  • Beaver
  • Otter 
  • Coyote

What Are Some Other Michigan Hunting Laws to Be Aware Of?

Apart from needing a special license for specific games types, here are some other Michigan hunting laws you must remember:

  • Generally, hunting hours are half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset. However, specific hunting hours vary by hunting zone and game type, so check the relevant Michigan Hunting Digest to learn more. 
  • You cannot discharge a firearm within 450 feet of an occupied building, home or dwelling without written permission from the property owner or occupant. This rule does not apply to outdoor shooting ranges.
  • Do not shoot a firearm on or across roads or bodies of water near people or property.
  • Certain towns and counties have hunting restrictions. You can contact the county clerk or local police department to learn more.
  • You do not need a hunting license for target shooting as long as you fire at an identifiable, artificially-constructed target.
  • You cannot shoot a rifle, handgun or shotgun five days before deer rifle season.

Stay at Ludington East / Pere Marquette River KOA Holiday During Hunting Season

Are you ready to plan your next hunting trip in the Huron-Manistee National Forest? Book your stay at Ludington East / Pere Marquette River KOA Holiday — an amenity-rich campground in the heart of the Huron-Manistee National Forest.

Located near the Marquette River and a half an hour's drive from Lake Michigan, our campground offers convenient access to the forest and Michigan's best outdoor activities, including hunting, fishing, canoeing, swimming and boating. We guarantee you will have everything you need for an adventure-packed camping getaway suitable for the whole family — four-legged members included.

Whether you enjoy RV, tent or cabin camping, you can stay your way at Ludington East / Pere Marquette River KOA Holiday. Book your campsite online today!

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