General information on Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting
When it comes to deer hunting, Michigan truly is a sportsman’s paradise. The state offers flat fields and rolling hills in the south and large tracts of undeveloped forest in the north, much of which is mountainous. Whether a deer hunter prefers to hunt from a blind overlooking an agricultural field, sit in a ridge top tree stand, stalk deer through old growth forests or track deer in deep snow, Michigan’s varied terrain provides hunters with the adventure that they are seeking.
Many hunters in Michigan have family farms or otherwise have access to private land for deer hunting. However, those who do not own or have access to private land still have many options for finding a place to hunt. The State of Michigan manages dozens of wildlife management areas and other state lands that provide public hunting access to residents and non-residents alike. Much of the national park and forest land in the state is open to hunting as well. In addition, the state also works with private landowners to open up private land to the public in order to provide even more hunting opportunities. Many private landowners and corporate landowners also lease land to hunters or otherwise provide hunters with the ability to access land for hunting. The number of public hunting options combined with the whitetail’s ability to thrive in a variety of habitats means that there are good deer hunting opportunities across the state.
While deer are present in huntable numbers across Michigan, populations are larger in some areas, which lead to a higher success rate amount hunters. The western area of the Upper Peninsula and the Saginaw Bay area of the Lower Peninsula are two parts of the state where hunters generally have high success rates.
In general, the southeastern and southwestern counties of Michigan offer the best opportunities for trophy deer hunters to harvest bucks that will qualify for the Pope and Young or Boone and Crockett record books. The large bucks in this part of the state are due to the agricultural plantings in this area providing plenty of nutrition to the area’s deer as well as extensive game management. However, hunters should not overlook the Upper Peninsula for trophy deer as the large woods provide plenty of space for bucks to avoid hunters and reach maturity.
Deer hunters in Michigan can take advantage of the long hunting seasons to fill their freezers or to chase a trophy buck. In addition to the regular two-week hunting season in late November, the DNR also offers a number of limited deer hunting seasons beginning in September and running through the end of the year. Special season are in place for antlerless, archery and muzzleloader hunting. Depending on the area of the state where a hunter will be hunting, he or she may be able to bag multiple deer in one year.
With a wide range of hunting opportunities and plentiful access to hunting land, Michigan is an ideal destination for deer hunters who are looking for both a high chance of success and an opportunity to harvest trophy whitetail buck deer.