DNR License/Season Reminder: reserved waterfowl & antlerless applications

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DNR License/Season Reminder - August 2018

hunter with dog walking on trail through aspen forest

Here are a few reminders about upcoming seasons and available licenses and drawing applications. Find more information about licenses and reservations on our Buy and Apply page. To learn more about hunting, fishing, boating and other activities, visit our Things to Do page.

Waterfowl reserved hunt applications now available

waterfowl hunter aiming shotgun

Reserved waterfowl hunt applications are available now through Tuesday, Aug. 28.

To apply for reserved hunts on certain managed waterfowl areas, visit a license agent or michigan.gov/waterfowl. Applications are $5, and hunters may only apply once. Drawing results will be posted Sept. 17.

Reserved hunts will be held both mornings and afternoons of the opening weekend (Oct. 13 and 14) of waterfowl hunting season at Fish Point State Wildlife Area, Harsens Island and Shiawassee River State Game Area.

The maximum party size is four hunters. For morning hunts and the second-day hunts, successful applicants must have appropriate licenses and stamps and be accompanied by one to three other appropriately licensed hunters. Youth have a special opportunity because the opening-day afternoon hunts are for those 16 and younger. Successful applicants for the opening-day afternoon hunts can have up to two adults who are 18 years of age or older with appropriate licenses.

For more information about waterfowl hunting, visit www.michigan.gov/waterfowl.

Don’t forget to apply for antlerless deer licenses by Aug. 15

doe in forest

The antlerless deer license application period runs through Aug. 15. 

Some areas of the state have a limited number of antlerless deer license applications available, making applying for that deer management unit important for some. Private-land applications do require a landowner phone number, so have it ready!

Private-land applications are not needed for chronic wasting disease (CWD) areas, such as DMU 033, 041 and 062. These  licenses will be available without application beginning Sept. 10 at 10 a.m. See antlerless deer license quotas for the complete list of CWD areas.

Young hunters, 16 and under, can buy antlerless deer licenses over the counter through Aug. 15.

Any leftover licenses that remain will go on sale Sept. 10 at 10 a.m.

For more details about antlerless deer hunting and to buy an application online, visit michigan.gov/deer.

Please note: To allow more time for public comment on CWD before regulations are finalized, the Natural Resources Commission is scheduled to finalize regulations in August. Updated early/late season antlerless maps will be posted after Aug. 9.

Plan now for fall bird-hunting season

GEMS hunters with dogs

With bird hunting season just around the corner, it's a great time to plan a fall hunting trip.

Michigan has millions of acres of huntable public land, with excellent young forests that have made northern Michigan a destination for many.

GEMS and Mi-HUNT are two DNR-developed programs to help build a public-land hunting itinerary.

Nineteen GEMS (Grouse Enhanced Management Sites) in the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula will be available to explore this fall. GEMS are large blocks of land managed for young forests, with winding hunter walking trails that provide added comfort to those unfamiliar with an area or those with mobility challenges.

Visit michigan.gov/gems for an interactive map, information about individual GEMS, custom maps and information about local businesses showing support by offering discounts.

Mi-HUNT is another option for hunters who already know the general area they’d like to hunt but want specific stand and road information. Visit michigan.gov/mihunt to watch the tutorials that can help you use the mapping system to its full potential.

Michigan’s grouse season runs Sept. 15 to Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. Woodcock, a migratory bird, have an abbreviated season, Sept. 22 to Nov. 5. To hunt grouse and woodcock in Michigan, hunters only need a base license. To target woodcock, a free woodcock stamp is required. Licenses and stamps may be purchased online at E-License or at one of the many license agents across the state.

Get ready to take your shot

Get ready for hunting season by heading to the shooting range. The DNR has seven staffed ranges in southern Michigan that offer a fun, safe shooting environment and feature amenities like handgun, rifle, shotgun and archery ranges and restroom facilities. Learn more about DNR ranges or find other ranges around the state

Find out how the fishing is

The DNR’s weekly fishing report can give you an idea of fishing conditions around the state. The updates come from across Michigan and reflect fishing conditions over the last seven days. You can get the Weekly Fishing Report by subscribing to our email list, calling 855-777-0908 or checking online for recent reports.

Download regulations

Keep hunting and fishing regulations with you as you go into the field or on the water. You can conveniently access hunting digests or the fishing guide on your smartphone or mobile device, and take them with you wherever you go. Learn how to download and use them on the go with videos on our Guides and Digests page.