Pure Michigan Hunt update: elk and bear success

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Pure Michigan Hunt graphic with elk silhouette

An amazing year of hunting

Pure Michigan Hunt applications are on sale from March 1 to Dec. 31. You could get a prize package worth thousands, as well as licenses for elk, bear, spring and fall turkey, and antlerless deer, plus the first pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area. Read more below about the success of our most recent Pure Michigan Hunt recipients, who just completed their elk and bear hunts.

Enter online ►

Ready to pick up some Pure Michigan Hunt applications for you or somebody else? Click on the button above to get them online (and for information about buying applications for someone other than yourself).

Enter in store ►

Don't want to get your applications online? Click on the button above for a county map that lists all stores throughout the state where you can buy licenses, including Pure Michigan Hunt applications. 

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Each $5 Pure Michigan Hunt application helps fund Michigan wildlife habitat restoration and management. Learn more about what your hunting license and application dollars are accomplishing.

Pure Michigan Hunt recipients successful in elk and bear hunts

The elk and bear seasons have almost wrapped up for the three most recent Pure Michigan Hunt recipients, who have all been successful in their hunts. Because of the unique status of their licenses, they were allowed to hunt for elk and bear in any open unit, during that unit's open season, and were not limited to a specific open hunt period. 

Image of John Murphy with harvested bear.

John Murphy of Lapeer hit pay dirt with a 422-pound black bear in Otsego County. "What an awesome experience! Opening day, at 7:50 p.m., this guy showed up and smelled the ladder of the stand I was in. He gave me a broadside shot at 17 yards." While John has managed to bag his bear, he's holding off until the end of September to bag an elk. Having passed on a few bulls already this season, he's waiting for the right one to come along. 

Greg Burks of White Lake was able to harvest a beautiful 6x6 bull elk in Vanderbilt. "Friday the 13th is now my lucky day," Greg said of the experience. Greg opted to pass on hunting bear, but because Pure Michigan Hunt recipients can donate their tags to a person of their choosing, he gave it to a terminally ill hunter. "I did not bear hunt, but decided to donate my tag to a terminally ill sportsman who will get the chance to hunt at least one more time before he joins Fred Bear."

Greg Burks with a harvested bull elk.
Jesse Jubb with harvested elk.

Jesse Jubb of Bath was able to bag a beautiful Michigan elk and black bear. "It was an amazing experience punching a Pure Michigan Hunt elk tag on Monday in Vanderbilt, and a Pure Michigan Hunt black bear tag on Wednesday in the Manistee National Forest. Thanks to the Michigan DNR for putting on the Pure Michigan Hunt. It truly was the hunt of a lifetime."

Jesse Jubb with harvested black bear

Jesse's black bear weighed in at 300 pounds. The fact that he was able to bag two of Michigan's prized big game species in just three days is due to the unique nature of Pure Michigan Hunt tags, which allow hunters to hunt in any unit of their choosing, so long as the season is open in that unit. It's the uniqueness of the tags, as well as the prize package from generous sponsors, that truly make this a hunt of a lifetime. 

If you want your shot at jealous hunters following your adventures next year, visit Michigan.gov/PMH and pick up an application or two for the next drawing, which will take place in January 2020.

Avoid giving invasive species a ride by cleaning mud, seeds and debris from vehicles, gear and clothing. Find out how you can take action at Michigan.gov/Invasives.