Bear and elk license application periods now open

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Jerry Peak and his son, Jim, pose with harvested elk and bear hides.

Bear and elk application periods now open

The application periods for 2020 bear and elk seasons are now open through June 1. Apply online at


2020 bear season dates, quotas and hunting regulations are available at Curious how the preference point system works? Check out this video: Michigan Bear Draw Preference Point System Explained.

Bear hunting ►


New this year – additional licenses and new hunt unit boundaries! Sixty additional licenses will be available this year, increasing the total number of elk licenses to 260. The new boundaries further management goals and provide consistency between the fall and winter hunts. Apply for your license today at

Elk hunting ►

Hunt waiting list

Registration for the DNR hunt waiting list is open now through July 10. The Bear and Elk Hunt Transfer Program allows hunters who are successfully drawn for a bear or elk license to transfer their drawing success to an eligible person they know, or to an individual on the DNR hunt waiting list. Those eligible to receive a hunt through the transfer program are:

  • Youth hunters, up to 16 years of age, who applied for the current-year bear and elk drawings and were not selected for a license.
  • Any person who has been diagnosed with an advanced illness. An application for a license in the current-year drawing is not required. Advanced Illness is defined by the Public Health Code and requires a Physician Certification of Advanced Illness.

Download the DNR digests

This year, the printing and distribution of hunting digests will be limited. To save on paper, and for on-demand digest access that travels where you do without the need for internet access, consider downloading the DNR hunting and fishing digests to your phone. The digests are available for download on Android and Apple products. Find the current digests and downloading instructions at If you would like to be mailed a printed digest, please contact us.

DNR digests ►

New license sales system

In February, the DNR moved to a new, more technologically advanced system for selling hunting and fishing licenses, hunting applications, and ORV and snowmobile permits online and at retail agent locations statewide. Check your bear points or elk chances, purchase an application or look for leftover licenses at

Call volumes higher than normal

If you have questions regarding hunting seasons, regulations or applications, contact the Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453 (WILD) or Due to higher than normal call and email volumes, please be prepared for longer wait times.

Bear and elk seasons are scheduled to occur as planned. We will keep you updated as the season nears if there are any changes due to COVID-19. In the event that bear and elk hunters are not able to get into the field this fall, we will have remedies in place to preserve hunting opportunities for our bear and elk hunters.

Follow our DNR COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on facilities and closures/cancellations, and stay up to date on the latest public health guidelines and news at and

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at