|This spring, you may still enjoy many outdoor activities, including hunting, as long as you practice proper social distancing by staying at least 6 feet from those who don’t live in your household. New for 2021: pheasant hunting license2021 fur harvesting license and kill tags now available Apply for a bear license now through June 1Apply for an elk license now through June 1Spring turkey season continues through May 31‘I see them!’ – The thrill of that first turkey hunt download hunting digests for on-the-go access involved questions? Contact us now for 2021: pheasant hunting license $25 license is required for all pheasant hunters 18 and older who are planning to hunt pheasants on any public land in the Lower Peninsula or on lands enrolled in the Hunting Access Program. People who do not need the pheasant license include private-land pheasant hunters statewide and those hunting on public lands in the Upper Peninsula, lifetime license holders, hunters 17 and younger, and individuals only hunting pheasant at a game bird hunting preserve. The new law requiring the public-land pheasant hunting license has a sunset date of Jan. 1, 2026. The license is on sale now at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or over the counter at license retailers. Hunters must have a 2021 base license to purchase the 2021 pheasant license. Money from the new license will be placed into an account to be used only for the purchase and release of live pheasants on state-owned public lands with suitable pheasant habitats. Information about pheasant hunting regulations, pheasant releases, and season dates will be in the 2021 Hunting Digest, which will be available around July 1 at license agents and at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests. Visit Michigan.gov/SmallGame for more small game hunting information and to subscribe to small game hunting updates. Note: The free pheasant endorsement required in 2019 and 2020 has been discontinued and is no longer required for hunters pursuing pheasants. 2021 fur harvesting license and kill tags now available 2021 fur harvester licenses are now available for purchase. You must have a 2021 base license to purchase a 2021 fur harvester license. Fur harvesters also can request free kill tags for bobcat, otter, marten, and fisher as of May 1. Kill tags for bobcat are available through Nov. 30. If you purchase your fur harvester license and request your free kill tags online, kill tags will be mailed to you within seven to 10 business days. Find additional information on fur harvesting regulations, bag limits, and seasons in the 2021 Fur Harvester Digest, available at Michigan.gov/Trapping. |
Apply for a bear license now through June 1New this year for bear hunting: license quotas, archery-only seasons in the northern Lower Peninsula, and a ban on bait barrels on public lands. Find the 2021 bear season dates, license quotas, and hunting regulations in the Bear Hunting Digest. Curious how the preference point system works? Check out this video: MI Bear Draw Preference Point System Explained. There are 7,001 bear licenses available to hunters this year. Apply for a bear license at Michigan.gov/Bear. The application period is open through June 1. Drawing results will be posted online on July 6.
Apply for an elk license now through June 1There will be 260 elk licenses awarded to hunters this year, and one of them could be to you! Watch the Elk Weighted Lottery System Explained video to learn how the drawing system works. Elk season dates: Hunt period 1: Aug. 31 – Sept. 3, Sept. 17-20, Oct. 1 – Oct. 4Hunt period 2: Dec. 11-19Detailed information about elk hunting seasons, management units, hunting hours and more can be found in the Elk Digest. Apply for an elk license at Michigan.gov/Elk.Note: In printed versions of the 2021 Elk Digest, the elk application period is incorrectly listed on the front cover. The application period is May 1 – June 1 as usual. Drawing results will be posted online on July 6.
Does spring turkey season continue through May 31 haven’t purchased your turkey license yet? There’s still time! The Hunt Unit ZZ (Hunt 0301) license offers a longer season for private-land hunters in southern Michigan and those with permission to hunt Fort Custer military lands. This license is valid through May 31. The Hunt 0234 license is another great option for new or seasoned hunters. This guaranteed license allows you to hunt the entire month of May on public and private lands statewide, except for public lands in Unit ZZ (southern Lower Peninsula). Learn more about the Hunt 0234 license in the Spring Turkey Digest. If you didn’t apply for a spring turkey license, or if you weren’t successful in the license drawing, leftover licenses and Hunt 0234 licenses can be purchased online.
Visit Michigan.gov/Turkey for season dates and regulations.‘I see them!’ – The thrill of that first turkey hunt
For most hunters, much of the joy comes from introducing favorite traditions to a new generation. Tim Warner, a longtime hunter from Gibraltar (about 10 miles south of Detroit), had the added excitement of sharing the experience with his young son on a recent outing on DNR-managed public land near Petoskey.“I started a family a little late in life and want to make sure I get my kids into the outdoors before I’m too old to accompany them,” said Warner, 61. When plans to hunt with friends fell through, Warner and 10-year-old Nathan decided to head north anyway. Warner said Nathan once joined him on an Upper Peninsula grouse hunt but hasn’t spent much time in the woods.“I would have been happy if we had good weather, heard a few gobblers, and just spent some quality time together enjoying the outdoors,” Warner said. After a quiet start to the morning, though, the woods came alive, gobbles from all directions!“Once a tom started to respond, well, Nathan was about as quiet and still as a 10-year-old could be,” Warner laughed. “I tried to direct Nathan’s attention with a whisper, but once he spotted the birds he let out a pretty loud ‘I see them!’ I thought the game was over, but the birds kept coming.”Four toms got into full strut mode, while agitated hens tried rounding them up. Warner, with nothing to lose, started aggressively calling and lured back the toms, plus a few new ones. Finally, a jake circled close enough for a shot, and Warner told his son to take it.“After the dust settled, we both had birds and lots of smiles. I just can’t express the feeling of being able to share such an eventful, successful, quality hunt with my son,” Warner said. “To top it off, a couple of very nice hunters arrived on scene and shared this experience with us and helped take pictures.“The camaraderie and mutual celebration were icing on the cake for my son’s first turkey hunt. What a perfect day, although I did have to explain to Nathan that turkey hunting isn’t usually this easy and we’ll probably have to put in much more time and effort next time.”Given this experience, chances are Nathan won’t mind at all! Visit Michigan.gov/Turkey to start planning your next hunting adventure.
Download hunting digests for on-the-go access for on-demand digest access that travels where you do, without the need for internet access, download DNR hunting, and fishing digests right to your phone! Find the current digests and downloading instructions at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.