Pheasant hunting used to be great in the Mitten state but hasn't been the same in years. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is trying to make it great again.

97.9 WGRD logo
Get our free mobile app

Pheasant Hunting in Michigan

The male pheasant is one of the most beautiful birds in the state but sometimes seeing one is as complex as seeing a sasquatch. The pheasant is also a very good-tasting bird to eat, I will have to differ on the sasquatch seeing how I have never seen or eaten one before.

There is nothing like watching a good dog work a bird, then point the bird, flush the bird, and then shoot the bird. I remember when I was a kid, the DNR used to stock areas with pheasants, and the birds were thriving. We would run our beagles for rabbits and often get pheasant and grouse along the way. By the time we got a bird dog, pheasants had become scarce in the state.

DNR to Expand Michigan Pheasant Release For 2023

The Michigan DNR has released pheasants in the state for many years in what's called "put and take" hunting areas on state lands. This allows hunters to know where the birds are and when to hunt them.

The DNR announced they are releasing three times more roosters than last year with 4 new locations. Birds will be released in Cass City, Crane Pond, Dansville, and Staton state game areas. There will also be additional releases of birds in December with an open pheasant hunting season.

If you haven't tried pheasant hunting it is a blast but much more fun if you or someone you know has a good bird dog.

Below is a complete list of pheasant release locations for Michigan:

  • Cass City (Tuscola County) - Fall and December release
  • Cornish (Van Buren County) - Fall release only
  • Crane Pond (Cass County) - Fall release only
  • Crow Island (Bay and Saginaw counties) - Fall and December release
  • Dansville (Ingham County) - Fall and December release
  • Erie (Monroe County) - Fall and December release
  • Lapeer (Lapeer County) - Fall and December release
  • Leidy Lake (St. Joseph County) - fall and December release
  • Pinconning (Bay County) - Fall release only
  • Pointe Mouillee (Monroe and Wayne counties) - Fall and December release
  • Rose Lake (Clinton and Shiawassee counties) Fall and December release
  • Stanton (Montcalm County) - Fall and December release
  • St. Johns Marsh (St. Clair County) - Fall and December release

For more pheasant hunting details on this year's release of birds and hunting seasons, click here.

How to Build Michigan Pheasant and Other Small Game Hunting

Something that the DNR seems to keep overlooking is that pheasants roost on the ground making them easy prey for coyotes. As pheasants, grouse, and rabbits seem to become more scarce on public lands, it's because nothing is being done to manage coyotes.

The DNR should seriously put a bounty on coyotes because there are way too many of them. Small game hunting keeps going down because hunters are tired of not seeing anything. Not that many hunt or trap coyotes these days except for concerned hunters trying to upgrade the game in their area. Michigan's small game hunting will continue to deplete until this is addressed. Pheasants and other small game could once again thrive if there was a better balance between them and coyotes.

More Michigan Hunting Laws and Regulations You Should Know

Heads up hunters new and old, these are just a few Michigan hunting laws and regulations you may have not considered.

Hunting Seasons in Michigan

There are a TON of opportunities to hunt in Michigan, but many are only open for certain windows through the year. See which seasons are open and about when, as some exact dates will fluctuate from year to year.

More From 97.9 WGRD