Michigan offers some great hunting opportunities and there are a lot of seasons and dates you need to know about especially if you have to apply for a particular hunt.

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Turkey Season

A turkey gobbles during the spring mating season.
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There is nothing like the sound of a spring gobbler answering one of your turkey calls when you are in the field. I should have written this article in January because that is when put in for your spring permit but if you didn't you can still find several areas of Michigan where you can buy a license over the counter.

It's $5 to apply for your permit which is from January 1 to February 1. There is a fall turkey hunt you can apply for and you do that from July 1 through August 1.

The spring turkey hunt varies depending on your area but all of the dates land between April 22 through June 7, click here for Michigan's spring turkey guide.

The fall turkey hunt varies depending you your area but all the dates land between September 15 through November 14, click here for Michigan's fall turkey guide.

Small Game Hunting for 2023

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KenCanning/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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There are lots of small game options from rabbit/snowshoe hare, coyote, crow, pheasant (male only), quail, ruffed grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, squirrel (fox and gray), and woodcock.

Rabbit season is statewide from September 15 - March 31 just make sure you have your small game license. The daily bag limit is 5 per day.

A coyote in British Columbia, Canada.
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If you want to do the state and other wild game a favor, hunt coyote. The good news is the season is open year around and there is no bag limit. A good time to hunt coyotes is mid-January through March during their mating season.

Seneca Riggins, Townsquare Media/ThinkStock/GettyStock
Seneca Riggins, Townsquare Media/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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There are two hunting seasons for Crow. The first is from February 1 - March 31 and the second is from August 1 to September 30. There are no limits on crow.

Common pheasant, Phasianus colchicus
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Pheasant season is October 10 - 31 in Zone 1, October 20 - November 14 for Zone 2 and 3, and December 1 through January 1 in Zone 3.  You can only shoot male birds and bag two per day.

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VWPics/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
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Quail season is October 20 - November 14 with a daily bag limit of 5.

Female Ruffed Grouse standing on the forest floor on a frosty fall morning
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Ruffed grouse is one of the best-tasting birds that Michigan has to offer and they are very fun to hunt but you better practice shooting some skeet if you plan on bringing one of these birds down.

The ruffed grouse has two seasons with the first being September 15 to November 15 and the second being December 1 through January 1. You can bag 5 per day.

Education Images/Universal Image/Ggetty Images
Education Images/Universal Image/Ggetty Images
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The sharp-tailed grouse is a little tougher bird to find and has more restrictions than ruffed grouse. The season is only in Zone 1 and runs October 10 through 31. You can shoot 2 per day but only a total of 6 for the season.

Seneca Riggins, Townsquare Media/ThinkStock/GettyStock
Seneca Riggins, Townsquare Media/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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Squirrel season is statewide and runs from September 15 through March 31 with a daily bag limit of 5. Hunters can take fox, gray, or black phase squirrels throughout the entire season.

Education Images/Universal Image/Getty Images
Education Images/Universal Image/Getty Images
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Woodcock is one of the fastest-flying birds in Michigan. This is one bird that can almost get to full speed at take off so you have to be a very good shot to bring one of these down. Woodcock season is statewide from September 15 through October 29. You can bag three of these long beaks a day.

Black Bear Season

American black bear, New Brunswick, Canada.
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Michigan black bear is another animal you have to apply to get the privilege to hunt. You can apply from May 1 to June 1 and you will need to pay a $5 application fee. Results are posted on July 5.

There are 3 seasons for black bear hunting so keep that in mind and the area you choose to hunt. To narrow all that down just click here.

The first season is from September 7 to October 21, the second is from September 12  to October 26, and the third season is from September 25 to October 26. Make sure you know where you want to hunt and which hunt season you want. The application gives you a first and second choice.

2023 Michigan Deer Hunting Dates

Whitetail Deer
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Michigan whitetail deer hunting offers a lot of options so let's do bullet points on these seasons:

  • Liberty Hunt (youth hunting or hunters with liabilities is September 10-11.
  • The Early Antlerless Firearm is September 17-18 and is on private land only.
  • Independence Hunt is October 13-16 and is for hunters with disabilities.
  • Archery is in two sessions, the first is from October 1 to November 14 and the second is from December 1 to January 1.
  • Regular Firearm season is November 15-30.
  • Muzzleloader is December 2-11.
  • Late Antlerless Firearm is on private lands only and runs from December 12 to January 1.

These deer seasons are all one kill per tag but there are so rules you should go over in the Michigan Hunting Digest.

Michigan Elk Hunting

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Elk are another animal you have to apply to hunt and that is May 1 through June first just like a black bear. The drawing results are on July 5. Make sure you know where you are going to hunt and when in advance so you fill out your application correctly. Click here for all of Michigan's elk hunting information.

There are two sessions for hunting with the first being August 30 to September 2, September 16-19, and September 30 to October 3. The second session is December 10-18.

Migratory Game Bird Seasons

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Michigan's duck and geese seasons are a bit more complicated so I would suggest clicking here for the Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons.

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