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Hunting in Michigan: 3 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species

Image: Hunting in Michigan: 3 Animals Designated Nongame, Endangered, Threatened, and Protected Species
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By    |   Friday, 29 May 2015 10:19 AM

Michigan’s forests provide hunters with an abundance of hunting opportunities, but not all wildlife are considered game animals. In a state rich in outdoor heritage, the protection of some species is taken very seriously.

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Hunters should avoid taking any of the following species, as they fall under governmental protection. Poaching a protected animal could result in jail, fines, and permanent loss of a Michigan hunting license.

1. Gray Wolf – Endangered Species

The gray wolf has a lengthy history of protection both federally and within the state of Michigan. Although a brief hunting season took place in 2013 after the animal was delisted federally as an endangered species, in early 2015 the wolf was brought back under federal protection. Hunters may encounter a wolf in the northern regions of Michigan, but are advised to steer clear of the animal and avoid bringing any harm to it. Approximately 600 wolves reside in the state and poaching a wolf could bring heavy fines or jail time as the animal is federally protected.

2. Sandhill Crane – Non-Game, Protected

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The sandhill crane is a common site in the Great Lakes region, but not a game species. The species was banned from being hunted with the 1916 Migratory Bird Treaty Act at a time when crane numbers were significantly low. Populations have since rebounded, but the crane is still considered a nongame species in Michigan. Farmers can apply for permits if a crane is damaging crops, but that is the only time it is legal to take the bird.

3. Cougar (also called Mountain Lion) – Non-Game, Protected

Cougar are present in Michigan’s forests, but are protected by the state of Michigan and not a game species. Historically, the large cat was a legend to Michigan hunters, but in recent years, trail cameras have confirmed the cougar’s presence in the state. Reproducing cougar populations reside in nearby Minnesota and Canada, which has likely led to the cougar’s migration into Michigan. The Detroit News has indicated less than 28 cougar have been confirmed in the state since 2008. Deer hunters in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula would be the most likely candidates to spot cougar as the cat feeds on whitetail deer. But regardless of where the cat is spotted, it remains illegal to hunt or kill one.

This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Michigan's forests provide hunters with an abundance of hunting opportunities, but not all wildlife are considered game animals. In a state rich in outdoor heritage, the protection of some species is taken very seriously.
hunting, michigan, animals, endangered, protected
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2015-19-29
Friday, 29 May 2015 10:19 AM
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