Tags: Gun Control | Michigan | hunting | private lands

Hunting in Michigan: 3 Things to Know About Hunting on Private Lands

By    |   Saturday, 30 May 2015 04:04 PM

Public hunting on private lands is an option that is provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Each year the department acquires land leases from private individuals to expand hunting opportunities for Michigan hunters.

The program, dubbed the Hunting Access Program, reaches out to landowners near urban centers where public hunting land is limited, according to the Tri-County Citizen. Private landowners ultimately determine which game animals may be harvested from their property and by whom.

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Here are three things to know before hunting on private lands in Michigan.

1. Accessing Private Lands

In order to access private lands that are part of the state's Hunting Access Program, hunters must apply on a first-come, first-serve basis. The HAP webpage provides detailed information about properties leased as part of the state’s inventory. If you wish to hunt on private lands not part of the HAP program, you are required to get verbal permission from the landowner.

2. Commercial Forest Lands

In Michigan, there are thousands of forest acres that are privately owned but available for hunting. The general public has the right to hunt and fish on these commercial forest lands, as long as all guidelines are followed.

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For example, a property owner may restrict hunting on commercial forests when the property is being logged. A public-land antlerless deer license is required for the harvest of an antlerless deer on this type of land. Additionally, a private-land turkey license is required for harvest of a turkey on commercial lands.

3. General Guidelines

Firearms should not be discharged within 450 feet of inhabited structures. Hunters should also leave the property the way they found it. If a gate is closed, close the gate behind you. Do not litter on the property, and be a good steward if you find litter by picking it up. The best way to be invited back to hunt on private property is to show that you are respectful of the property. In an effort to avoid any confusion, inform the property owner when you enter and exit the property. This is a good safety measure as well in case you get lost on the property.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources publishes an annual guide to hunting on private lands. The guide provides hunters with additional information and up-to-date regulations about private land opportunities.

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

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Public hunting on private lands is an option that is provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Each year the department acquires land leases from private individuals to expand hunting opportunities for Michigan hunters.
Michigan, hunting, private lands
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2015-04-30
Saturday, 30 May 2015 04:04 PM
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