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Learn About Michigan Hunting Licenses

All sportsmen need a base hunting license in Michigan before they may hunt small game or obtain additional licenses for the hunting of larger wild animals. Base licenses are available to residents, nonresidents, juniors and seniors.

In addition to the base license, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also sells antlerless deer licenses, bear or elk hunting credentials and combination licenses. For instance, available combinations include a deer combo license and a hunting and fishing license. All licenses for hunting are available to Michigan residents, as well as nonresidents. However, a hunting permit may also be needed for engaging in specific types of hunting activities.

To obtain a base DNR license in MI, residents and nonresidents must also complete an approved hunter safety program, as proof of course completion is needed to purchase a license in the state. In most cases, students may complete the safety course in a classroom or an online environment. Additionally, programs in trapper and bowhunter safety are also available to qualifying students.

If DNR applicants are younger than 10 years of age, however, they must meet additional requirements under the state’s Mentored Youth Program. As part of the program, junior hunters may hunt for small game, turkey or deer, and they may trap furbearing animals. If DNR hunting license applicants are 10 years of age or older, they may obtain a base apprentice license (APC). With this type of credential, they may hunt deer and small game while under the supervision of a licensed adult.

How to Get a Hunting License in Michigan

While the process of how to get a hunting license in Michigan varies depending on the specific type of license needed, most credentials are available online or in person. To obtain an online hunting license, for instance, customers may complete an application through the website of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). If customers cannot complete the process online, they may visit any participating license vendor throughout the state, including a DNR Customer Service Center.

Moreover, a permit or stamp may also be needed to hunt for certain types of wildlife in the state. Applicants must meet the DNR’s age for hunting license requirements to qualify for a hunter license, stamp or permit, however. As part of these requirements, all young hunters must first obtain a base apprentice license under the DNR’s Mentored Youth Hunting Program.

Types of Hunting Licenses in Michigan

Lifetime hunting licenses in Michigan, along with other resident credentials are available to qualifying juniors, adults, military members and seniors in the state. However, all hunters must first obtain a base hunting license, as this type of credential is needed to obtain additional hunting licenses, stamps and permits under the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Furthermore, two youth hunting license credentials are available to first-time hunters who are younger than 17 years of age. For instance, youth hunters may obtain a mentored youth license if they are 9 years of age or younger, or they may obtain a base apprentice license if they are at least 10 years of age. However, base apprentice licenses are available to all first-time hunters who are at least 10 years of age.

Hunter Safety and Education Courses in Michigan

The completion of a hunter safety course in Michigan is often a requirement before resident and nonresident hunters may obtain a base hunting license under the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR). While there are several exceptions to this education requirement, the DNR strongly encourages the completion of a safety program to reduce the risk of hunting accidents in the state, even if hunters are exempt from completing a course.

To enroll in a hunter education course in MI, most students may choose from an in-person or online program, depending on their preferred learning method. Regardless of the course type, however, both delivery methods require the participation in an onsite field day class. While most courses are available during the spring and fall seasons, others are available throughout the entire year.

Hunting Laws and Regulations in Michigan

Before the Michigan hunting season begins, it is important to review the state’s most recent laws and regulations that pertain to taking game, hunting on public or private property and wearing blaze orange clothing. As part of the orange clothing requirement, for instance, hunters generally need to wear orange outwear to increase their visibility. To obtain the most recent hunting information, however, sportsmen may visit the website of the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), or they may contact the Department by phone.

Moreover, other hunting regulations pertain to lawful shooting hours and locations. While legal hunting areas often include certain state parks, private lands and National Wildlife Refuges, it is important to verify all current regulations before the hunting trip, as any violations to these regulations may result in the loss of hunting privileges and possible jail time.