Michigan's new hunting licenses create better opportunities for hunters

With almost 10 million acres of land open to the public for hunting, it's no wonder that Michigan ranks among the top states in the nation for hunter participation. Our state attracts more than 750,000 hunters each year, who annually contribute an estimated $1.3 billion to Michigan's economy and millions of dollars in federal funds to wildlife management and wildlife habitat restoration.

Hunting licenses in Michigan changed in 2014. Among the most significant changes, an annual base license is now required for all hunters. The base license:

  • Provides critical funding for habitat and conservation work on both public and private land.

  • Supports the work of conservation officers and field staff to ensure safe, legal hunting practices are followed.

  • Includes a small game license. Whether you hunt small game or not, your base license dollars will enhance and expand hunting opportunities, which benefits hunters of all species.

  • Hunters then purchase additional licenses for the species they want to hunt - deer, bear, turkey, waterfowl, etc. The new license structure makes buying a license simpler and provides vital funding to improve wildlife habitat and management.

"With additional funding, we'll expand our efforts to do more for the hunters and wildlife of Michigan by implementing the goals, objectives and strategies identified in the Wildlife Division's strategic plan," said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. "We're committed to delivering the best hunting and trapping opportunities that we can afford with the license revenue that hunters and trappers provide to us."

With additional investment, the DNR will create world-class hunting opportunities in Michigan by:

  • Expanding big game hunting adventures.

  • Bringing back quality pheasant hunting to Michigan.

  • Making Michigan regionally known for our great diversity of high-quality waterfowl hunting.

  • Creating outstanding grouse, woodcock and turkey hunting in Michigan.

  • Expanding the challenge of small game hunting for squirrel, rabbit and hare.

  • Expanding recreational shooting opportunities on public and private lands.

  • Preserving and promoting Michigan's hunting and trapping heritage.

Healthy wildlife populations and habitat mean better outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities. With this additional revenue, the DNR can focus on the tasks needed to ensure Michigan's rich hunting tradition continues to thrive.

For more information on the new structure for hunting, fishing and ORV licenses, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.