New to hunting? Or interested in learning how to hunt but not sure where to start? Check out the range of helpful resources we've put together for new hunters or those who may want to give hunting a try, including:
- A wealth of valuable information from the Modern Hunters blog, by self-taught hunters who explain the ins and outs of learning to hunt through the eyes of a beginner. Documenting and explaining everything from terminology to techniques, this is a must-read for the new hunter.
- Videos and tools to help get you started, including maps of places you can hunt.
- Recipes and other information about eating wild game.
- Resources and events brought to you by various DNR partners.
Scroll through to explore each section below, and if you have any questions while learning about hunting, give your local DNR Customer Service Center a call or email DNR-Wildlife@michigan.gov – we’d love to help!
- Outdoor Skills Academy
These are in-depth classes are designed for adults, youth ages 16 and older, and children over 10 who are accompanied by an adult. Skills Academy classes will have a cost associated with them, cost varies by class.
We have programs to help you get out in the field for the first time.
Mentored Youth Hunting Program:
The Mentored Youth Hunting program is designed to introduce youth under the age of 10 to hunting and fishing, offering a "package" license for just $7.50
Apprentice Hunting Program:
Anyone ages 10 and older can be a part of the hunting experience by purchasing a base apprentice (APC) license. The base apprentice license, which can be purchased for two license years before needing to successfully complete a hunter safety course, allows you to hunt small game and purchase licenses to hunt other species like deer and turkey.
The Department of Natural Resources’ seven staffed shooting ranges in southern Michigan – in Clinton, Ingham, Jackson, Lapeer, Livingston, and Oakland counties – offer a fun, safe shooting environment for you and your friends and family. Staffed by customer-friendly and highly trained employees, the DNR’s shooting ranges feature amenities like handgun, rifle, shotgun and archery ranges and restroom facilities.
You can also search for a shooting range near you.
Don’t forget to print targets to bring to the range before you go.
No matter where you are in Michigan, you can find public hunting land, with millions of acres available to the public for hunting
The Mi-HUNT mapping application can help you navigate, with the most up-to-date information to help you plan your hunting trip.
The DNR also has created a collection of maps that identify all lands that are open to public hunting in Michigan. You can click on a particular county and see not only the state forest, wildlife management, and parks and recreation lands administered by the DNR that are open to hunting, but also all federal lands and private lands that are open to the public through the Hunting Access Program or the Commercial Forest Act.
You might also look to see which state wildlife and game areas are near you.
Safe hunting begins with hunter education, which has had a dramatic impact on reducing hunting incidents in Michigan. Hunting is safe and getting safer!
Hunter education is required if you were born after Jan. 1, 1960 and you want to purchase any Michigan hunting license, or if you are planning an out-of-state hunting trip.
There are several options, including online courses, a traditional classroom course or home study.
You can buy a hunting license:
- online at E-License
- at a DNR Customer Service Center or
- at one of the many license retailers around the state
For more information about which license(s) you’ll need and how much they cost, see our hunting license structure chart.
Additional information about licenses is available in the annual Hunting and Trapping Digest and species-specific hunting digests:
Find the season dates for hunting various species in our hunting season calendar.
The DNR publishes hunting digests, condensed collections of rules and regulations for hunters' convenience, each year - the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Digest as well as several species-specific digests.
You can keep hunting regulations with you as you into the field. These videos explain how to conveniently access hunting digests on your smartphone or mobile device, and take them with you wherever you go:
Learn more about antler point restrictions in Michigan and get answers to your questions in Antler Point Restriction FAQs - "The APR Corner."
Wild Game Cooking with Gourmet Gone Wild:
Game Meat Cooking: Fundamental Sauces for Game (from the National Shooting Sports Foundation):
Game Meat Cooking: Brines and Marinades (from the National Shooting Sports Foundation):
Game Meat Cooking: Braised Venison Shoulder (from the National Shooting Sports Foundation):
See more Venison recipe videos (from Hunting and Fishing for Locavores YouTube channel)
Deer Processing: Quartering A White-tailed Deer:
Interested in “locavore” eating and sustainable living? Wild meat is one of the most organic and free-range food choices available.
Browse through some of the recipes here – or search for other recipes on your own – to explore the possibilities of cooking with these sustainable, local and delicious protein proteins.
National Wild Turkey Federation Michigan focuses on conservation management on public and private lands through political advocacy and partnerships. NWTF Michigan works through partnerships to maintain and increase hunting access to public and private lands, and is actively working to increase hunter education and mentored hunting opportunities.
The Learn to Hunt program was created to provide both instructional and hands-on experiences to new and novice hunters in Michigan. Many people are becoming interested in hunting for various reasons, such as being mindful about where their food comes from, improving self-sufficiency and experiencing nature in a unique way. Each Learn to Hunt program provides instructional basics of hunting a Michigan game animal and a mentored hunt opportunity, designed to provide confidence and knowledge for new or novice hunters.
Check out the Learn to Hunt Facebook page for the latest information about programs and other opportunities offered by partners.
Watch a video about Learn to Hunt: