Skip to main content

DMU 273 reserved deer hunting information

  • Deer Management Unit (DMU) 273 is a cooperatively managed public hunting area in Saginaw County comprised of both the Shiawassee River State Game Area (SRSGA) and Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR). DMU 273 is defined in the Michigan Wildlife Conservation Order, Chapter 12, Sec. 12.73b, available at Michigan.gov/Hunting.

  • Detailed descriptions of the boundaries for DMU 273 can be found online at Michigan.gov/DNRLaws or by contacting a DNR Customer Service Center.

    Hunt Area

    Hunt Unit

    Description of Area Open to Hunting

    SRSGA

    1

    State Game Area – Managed Waterfowl Hunting Areas: Excludes general hunting areas (Hunt Unit 2) and all non-huntable/restricted areas, such as the SRSGA/State Wildlife Refuge, safety zones, etc.

    SRSGA

    2

    State Game Area – General Hunting Areas (General “A” Areas): Excludes managed waterfowl hunting areas (Hunt Units 1) and all non-huntable/restricted areas, such as the SRSGA Wildlife Refuge, safety zones, etc.

    SNWR

    3

    National Wildlife Refuge: Excludes closed tracts of land and all non-huntable/restricted areas. View detailed area maps online at | FWS.gov.

    Map

    Figure 1: DMU 273 Hunt Area Map. Additional information and detailed maps (including parking lot locations) are available online at Shiawassee River State Game Area and Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge, or try the DNR’s interactive mapping application, available at Michigan.gov/MiHunt.

  • Shiawassee River State Game Area (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

    Hunt number

    Hunt name

    Quota

    Hunt start date

    Hunt end date

    0101 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 STATE REGS (Liberty Hunt - youth and hunters with qualifying disabilities) 30 09/09/2023 09/10/2023
    0102 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 STATE REGS 50 10/01/2023 10/15/2023
    0103 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 STATE REGS 50 10/16/2023 10/30/2023
    0104 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 STATE REGS 50 10/31/2023 11/14/2023
    0105 SRSGA UNIT 2 STATE REGS 50 11/15/2023 11/22/2023
    0106 SRSGA UNIT 2 STATE REGS 50 11/23/2023 11/30/2023
    0107 SRSGA UNIT 2 ANTLERLESS ONLY 50 11/15/2023 11/19/2023
    0108 SRSGA UNIT 2 ANTLERLESS ONLY 50 11/20/2023 11/24/2023
    0109 SRSGA UNIT 2 ANTLERLESS ONLY 50 11/25/2023 11/30/2023
    0110 SRSGA UNIT 2 STATE REGS 50 12/02/2023 12/06/2023
    0111 SRSGA UNIT 2 ANTLERLESS ONLY 50 12/02/2023 12/06/2023
    0112 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 STATE REGS 50 12/07/2023 12/11/2023
    0113 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 ANTLERLESS 50 12/07/2023 12/11/2023
    0114 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 STATE REGS 50 12/12/2023 12/18/2023
    0115 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 ANTLERLESS 50 12/12/2023 12/18/2023
    0116 SRSGA UNITS 1 & 2 STATE REGS 50 12/19/2023 01/01/2024

    Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

    Hunt number

    Hunt name

    Quota

    Hunt start date

    Hunt end date

    0201 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY (Liberty Hunt - youth and hunters with qualifying disabilities) 10 09/09/2023 09/10/2023
    0202 SNWR UNIT 3 ANY DEER (Liberty Hunt - youth and hunters with qualifying disabilities) 5 09/09/2023 09/10/2023
    0203 SNWR UNIT 3 ANY DEER 20 10/01/2023 10/07/2023
    0204 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY 60 10/01/2023 10/07/2023
    0205 SNWR UNIT 3 ANY DEER 35 10/27/2023 11/02/2023
    0206 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY 60 10/27/2023 11/02/2023
    0207 *SNWR UNIT 3 NONAMB ANTLERLESS 9 11/15/2023 11/16/2023
    0208 *SNWR UNIT 3 NONAMB ANY DEER 9 11/15/2023 11/16/2023
    0209 *SNWR UNIT 3 NONAMB ANTLERLESS 9 11/17/2023 11/18/2023
    0210 *SNWR UNIT 3 NONAMB ANY DEER 9 11/17/2023 11/18/2023
    0211 SNWR UNIT 3 ANY DEER 25 11/19/2023 11/23/2023
    0212 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY 60 11/19/2023 11/23/2023
    0213 SNWR UNIT 3 ANY DEER 25 11/25/2023 11/30/2023
    0214 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY 60 11/25/2023 11/30/2023
    0215 SNWR UNIT 3 ANY DEER 25 12/01/2023 12/07/2023
    0216 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY 60 12/01/2023 12/07/2023
    0217 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY 70 12/15/2023 12/21/2023
    0218 SNWR UNIT 3 ANTLERLESS ONLY 50 12/26/2023 12/31/2023

    * Non-Ambulatory hunts at Shiawassee NWR are subject to special restrictions and requirements.

  • Yes, you can find hunt drawing statistics for DMU 273 here for the State Game Area side and here for the National Wildlife Refuge side
  • Yes. Antlerless-only hunts are offered on both Shiawassee River State Game Area and Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge throughout the season. Refer to the hunt table on this web page to identify which hunt periods and hunt numbers are antlerless-only hunts.

  • Yes, you may have up to one non-hunting person accompany you on your hunt during the period your access permit is valid.

  • Yes, you may retrieve your deer. 
  • Yes. Follow State of Michigan guidelines.

  • Yes. DMU 273 has reserved deer hunts for the September youth deer/Liberty Hunt weekend. Youth that apply for the Liberty Hunt are also eligible to apply for one access permit during the regular deer season. Youth hunters 10-16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 18 years old. Youth under 10 years old who are hunting under the Mentored Youth Hunting License must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old. Additional restrictions apply; see Michigan.gov/MentoredHunting for details.

  • Yes. Non-ambulatory hunts are offered at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge for hunters with permanent mobility impairment whose disability requires use of a personal assistive mobility device, such as a wheelchair. If you apply for a non-ambulatory hunt, the Refuge will reach out prior to the hunt to corroborate non-ambulatory status.

    Non-ambulatory hunt participants must contact hunt coordinators prior to September 15. Contact information and details can be found at FWS.gov.

    Non-ambulatory hunts are subject to cancellation without refund. These assistive hunts are administered by volunteers and may be cancelled based on results of a Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission risk assessment. Notification of cancellation will be given to successful hunters by October 15.

    There are no non-ambulatory hunts offered at Shiawassee River State Game Area.

  • Yes. A hunter applying for the non-ambulatory hunt at Shiawassee NWR will need to hold a permit to hunt from a standing vehicle to be eligible.

  • A hunter applying for the non-ambulatory hunt will need to hold a permit to hunt from a standing vehicle to be eligible.

  • From July 15 – August 15, you can purchase one reserved deer application valid for a specific reserved deer management unit during specific hunt period. You may only purchase one application per year.

  • The application fee for a drawing entry is $5.
  • A limited number of reserved deer hunt access permits are available for specific areas and dates. Hunt applicants will be selected by random drawing.

  • You are responsible for obtaining your drawing results. They will be available at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses on August 29 or you can call 517-284-WILD (9453).

  • If you’re selected in the drawing, you may obtain a deer hunt access permit for the area and season dates for which you were selected.

  • No. Access permits are not transferable.
  • You can obtain a deer hunt access permit from any license agent, or online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses.
  • Non-ambulatory hunts at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge are subject to eligibility restrictions and requirements (non-ambulatory hunt numbers: 0207, 0208, 2009, and 0210). Hunters may apply for other DMU 273 hunts without restriction.

    Youth up to 16 years of age may apply for the youth hunt (Liberty Hunt) as well as one regular season hunt choice. Adults are not eligible to apply for the youth hunt but may accompany a successful youth applicant during the hunt.

  • You will need to have a valid Michigan driver’s license OR a State of Michigan ID card (issued by the Secretary of State) OR a DNR Sportcard (issued by license agents or at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses.
  • First, look at the area map provided on this web page and choose the hunt unit you want to hunt. Next, look at the hunt table on this web page to find your desired season dates for the units you chose. Make a note of the corresponding hunt number(s) and be sure to select this number when purchasing your application. You can purchase an application at any license agent or online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses. Finally, check your receipt for accuracy and retain it as proof of your application.
  • You may only apply for one hunt period on either Shiawassee River State Game Area or Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Yes, you may apply in a hunt party with up to one other applicant. All applicants in a hunt party will receive an access permit if the party is selected, except for those who submit an invalid application.

  • One of the hunt partners applies first and selects a hunt choice (unit/dates) for the party. A new “party ID” number will be created and printed on the application receipt. The first partner must provide the party ID to the remaining partner to use when they apply, so that all party members have the same party ID on their applications. Be sure to verify the party ID number is identical on all receipts. Applying in a partnership with more than two party members total will result in a forfeiture of eligibility for a reserved deer hunt.
  • You are responsible for obtaining a DNR application receipt that correctly states your customer ID and hunt choice. Do not accept a receipt that is not legible. Check your receipt for accuracy and retain as proof that you applied. Ensure any application errors are corrected prior to the application deadline. Applicants who submit an invalid application will be ineligible for the drawing.
  • No. Your reserved deer hunt access permit is NOT a hunting license or kill tag. Hunters must possess the appropriate access permit AND appropriate deer license to harvest a deer in DMU 273. Only one access permit is valid per kill tag. You must follow all statewide deer hunting regulations as well as rules and regulations established for each managed area.
  • You may acquire your access permit online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or from any license agent. Prior to acquiring your access permit, you must first have purchased or have a current base license in your virtual shopping cart on the DNR’s online license system before the access permit shows as available.

  • There is no fee for the access permit. Access permits obtained online will be sent to you in a confirmation email. The access permit will appear on the second page of the PDF in the confirmation email. Access permits will NOT be mailed to successful applicants.
  • A base license is required for everyone who hunts in Michigan. While an application may be purchased prior to obtaining your base license, you must purchase your base license for the current year before you can obtain a reserved deer access permit.
  • Yes. A valid deer license is required to obtain and use a reserved deer access permit. One access permit is valid per kill tag. The deer license must be an appropriate deer license that can be used to harvest deer in DMU 273, according to statewide deer hunting regulations.
  • You can harvest one deer with your access permit.  

  • There is no guarantee that leftover access permits will be available for any hunt unit.
  • You are eligible to acquire one leftover reserved deer access permit regardless of whether you acquired an access permit through the application drawing.
  • If any access permits remain as of September 6 at 10 a.m. EST and you have a current base license, you may obtain a leftover reserved deer access permit online or from any license agent on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no fee for leftover access permits.
  • Ability to scout DMU is dependent on the time of year. Shiawassee River State Game Area is open to all users from January 2 – August 31 of each year without the need for a permit. Scouting thereafter can be done outside of managed waterfowl areas with a base or small game license during legal seasons. Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge should be contacted for area-specific scouting information.
  • Yes. There is a designated scouting weekend on Shiawassee River State Game Area. The designated scouting weekend for 2023 is Friday, September 1 – Monday, September 4.
  • Yes. Tree stands and ground blinds may be used on DMU 273 within the Shiawassee State Game Area and the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. All statewide land use rules and regulations regarding tree stands and ground blinds must be followed. Additionally, blinds and stands will be removed by the end of an individual's hunt period. You may not use screw-in tree steps anywhere on DMU 273.
  • All firearm, bow and arrow, and crossbow use in DMU 273 must follow statewide regulations for the current season in the Limited Firearm Deer Zone. Legal weapons follow statewide regulations for the season in which a hunt period occurs in. For more information, refer to the Michigan Hunting Regulations, available at Michigan.gov/Hunting under “Rules and Regulations”. Hunters are also encouraged to review the Wildlife Conservation Order for complete hunting regulations and legal descriptions.

  • Shiawassee River State Game Area (SRSGA), 225 East Spruce Street, St. Charles, MI 48655. For assistance, contact the Bay City DNR Customer Service Center, 3580 State Park Drive, Bay City, MI 48706. Phone 989-684-9141.

    Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR), 6975 Mower Road, Saginaw, MI 48601; Phone 989-777-5930 opt. 3. SNWR hunting information is available online at FWS.gov. Contact local office with questions about pre-hunt scouting or other area-specific concerns.