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Elk application information

  • Currently, only information to apply for this year's elk hunt are included. The remainder of the digest will be available in the near future. 
  • Table of elk hunt information. 

    Hunt period 1 2
    Season dates* Aug. 29 - Sept. 1
    Sept. 15-18
    Sept. 29 - Oct. 2
    Dec. 9-17
    Elk Management Unit (public and private land) X H and X or I and X
    Any-elk license quota 30 50
    Antlerless-only license quota 70 110
    Complex maps showing elk hunting periods one and two in Michigan's northern lower peninsula. For assistance call 517-284-9453, or for a written description of boundaries see the Wildlife Conservation Order at
  • The application period runs from May 1 through June 1. 
  • Drawing results will be available online June 26 at
  • Hunters are selected using a weighted drawing system that began in 2003. In each drawing, an applicant’s total number of entries is equal to the number of chances earned in past drawings plus one chance for his or her current application. For more information on the elk lottery system, watch the “Elk Weighted Lottery System Explained.”
  • There is no set number of chances to be selected for a license, and there’s no guarantee that an applicant will eventually receive a license, even with a large number of chances. The weighted drawing system provides some advantage to hunters who apply consistently year after year while still offering an opportunity to all applicants, including those applying for the first time. The number of elk licenses available this year (260) is very small compared to the number of license applicants (over 49,000).
  • You will be awarded an elk license! Your chances will be reset to zero, even if you choose not to purchase your license. Those issued an antlerless-only elk license are ineligible to apply for, obtain, or purchase an elk license or chance for 10 years. Those issued an any-elk license are ineligible to apply for, obtain or purchase a future elk license for the remainder of their life.
  • You will be issued one chance for future drawings.
  • Check your chances at Chances are tracked by customer ID. To ensure that all your chances are considered in the drawing, you should apply with the same ID used to apply in previous years. If your ID changes, call 517-284-WILD (9453) before the application deadline to ensure your chances are combined under your current ID.
  • You must apply at least once every five years to retain your chances. Chances are reset to zero for applicants who do not apply for five consecutive years.
  • No. Elk licenses are issued to Michigan residents only.
  • From May 1 – June 1, you can purchase one elk application or one chance-only application. You may only purchase one application per year.
  • Applications are $5 and can be purchased at any license agent or online at
  • You are eligible to apply if you are a Michigan resident and are 1) hunter safety-certified or 2) licensed as an apprentice hunter or 3) 9 years old or younger and are licensed under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.
  • 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
  • Yes. If you are licensed under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program, you can purchase an application for an elk license or apply for a chance-only. You may purchase an elk license if selected for a license. See the Mentored Youth Hunting Program section in the Michigan Hunting Digest for more information.
  • Yes. If selected for a license, your accompanying hunter must also have a 2023 elk hunting license. Their license does not have to be the same management unit or season dates as yours. See the Apprentice Hunting License section in the Michigan Hunting Digest for more information.
  • First, you must choose your application type. There are three options:

    • Bull or Antlerless; you are willing to accept a license that allows you to harvest a bull or antlerless elk. This option will enter you into the drawing for any of the 260 available licenses. If selected, you will be issued one of these licenses:
      • Any-elk – valid for taking either a bull or an antlerless elk.
      • Antlerless-only – valid for taking antlerless elk only.
    • Bull only; you are only willing to accept a license that allows you to harvest a bull elk. This option will only enter you into the drawing for one of the 80 any-elk licenses available. If selected for this license you will be issued an any-elk license, valid for taking either a bull or an antlerless elk.
    • Chance only; you will not be entered in this year’s drawing but will still be awarded one additional chance toward future drawings.

    Then, purchase your application for $5 at a license agent or online at When applying, make sure your mailing address is up to date. If selected for a license, we will use this address to mail you information regarding your hunt. Finally, make sure to check your receipt for accuracy and retain it as proof of your application.

  • No. You may only apply for a bull or antlerless, bull-only, or chance-only application.
  • You may call 517-284-WILD (9453) for assistance.
  • You are responsible for obtaining a DNR application receipt that accurately states your customer ID and hunt choice. Do not accept a receipt that is not legible. Check this 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.
  • Results will be available at June 26, and successful applicants will receive notification in the mail as well.
  • There are a total of 260 licenses available.
  • You will be mailed a packet of information regarding your hunt, including your assigned hunt period, elk management unit, type of license, a 2023 Elk Digest, and instructions for how to take the mandatory elk hunt orientation. Additionally, the elk receipt will be available for you to purchase for $100 when drawing results are available on June 26. However, you will not be mailed your elk license until after you have completed the mandatory elk hunt orientation. See additional information in the 2023 Elk Digest.