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Small game hunting in Michigan

Season information

License requirements to hunt small game:

  • Base license.
  • All woodcock hunters must obtain a free woodcock stamp, which includes registration with the federal Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP).
  • Sharp-tailed grouse requires a free sharp-tailed grouse stamp.
  • A $25 pheasant license is required for all pheasant hunters 18 years old and older planning to hunt pheasants on any public land in the Lower Peninsula or on lands enrolled in the Hunting Access Program.
    • Exempt from purchasing the license: Private-land pheasant hunters statewide, public-land pheasant hunters in the Upper Peninsula, lifetime license holders, hunters 17 years old and younger, and those only hunting pheasants at a game bird hunting preserve.
Buy a license online

Hunting regulations

Wildlife Conservation Order Thumbnail

Wildlife conservation order

The general hunting regulations are a condensed summary of the full regulations and legal descriptions found in this wildlife conservation order, issued by the Natural Resources Commission.

Hunting and Trapping Digest

General hunting regulations

This brochure is not a legal notice or a complete collection of hunting regulations and laws. It is a condensed summary of the wildlife conservation order issued for hunters’ convenience.

A promotional poster for the hunt fish app with a nature scene.

Hunt Fish app

Download the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app today! With it, you can store and access regulations, report your harvests, purchase applications, licenses and permits, check drawing results and much more.

Small game species

  • Season dates:

    Coyote hunting is open year-round. Coyote may be taken on private property by a property owner or designee all year if they are doing or about to do damage on private property – a license or written permit is not needed.

    Note: The use of .269-caliber or smaller for the take of coyotes, foxes, raccoons and opossums at night is permitted. Nighttime take with centerfire rifles is prohibited in all state parks and recreation areas statewide, and in all state game areas within the limited firearm deer zone.

    See the hunting and fur harvester regulations summaries for more information.

    Bag limits and additional info:

    Bag limits: No limit.

    About coyotes in Michigan

    All about coyotes

  • Season dates:

    Sept. 15 - Oct. 29

    Bag limits and additional info:

    Bag limit: 3 (daily), 9 (possession)

    Notes: Shotguns must be plugged so they are capable of holding no more than three shells. All woodcock hunters must obtain a free woodcock stamp in addition to a valid base license, available from all license agents or online. The woodcock stamp includes registration with the federal Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP). A current-year HIP endorsement must be carried when hunting migratory birds. Hunters can promote sound woodcock management by promptly reporting all banded birds harvested, including date and location taken. To report bands, go to www.reportband.gov, or call 800-327-BAND.

    About woodcock

    Woodcock hunt at GEMS

    Woodcock aging resources

    Ruffed grouse and woodcock cooperator

  • Season dates:

    Aug. 1 - Sept. 30 and Feb. 1 - March 31

    Bag limits and additional info:

    Bag limit: No limit

    About crows

  • Season dates:

    Oct. 10-31

    Bag limits and additional info:

    Bag limit: 2 (daily), 4 (possession), 6 (season)

    About sharp-tailed grouse

  • Season dates:

    Oct. 20 - Nov. 14

    Bag limits and additional info:

    Bag limit: 5 (daily), 10 (possession)

    About quail

  • Gray squirrel and fox squirrel

    Season dates:

    Sept. 15 - March 31

    Bag limits and additional info:

    Bag limit: 5 (daily), 10 (possession)

    About fox squirrels

    About gray squirrels

  • Coyote, opossum, porcupine, weasel, red squirrel, skunk, ground squirrel, woodchuck, Russian boar, feral pigeon, starling and house sparrow

    Season dates:

    Year-round

    Bag limits and additional info:

    Bag limit: No limit

    Note: Please see Chapter VII of the Wildlife Conservation Order for more information on hunting in state parks and recreation areas.