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Hunting Access Program
Michigan's Hunting Access Program (HAP) was originally created in 1977 to increase public hunting opportunities in southern Michigan where 97 percent of the land base is privately owned. It has now expanded to include the Northeast Lower and Eastern Upper Peninsulas. HAP is one of the oldest dedicated private lands public access programs in the nation.
HAP provides access to quality private hunting lands with a focus in agricultural regions and disease management areas. Providing more hunting opportunity is critical for attracting new and retaining current hunters and supporting Michigan’s strong hunting tradition.
HAP provides financial incentives to private landowners who allow hunters access to their lands. Using funds from a USDA/VPA-HIP federal grant, the DNR has significantly expanded the number of acres and properties available within the HAP program.
Hunting Access Program rules
Please see the Michigan Hunting Digest for more information about program rules.
HAP properties are lands for which private landowners have agreed to allow public access. Hunters utilizing HAP properties are guests of the landowner. All hunters are responsible to know and understand the rules of the program and of the property they are hunting as well as state and federal regulations. Please respect landowners and observe the following rules:
- Before hunting, verify hunting seasons, hunt type(s), maximum number of hunters allowed, and hunt dates.
- Only species listed under "hunt types" may be harvested at each HAP land.
- Hunting is the ONLY activity allowed on HAP lands.
- Do not trespass onto adjacent properties.
- Hunters must follow all individual landowner rules as described in the registration folder.
- Every individual hunter (whether hunting or scouting) must register before hunting. See property list above for maximum number of hunters allowed.
- Up to two licensed adults may accompany each youth or apprentice hunter.
- Private-land hunting rules apply to HAP lands.
- .Hunters are only allowed to hunt during seasons listed for each land.
- Lands are closed outside the open hunt type(s).
- Driving on HAP lands/use of ORVs is prohibited without landowner permission.
- Do not block drives or lanes, park in designated areas.
- Hunting in or damaging standing crops is prohibited
- Use of permanent blinds, tree stands or nails/screws in trees is prohibited.
Steps for hunting HAP lands
- All enrolled properties are listed in the link above.
- Register at headquarters each time before hunting by providing name, complete mailing address, species hunted, and time spent hunting (starting and ending times). Individuals accompanying hunter, but who themselves will not be hunting, should not register. Confirm the maximum number of hunters allowed is not surpassed by reviewing previous hunter registrations each day.
- Self-service box: Located near headquarters sign; contains folder with registrations forms and property information. Please do not contact the landowner.
- Mandatory check-in: Register directly with the landowner.