Predators & Small Game
Season Dates: Bow season opens Oct. 1 and runs through Nov. 14 before closing for the gun season, which runs Nov. 15-30. Bow season reopens Dec. 1 and runs through Jan. 1.
The Grade: C
Michigan has plenty of potential and even more hunters. With one of the largest hunting populations in the country, Michigan is one of the most heavily hunted states in the Antler Nation. The impacts on the state's deer herd are reflected in the form of skewed sex ratios and age structure. Few bucks live past their first set of antlers, fewer still past their second. With about 1.7 million deer, you'll have no problem finding whitetails and with a huge amount of public land -- both state and federally-owned -- finding a place to hunt isn't hard either. Unfortunately, much of that public land is in areas of the state with relatively low deer populations.
The southern reaches of the state are primarily farmlands and privately-owned. Not surprisingly, that's where the majority of the deer -- and big antlers -- are found. Southern Michigan is hunted heavily and finding a place to go is a challenge. The northern reaches, particularly the state's Upper Peninsula, however, are sparsely populated and offer vast areas of public land. Deer densities are low in most areas and the timber thick but the lack of hunting pressure and vast amount of territory means some bucks do reach an older age and you can enjoy a wilderness-like hunting experience.
Antler Nation Knowledge: Michigan was once home to the world record 8-pointer, killed in 2001 by Vic Bulliner in Hillsdale County. The buck scored 180 3/8 inches and featured 35-inch main beams. The buck was surpassed last fall by an Illinois 8-pointer scoring 183 1/8 inches.
Record B&C Typical
Taken by Troy Stephens in Jackson County in 1996.
Total B&C Typical Entries
Record B&C Non-Typical
The state's non-typical record wasn't taken by a hunter. It was picked up alongside a road in 2010 by Ronald Waldron in Lenawee County.
Total B&C Non-Typical Entries
Est. Whitetail Population
No. Licenses Sold Annually
Deer to Hunter Ratio
Resident license and permit
$15 for single season, $30 combination archery/gun
$138 for single season; $276 for combination archery/gun