Turkey Hunting in Michigan

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  • B
  • 200,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 763,618

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • $26

    Hunting ($11) and spring turkey license ($15).

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • $166

    Base license ($151) and spring turkey license ($15).

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Yep, there's some good turkey hunting in Michigan, for sure.

Management of the "turkey take" seems steady and consistent overall.

Michigan as we know is truly hunter friendly. Some 763,618 folks enjoy our tradition (of course not all turkey hunt). Still, that's a lot of pressure.

Nevertheless, the state boasts a 30-percent hunter success rate, and 100-percent chance of getting a license.

Back to the big hunter numbers.

There is plenty of public ground in Michigan, and much of it occurs in the northern reaches of the state where human population is scattered and pressure less intense.

Regulations for turkey hunting in Michigan are highly detailed, moreso than a number of other states, so read laws closely.

This includes specific hunt units.

Season dates vary, called "limited-license hunts," so double-check regulations as this goes.

Michigan offers 7.4 million acres of forest land open to public hunting. The bulk of those acres are in the northern Lower Peninsula as well as the Upper Peninsula. 

The northern Lower was once Michigan's turkey hotbed, but southern Michigan has taken over that title. 

The Upper Peninsula has a growing population of turkeys and virtually no hunting pressure. 

All that said, Michigan hunters still indicate a good level of satisfaction with their hunts every spring. 

As with most turkey country, good scouting to put yourself in an area with huntable numbers of birds is key here. 

The middle part of the Lower Peninsula has the best turkey numbers. Allegan, Jackson, Kent, Lapeer, Montcalm, Newaygo, Saginaw, St. Clair and Tuscola Counties lead the turkey tally annually.

Fun Fact: In 1989, 22,195 hunters tagged just 6,195 turkeys in Michigan. By 2010, 92,500 hunters shot 37,000 turkeys – and, as noted above, kills have topped 30,000 in recent years.

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Michigan (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Michigan Turkey Hunting

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