Bear Hunting in Michigan: Applications start May 1

 In Hunter Advocacy

Are you planning on doing any bear hunting in Michigan?Bear Hunting in Michigan

If you want to do any bear hunting in Michigan this year?  Applications for the bear drawing are accepted from May 1st through June 1st. Put it on your calendar!

Bear licenses in Michigan are limited and only available through a drawing. The drawing occurs on June 25th.

Note:  You do not need a base license to apply for the drawing, but if chosen you must purchase a base license and bear license to hunt. 

Hunters are selected for a bear license using a preference point drawing system. The point system is explained in detail in the  video below.

The Bear Hunting season varies by county. However, for the most part it starts on Sept. 10th or Sept. 25th. For a complete list of 2018 Bear Hunting in Michigan list by area, including dates and number of available licenses, click HERE.

What Can I do if I am not selected for a Bear License?

If you aren’t one of the lucky hunters who gets chosen for this year’s bear hunting in Michigan, there are a couple things you can do.

Transfer Programblack bear hunting in michigan

If someone you know was lucky enough to get a bear license, but for some strange reason, he or she can’t use it, they can transfer it to you. This happens through the Transfer Program, which is outlined on the DNR website.

The following individuals are eligible to receive a hunt through the transfer program:

  • On the Waiting List, or
  • Youth hunters, ages 10-16, who applied for a bear license or elk license and were unsuccessful in the current-year license drawing. or
  • Any person who has been diagnosed with an advanced illness. An application for a license in the current-year drawing is not required. Advanced Illness is defined by the Public Health Code** and requires a Physician Certification of Advanced Illness (PDF).

To Be Placed on the Wait List

Eligible persons may register for the bear (or elk) hunt waiting lists by clicking this link.

NOTE: Waiting list registration is only available from March 1 through July 10.

Individuals on each waiting list will be contacted via e-mail as donated hunts become available. For further information and restrictions click HERE.

About Michigan Black Bears

The DNR website is also a great resource for information about Michigan black bears in general, and how to prepare for a black bear hunt. You can research the following topics:

One last note about bear hunting in Michigan

According to the DNR:

Bear Harvest Registration and Survey

Within 72 hours of harvest, the bear head (unfrozen) and pelt, or the entire animal must be brought to a bear registration station (by the licensee that killed the bear) for examination, sealing, and registration. You must provide the identification used to acquire the license. After the pelt is sealed, the DNR reserves the right to collect additional bear parts, such as a tooth, for research or management purposes

We want to see your pictures and hear your stories!

Have you been bear hunting in Michigan? We want to hear about it. Please share your stories in the comments below or send your story and pictures to:

Happy Hunting!

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Lansing Chapter of Safari Club International please contact us or check out application information on our website. We’d love to hear from you!

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