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Hunting Access Program - Michigan


Hunting- The Wildlife Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources leases private lands throughout southern Michigan for public hunting through the Hunting Access Program (HAP). This guide lists all property under lease through this program on pages 5 through 13. The lands are generally available on a first-come, first served basis. To make sure you have a place to hunt, make contacts early if you are planning to hunt HAP lands. The guide lists a farm headquarters where daily permits are to be picked up each day that you hunt the property. The locations listed include township and section numbers where the land is located. A township is six-mile square area with section numbers assigned. Maps of the county are available at bookstores and the county road commission. Remember, you are a guest of the landowner when you use properties listed in this book. As guests, you are requested to register your hunting party with your host or at the host’s self registration site each time that you visit the property. Annual permits are not permitted. Appropriate conduct helps ensure your host will invite you to return next year. All guests in a hunting party are required to have a yellow hunter tag in their possession at all times when using the host’s property. Guests are required to return the hunter tags to the host or self registration box after each day’s hunt. Do not register or take a daily permit if you are not actively hunting. 1. Observe all instructions of the landowner. 2. Know the property boundaries and do not trespass on adjacent property. 3. Do not block field access routes or drive in fields without the host’s permission. 4. Leave no trash. 5. Use bait only with the landowner’s permission. 6. Place tree stands or build blinds only with the landowner’s permission.7. Observe all hunting and trapping rules and regulations. Remember, you are a guest; respect your host’s property. Appropriate guest conduct helps ensure that your host will invite you to return next year. Tips for asking permission to hunt other private land: 1. Ask for permission, even if the land is not posted against hunting or trespassing. State law requires verbal permission. 2. Do it well in advance of the time you intend to hunt – before hunting season, if possible. Do not wait until the last minute. Plan your visit to ask for permission right after lunch or early in the evening when the landowner, especially a farmer, is likely to be at home. 3. Ask for permission by yourself or with one other person. Do not take a gang up to the door. Never take you gun with you when asking for permission. Keep the dog in the car. 4. Obtain permission to hunt several farms. This assures you of a place to hunt if the landowner is not at home or if others are using the property. 5. Ask the landowner if there are any crop fields or other areas of the farm that should not be hunted. 6. Leave gates the way you found them. If the gate is open when you arrive, leave it open. If it is closed, close it after you pass through. 7. Never shoot near farm buildings where people and livestock are living. Observe all safety zone areas (450 feet). 8. Leave no trash. If you find litter already there, pick it up. 9. When the hunt is over, thank the landowner for the opportunity to hunt. They will then know that you have left the farm and will not worry about you being lost or stuck on the farm. 10. It is always wise and polite to offer the landowner a piece of game or to promise him some venison once it is butchered. This goodwill gesture will go a long way at keeping the door open for you and improving the image of hunting.Interested in Enrolling in the Hunter Access Program?If your property is located in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula and if you are interested in receiving payment to allow public hunting on your property, you may wish to participate in the Hunter Access Program.Landowners are free from liability as state in P.A. 451 “No cause of action shall arise for injuries to persons hunting on lands leased under HAP unless the injuries were caused by the gross negligence of willful and wanton misconduct of the owner, tenant, or lessee.”For an application and details contact one of the Management Unit Offices listed on page 5 of this guide. Public hunting rights on select privately-owned lands.

Various privately owned lands have had their hunting rights purchased by the state of Michigan. These lands are open to public hunting. Registration is not required but all applicable laws still apply. For additional information and a complete legal description of these parcels, refer to the DNR Web site. Follow this link for a list of hunting areas whose hunting rights have been purchased in Michigan. Commercial Forest (CF) LandsNearly 2.2 million acres of privately owned forests in Michigan are accessible by foot to the public for fishing, hunting and trapping. The CF lands are not posted or signed as commercial forests and may be fenced and/or gated. The presence of a fence or gate does not prohibit public access to CF lands for fishing, hunting or trapping. (The owner may restrict public access during periods of active commercial logging to ensure public safety). The CF lands are privately owned lands managed for long-term commercial forestry. These lands are under the control of private owners who, through the CF program, allow the public the privilege of fishing, hunting and trapping only. Legal land descriptions of lands listed in this program are available on the DNR webpage at, under Forests, Land & Water. Check county plat map books and/or aerial photographs for exact locations of CF lands. These plat map books and/or photographs are generally available in county, township and U.S. Department of Agriculture offices, or retail stores. Other suggestions for obtaining maps are available on the DNR webpage, under Publications & Maps. Commercial Forest (CF) Lands “Use with Respect”Although the general public has a right to fish, hunt and trap on CF lands, the property is privately owned and subject to normal private property rights. Unless you have permission of the property owner, the right to fish, hunt and trap on the land does not extend to associated activities such as the following: • Littering. • Camping. • The cutting of shooting lanes, or cutting or destruction of brush, trees or other plants for any purpose. • The use of nails, bolts, wire, tree steps or other material or activities which harm, lesson or destroy the value of trees, or create a potentially hazardous wood-harvesting condition. • The temporary or permanent abandonment of property including tree stands or other hunting apparatus.• The construction of blinds or the construction or placement of other structures, except for the gathering of dead materials found on the ground. • Target-shooting or sighting-in firearms. • The use of ORVs or other vehicles on private property when prohibited by fencing or posting. If vehicles are allowed, care should be taken to avoid blocking access to roads or parking areas.A person engaging in an activity not allowed by a property owner may be criminally or civilly liable, or both.If you have questions about this program or specific CF lands, contact the nearest DNR office or DNR Forest, Mineral and Fire Management, PO Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952, or call 517-373-1275. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the State’s natural resources for current and future generations.The Natural Resources Commission is the governing body for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. In providing a strategic framework for the DNR to effectively manage the state’s resources, the NRC works closely with a broad cross-section of constituencies to establish and continuously improve natural resources management policy. Equal Rights for Natural Resource UsersThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) provides equal opportunities for employment and access to Michigan’s natural resources. Both State and Federal laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, sex, height, weight or marital status under the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 as amended (MI PA 453 and MI PA 220, Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act). If you believe that you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility, or if you desire additional information, please write the MDNR, HUMAN RESOURCES, PO BOX 30028, LANSING MI 48909-7528, or the MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL RIGHTS, CADILLAC PLACE, 3054 W. GRAND BLVD., SUITE 3-600, DETROIT MI 48202, or the OFFICE FOR DIVERSITY AND CIVIL RIGHTS, US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, 4040 NORTH FAIRFAX DRIVE, ARLINGTON VA 22203.For information or assistance on this publication, contact the MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, WILDLIFE, PO BOX 30444, LANSING, MI 48909,, TTY: 711(Michigan Relay Center)This publication is available in alternative formats upon. Source: Michigan DNR Some parts of this document were unable to be copied into this press release. Please follow this link to read the entire hunting press release.


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