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Michigan Hunting License

Hunters in MI are required to have a valid Michigan hunting license prior to heading out on any hunting trips taking place on state land. Hunters found to be removing wildlife from public land without a proper hunting permit will be charged with poaching, which is a punishable offense that incurs both fines and other penalties, such as jail time. To complete the hunting license application process in MI, hunters must apply through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which regulates and issues all licenses to hunt. Both resident and non resident prospective hunters are welcome to apply for a hunting license through the state wildlife department. Each hunting license is categorized by a number of factors such as the applicant's age, his or her residency status, the type of animal the applicant plans on hunting and how long he or she would like the license to be valid for. Prior to buying Michigan hunting licenses though, hunters must first complete any hunter education requirements laid out by the state wildlife department. Each hunter education course covers a variety of topics including firearm safety, survival skills, wildlife management and conservation and hunting ethics. Following successful completion of the hunter education requirements, prospective hunters can present their certificate of completion along with all required documents (i.e. proof of identity, proof of residency and proof of age) and the hunting license fee to a local Department of Natural Resources office to complete the hunting license application. Applicants can submit hunting license applications in person or online. To find out more about how to get hunting licenses, read the topics discussed below:

  • Types of Michigan hunting licenses
  • How to buy Michigan hunting licenses
  • Hunting education courses in Michigan
  • Replacing Michigan hunting licenses


What types of hunting licenses are available in Michigan?

Hunters in Michigan must possess a valid hunting permit prior to hunting wildlife on state-owned lands. Michigan hunting licenses are regulated and issued by the Department of Natural Resources to both residents and visitors of the state. Hunting license types are classified based on a number of factors such as the applicant’s age, residency status, the type of animal they will be catching using the license and the length of the license’s validity before expiration. Prior to submitting a hunting license application, take a few moments to become familiar with the various hunting licenses available.

Michigan hunting permits are issued with an initial base residential hunting license or non resident hunting license. From there, hunters can buy additional permits that give them more privileges. Hunting permits include privileges for hunting deer, bear, elk, turkey, waterfowl and more. Non residents also have access to a short-term seven-day small game hunting permit.

Additional discounted permits are available for minors (junior hunting licenses) and senior citizens 65 years of age or older (senior hunting licenses). For hunters who also enjoy fishing, the Department of Natural Resources also offers a combination hunting and fishing license.

The department has available a military hunting license for fully disabled military veterans. Military hunting licenses are available free of charge. All base licenses allow for small game hunting, with the option of buying additional permits to hunt big game.

How do I purchase hunting licenses in Michigan?

Buying hunting licenses can be done through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in a number of ways. Prior to completing the hunting license application though, hunters should make sure they know exactly which hunting permit they require. Once a license to hunt has been found, submit the hunting license application either in person or online. To buy hunting licenses in person, visit a local Department of Natural Resources customer service center. Hunters can also buy hunting licenses at a local authorized licensing agent. To buy hunting licenses online, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources e-licensing system. Online applicants must submit certain personal information including their name, age, date of birth, address and Social Security Number.

Depending on the applicant’s residency or citizenship status, he or she may need to provide documentation during the hunting license application process to prove his or her identity and legal presence in the U.S.

Am I required to take any hunting classes to be eligible for a Michigan hunting license purchase?

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources requires all hunters born after January 1, 1960 to take a hunter safety course before they are allowed to buy a hunting license. Exemptions to this rule are made for applicants of apprentice hunting licenses. Apprentices must be accompanied at all times by a licensed adult while out on hunts.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources hunter education courses are offered all year through the MDNR and focus on certain aspects of hunting education such as:

  • Hunting responsibility
  • Firearm safety
  • Wildlife conservation/identification
  • Game care
  • Wilderness survival
  • First aid

The bulk of classes are offered between August and October each year. Each class consists of between two and five sessions for a total class time of between 10 and 12 classroom hours.

How do I replace hunting licenses in Michigan?

Michigan hunting permits are required to conduct any hunting activities within the state. In the event that a hunter loses his or her hunting license, he or she will need to obtain a duplicate before heading out for another hunting trip.

To obtain a duplicate hunting license, if the original was purchased at a licensing agent, visit a local licensing agent and ask for a reprint. To obtain a duplicate hunting license, if the original was purchased online, find the original email with the PDF hunting license attached to it. Open the PDF form and reprint it to obtain a duplicate hunting license. Additionally, hunters can get a duplicate hunting license by logging in to the e-licensing system using the same credentials used for the original purchase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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