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Hunting & Fishing

Hunting


Preparing for antlerless deer hunting will be a little different this year, as most deer hunters will not need to apply for an antlerless license. Hunters in specific areas may need to apply for an access permit.

For most deer hunters, a universal antlerless license is all that will be needed to hunt antlerless deer. This license is valid on public and private lands in all deer seasons. It can be used across deer management units open to antlerless deer hunting.

Select hunters will need to apply for an access permit to hunt deer in certain areas of the Upper Peninsula and in reserved deer hunts at the Sharonville State Game area, Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, Shiawassee River National Wildlife Refuge and Shiawassee River State Game Area.

In the Upper Peninsula, new deer management units 351 and 352 will require an access permit and a universal antlerless license to hunt antlerless deer. Both are required for each deer harvested. One thousand access permits will be available in each of these two DMUs.

Also, in the U.P., DMUs 022, 122, 055, 155, 255, and 121 are open to antlerless hunting without an access permit, while DMUs 127, 066, 031, 131, 042, 007 and 048 are closed to antlerless deer hunting.

Applications for limited-hunt access permits may be purchased for $5.00 from license agents or online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses now through August 15.

Learn more about universal antlerless licenses and the access permit drawing in the 2021 Hunting Digest or at Michigan.gov/Deer.

In another step toward resuming regular operations, Michigan DNR customer service centers and certain field offices opened to the public Tuesday, July 20, starting a three-days-per-week schedule – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – that will last through Labor Day.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices sell hunting and fishing licenses and fuelwood permits and answer questions about hunting and fishing regulations, trails and many other outdoor recreation topics. Residents and visitors frequently stop at these locations while traveling throughout Michigan and staff is eager to reopen the doors to the public.

Fishing

The DNR hopes all anglers are getting great catches. They suggest everyone checks out the DNR Summer Fishing Forecast to see what fishing opportunities are available across Michigan. Also, they reminder all anglers 17 years of age or older are required to have a fishing license.

South Haven pier anglers had slow fishing for all species except freshwater drum. A few perch anglers did very well, but fishing has been slow. Most anglers were fishing south of the piers in 35 to 40 feet of water.

Salmon anglers fishing from boats had very slow fishing and the few chinook and steelheads that they caught, seemed to be extremely scattered. Boaters were fishing from 80 feet of water to very deep.

Boat anglers out of St. Joseph that were targeting salmon caught a mix of chinook, coho, lake trout and steelhead. The best catches were in 120 feet of water and deeper. Perch fishing was very slow with the best depths being around 30 feet of water.

Pier anglers were catching freshwater drum and some steelheads when using alewife or worms. Pier anglers were also catching a few catfish and a small number of steelheads were caught on shrimp.

In Grand Haven, good numbers of salmon and trout were caught in 80 to 170 feet of water. Anglers were finding the best action down 40 to 100 feet. Pier action was very slow for steelhead. The larger chinook was coming in on meat rigs, flies and j-plugs.

This week’s DNR fishing tip is how to fish for bass at night. With summer in full swing, fish can become quite lethargic. For certain species, such as bass, anglers just might want to tweak the time of day they set out.

Some of the best bass fishing this time of year occurs during the first hour or so after dark. Bass can still be found at dusk and dawn, but that first hour or two after dark can be exceptional. After dark, they tend to move into the shallows in search of an easy meal.

A change in technique may still be needed, though. Since after dark someone fishing can’t see the weed line or other underwater structures, fishing with subsurface lures is not recommended. It is time for surface presentations.

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