top of page


Bear Hunting In Michigan

Hunting Methods - Hounding - Baiting

Before settlers arrived, black bears thrived in the forests of Michigan. The settlers massacred bears without regard, which in turn caused a rapid decline in the bear population.


When Did Bear Hunting Start In Michigan?

1925 was the first regulated Black Bear hunting season.

Is The State Broken Down Into BMUs (Bear management units)?

The State has 10 BMUs which, are:

  • Amasa 

  • Baldwin

  • Baraga

  • Bergland

  • Carney

  • Drummond Island 

  • Gladwin

  • Gwinn

  • Newberry

  • Red Oak 

When Is Bear Hunting Season?

Amasa; Baraga; Bergland; Carney; Gwinn; Newberry

  1. Sept. 9 - Oct. 21 

  2. Sept. 14 - Oct. 26 

  3. Sept. 25 - Oct. 26

Drummond Island

  • Sept. 9 - Oct. 21

Baldwin; Galdwin; and Red Oak

  • Sept. 13 - Sept. 21

Red Oak Archery Only

  • Oct. 2-8


  • The first day of the Red Oak, Baldwin, and Gladwin season (Sept. 16) is for bait-only hunting.

  • The first day of the Baldwin North Area season (Sept. 14) is for bait-only hunting.

  • The last two days of the Red Oak, Baldwin, and Gladwin firearm season (Sept. 23-24) are for bear hunting with dogs only.

  • The Red Oak archery-only season (Oct. 5-11) is for bait-only hunting.

  • The first five days of the first hunt period (Sept. 10-14) are bait-only hunting.

  • During hunt periods (2) and (3), as well as the remainder of the first hunt period, both bait and dogs are permitted.

What Weapons Are Permitted?

Permitted; Archery: Crossbows that use only arrows, bolts, and quarrels that are at least 14 inches in length and tipped with a broadhead point a minimum of 7/8 inches wide.

Firearms: Pneumatic guns (Air Guns) that meet specific requirements for the season, zone, and animal being hunted; Semi-automatic Shotguns or Rifles that can not hold more than six shells in the barrel and magazine combined, unless it is a rimfire of .22 caliber or smaller; Shotguns of any gauge that have a smooth or rifled barrel.

Muzzleloaders: Muzzleloading Rifles or black powder handgun must be loaded with black powder or a commercially manufactured black powder substitute.

Can Hunters Kill Cubs?

No. Killing cubs or mothers with cubs is not legal.

Can Hunters Kill A Bear Over Bait?

Yes. Baiting bears is legal.

Is Dog Hunting Permitted In Michigan?

Yes. Dog hunting is legal.

What Procedure Must Hunters Follow After They Kill A Bear?

Immediately after killing a bear, hunters must validate the license by cutting out the appropriate information as instructed on the license. If running bears with dogs after harvest, hunters have to keep the top portion of their license and tag the bear using the lower portion. The entire or lower portion of the license must then be attached to the bear’s lower jaw. Within 72 hours of harvest, either the unfrozen bear head and pelt, or the entire animal must be brought to a bear registration station to be examined, sealed, and registered.

What Is Their Reasoning For Hunting Bears?

  • Regulating bear population

  • Controlling nuisance problems

  • Recreational opportunity for sportsmen and women

What Is The Government Organization(s), That Is In Charge Of Bear Hunting/Wildlife?

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

When Does The Department of Natural Resources Hold Their Meetings?

The DNR holds monthly meetings. Dates and times, locations, and updates are posted here-,4570,7-350-79137_79763_79909---,00.html

Are The Meeting Open To The Public?

All of their meetings are open to the public and are encouraged to be actively involved.,4570,7-350-79137_79763_79909---,00.html

Who Has The Power To Stop The Hunt?

The Governor and Michigan’s elected General Assembly Members have the authority to introduce and vote on proposed law changes.


Vicki J. Pontz, Chairman of the DNR Commission

Hunt Clubs And Organizations That Participate In And Fund Bear Hunting.

Michigan Bear Hunters Association Inc .-

Outdoor Hub -

Greenwoods Outfitters -

bottom of page