Hunting

Hunger with dog on forest

Many people enjoy the solitude and quiet of hunting.  Hiawatha National Forest provides nearly a million acres of public land open for this and other for the uses.

For accurate information about hunting regulations in Michigan, hunters should review the current year’s MDNR “Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide,” paying particular attention to rules about Baiting, Blinds on Public Lands, and Hunting. The MDNR’s Guide is available at DNR Field Sites and online.  Hunters should pay particular attention to differences between hunting on state land versus National Forest land. 

For recent news and information about hunting on Hiawatha National Forest, visit our News archive page.  Several Aspen age class maps are also available online.

About Using Hunting Blinds on National Forest Lands

While most hunters are responsible and follow the rules, there is growing concern about the incidence of illegal abandoned (or so-called ‘permanent’) blinds on National Forest System lands. The Forest offers several reminders to hunters using hunting blinds and stands on National Forest lands. State of Michigan hunting regulations require that:

  • Hunting blinds and stands on public lands must be portable and temporary.
  • Blinds and stands can be placed no earlier than September 1st, must be removed by the following January 1st.
  • The name, phone number and address of the owner must be posted on the blind/stand.
  • Failure to remove any type of blind, structure, equipment or trash can result in fines, costs, and removal, destruction, impoundment and/or seizure of those items.

Tarpaper hunting blind

Abandoned property, including blinds left in place beyond the State-mandated removal date, can be removed by the agency. Hunters utilizing blinds on National Forest System lands should also be aware that there are some differences between hunting on state land versus National Forest land. For instance, hunters should remember that:

  • All wheeled motor vehicles, including off-highway vehicles (OHVs) are allowed only on National Forest roads and trails shown open on the Forest’s current year Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). Consult the current MVUM to determine which roads, trails and areas are currently available for motorized use. The map is updated annually and is available free of charge on the web at:  www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/hiawatha/maps/MVUM.
  • All cross country motorized travel (off of the designated routes) is prohibited on National Forest System lands, even for baiting or retrieval of game.

Forest Service law enforcement and investigation personnel and other staff will remove abandoned hunting blinds in accordance with the State and federal regulation. For more information about hunting regulations in Michigan, hunters should review the current year’s MDNR “Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide,” 

The Forest Service encourages hunters and the public in general to contact the local National Forest office anytime they notice illegal blinds on federal Forest lands.

For more information on how you can help, or to report illegal blinds or dumpsites, please contact your local National Forest office.