The Best Places to Hunt Deer in Michigan


Michigan is well known for its deer population. It has one of the highest annual whitetail harvests in North America, and the state is popular among trophy hunters and recreational hunters alike. It also offers a wide range of hunting conditions, from the open areas and sparse woods of the south to the big, denser woods of the Upper Peninsula.

Jackson County

  • Michigan's south central district long has had the highest overall success rate for deer hunters of all kinds. In 2010, "North American Whitetail" reported the area around Jackson had become a popular area for trophy hunting, especially for big typicals (bucks with symmetrical or “typical” antlers). "Game and Fish" reported Jackson County produced the highest scoring typical for 2003, and this kind of record is more a rule than an exception. Jackson County is in the southern part of the state along US-127. Because of its popularity among hunters, it is home to a number of designated game areas, the largest of which is Sharonville State Game Area.

Washtenaw County

  • Washtenaw County, Michigan, the county adjacent to Jackson to the east, also is known as a hotspot for big game, according to "Game and Fish." Waterloo State Recreation Area of Jackson and Washtenaw County is open to hunting between Sept.15 and March 31 as of 2010 and offers opportunities for camping, fishing, boating and hiking. At 20,000 acres, Waterloo State Recreation Area is the largest park in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, so it’s an excellent place to hunt freely over a large area of land.

Upper Peninsula

  • Michigan’s Upper Peninsula also is an excellent place for deer hunting. The highest concentration of deer is in the southern part of the peninsula, in Menominee, Delta, Dickinson, Iron and southern Marquette counties. These areas aren’t as populated with deer as the south-central counties in the Lower Peninsula, but they have the benefit of being far less populated by humans. If you want to go on a hunting trip with accommodations, this is a great area to explore. The Upper Peninsula has a number of farms, ranches and wildlife areas that cater specifically to deer hunters. Macaulay's Upper Michigan deer hunting farm covers 1,200 acres and has a ranch that can be rented for parties of six or fewer. The ranch is in Luce County off Highway M-28, 1/2-mile west of the intersection with M-117. Limberlost Farm in Atlanta, Michigan, also offers guided hunts and all-inclusive vacation packages.

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  • Photo Credit deer image by Henryk Olszewski from
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