Fall hunting in Michigan is a tradition that goes back for generations, especially in the Upper Peninsula. While St. Ignace, the first city across the Mackinac Bridge in the UP, is known for its adventures on the Great Lakes, very few know about its excellent hunting opportunities. Read on for 10 Reasons to Go Hunting in St. Ignace, Upper Peninsula, Michigan:
1. Your Chances
If you choose Michigan for your next outing, chances are pretty great that you’ll find success. Statewide in 2018, 49% of hunters harvested a deer in the UP. In St. Ignace, your odds are especially good that you’ll nab a prize, as the Upper Peninsula (UP) has the highest success rate of harvesting an antlered buck at 37.3%.
2. The UP
Not only does the UP have fantastic odds, but you’ll have plenty of different areas to scout. 40% of the Upper Peninsula is Public Lands, meaning that about 6,550 square miles, or over 4 million acres, are open for hunting.
3. St. Ignace: Gateway to the UP & Beyond
Not only is St. Ignace situated near thousands of acres of public lands populated by wild game, but you can easily reach all of the Eastern UP with comfortable, scenic drives. There’s a national forest to the direct north, state parks to northwest, and picturesque Drummond Island to the east. Also within easy grasp across the Mackinac Bridge are state lands in the northern lower peninsula at Wilderness State Park.
4. Hiawatha National Forest
Of course, Hiawatha National Forest is a reason on its own to go hunting in the UP. With nearly a million acres of public land open for hunting and shorelines of three of the five great lakes (Lakes Superior, Huron and Michigan), it’s easy to see why.
5. Hidden Gem
Given its bountiful resources, it’s surprising that the eastern UP region, where St. Ignace is located, features the fewest number of deer hunters out of any region in Michigan at 18,051 – just 22% of all hunters in the UP and 1% of total in the state. Take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts!
6. Straits of Mackinac
Sitting at the southernmost point of the Straits of Mackinac between both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, St. Ignace is a major seasonal migration point. At these points in the year, the marshes, coastal flyways, and ponds surrounding the city positively fill with waterfowl.
7. The Lodging
A wide variety of lodging and outfitter options are also available in St. Ignace, ensuring that you leave with your trophy the right way. You can also find local businesses that offer supplies and advice, charters and guides to meet your hunting needs. During hunting season, there are affordable, easy, and comfortable hotel options including 4 on the lakefront for you to choose from. There are even 10 pet-friendly hotels which are a particularly good option if you’re bringing your hunting companion!
The Michigan DNR hosts an interactive map, MiHUNT, which shows approximate boundaries of both public and private land available to the public for hunting. It has filters that show cover, terrain types, trails, nearby towns, and recreational facilities. You can use it to identify specific points on a map as well as find directions. Check out their tutorials!
9. The Game
One of the most important aspects of hunting is game and St. Ignace is known for Deer, Bear, Partridge, Turkey, Geese, Ducks, Rabbit, and Squirrel hunting. For those looking for Trapping/Fur Harvesting, you can go for Bobcat, Coyote, Fox (Gray and Red), Racoon, Badger, Beaver, Muskrat, Mink, Otter, and Raccoon. For hunting season dates for each, see below.
10. The Land
Lands open to the public for hunting nearby St. Ignace contain every type of cover and terrain a hunter could want including from Aspen to Oak, uplands to lowlands, wetlands to rocky areas, and dunes to beaches. To round it all out, St. Ignace will be surrounded by stunning Fall Colors as well as near waters like the Great Lakes and inland rivers if you want to take a day to go fishing instead.
- Early Anterless Firearm: Sept. 21-22, 2019
- Archery: Oct. 1 - Nov. 14, 2019 and Dec. 1, 2019 - Jan. 1, 2020
- Regular Firearm: Nov. 15-30, 2019
- Muzzleloading: Zone 1: Dec. 6-15, 2019
- Late Antlerless Firearm: Dec. 23, 2019 - Jan. 1, 2020
Pheasant (male only): Oct. 10-31
Cottontail Rabbit and Snowshoe Hare: Sept. 15 - Mar. 31
Quail: Oct. 20 - Nov. 14
Bear: September & October (Apply)
Fall Wild Turkey: Sept. 15 – Nov. 14 (Apply)
Ducks: Sept. 28 - Nov. 24 and Nov. 30 - Dec. 1
Geese: Sept. 1-30 and Oct. 5 - Dec. 20
Quail: Oct. 20 – Nov. 14
Squirrel (Fox and Gray): Sept. 15 – Mar 31
Before you go, check out how to purchase a hunting license in Michigan if you don’t already have one and explore all the great places to book your stay in St. Ignace. Click here to learn more about hunting in Michigan!
Be sure to check out all the other outdoor recreation opportunities in St. Ignace while you’re at it. Sign-up for St. Ignace’s newsletter for the latest details on all the events, and feel free to request a visitor guide, and book your stay today!