Search

Michigan Hunting Laws and Regulations - Bear

The State of Michigan has long been recognized as a sportsman paradise, littered with endless opportunities to hunt, fish, trap, and otherwise enjoy the great outdoors. In Michigan, the law enforcement agency responsible for policing these activities is the Michigan Department of Natural Resources or “DNR.” Each year the DNR produces a "Hunting Digest” detailing the rules and laws that apply to hunting in Michigan. That digest is available on the DNR website HERE. The DNR also publishes a "Black Bear Digest" available on the DNR website HERE.

It is important that you understand the laws and regulations for the area and game you are hunting in Michigan. Some hunting related offenses can vary based on the county where the offense took place and can be difficult to navigate. Before heading out, research the county and local municipality in which you are hunting to learn of any specific laws and regulations for that area. It is also a great idea to review the DNR Hunting Digest, as it details where and when you can hunt, what equipment you are allowed to hunt with, as well as other ancillary laws. While this blog is not intended to be all encompassing, Bondy Law, PLLC wants you to be prepared for your upcoming hunting experience. In the unfortunate event that you find yourself being investigated with a hunting related offense or charged criminally, it is imperative that you have a lawyer who knows what it takes to defend DNR cases and obtain the best outcome for you and/or your loved one. Contact Bondy Law, PLLC today. We know what it takes to win these cases.


Common Hunting Offenses - Bear


Hunting a Bear without a Valid Bear Kill Tag (C3.201) – You must be issued a bear kill tag by the DNR in order to hunt bear in Michigan. You also must be able to provide the tag and bear license to a conservation officer when asked. If you fail to do so you could face up to 90 days imprisonment, a fine between $50 and $500, and the loss of your hunting license at the discretion of the court pursuant to MCL 324.43559.


Possessing a Bear without a Validated Kill Tag Attached (C3.201(2)) – After killing a bear, you must immediately validate the kill tag with the appropriate information and attach it to the lower jaw securely. The tag must remain on the bear until it is registered and sealed by the department. If you fail to validate you tag and attach it correctly, you could face up to 90 days imprisonment, a fine between $50 and $500, and the loss of your hunting license at the discretion of the court pursuant to MCL 324.43559.


Illegal Taking or Possession of a Bear – Over Limit (C3.201(6), MCL 324.40118(3)) – The season limit is 1 bear per bear kill tag. If you go over this limit, you could face between 5- and 90-days imprisonment, a fine between $200 and $1,000, restitution of $3500 per bear, and the loss of your hunting license for the remainder of the year plus the 3 following calendar years, pursuant to MCL 324. 40118(7).


Illegal Taking or Possession of a Bear – Closed Season (C3.203, MCL 324.40118(3)) – If you hunt bears outside the season designated by the DNR, you could face between 5- and 90-days imprisonment, a fine between $200 and $1,000, restitution of $3,500 per bear, and the loss of your hunting license for the remainder of the year plus the three following calendar years, pursuant to MCL 324. 40118(7).


Hunt Over or Use of Unlawful Bail Materials for Bear (C3.205(11)) – You may only place a bear bait station 31 days before open season. You can use meat and meat products, bakery/confectionary products, and other cooked or commercially processed products. You must also place the bait on public or commercial forest land. You cannot use things like metal containers, plastic, wood, concrete, glass, fabric, cloth, paper, and other man-made products. If you violate this order you could face up to 90 days imprisonment, a fine between $50 and $500, and the loss of your hunting license at the discretion of the court pursuant to MCL 324.43559.


Failure to Register Bear within 72 Hours (C3.207(1)) – You must bring the entire bear, or just the head, to the department to be examined, sealed, and registration. If you fail to do so you could face up to 90 days imprisonment, a fine between $50 and $500, and the loss of your hunting license at the discretion of the court pursuant to MCL 324.43559.