Michigan offers plenty of October upland game birds

Michigan is rich with opportunities to hunt a variety of upland game birds this month, with several seasons already open and other openers on the way.

Currently open are ruffed grouse and woodcock hunting. Ruffed grouse season runs through Nov. 14 and then reopens Dec. 1-Jan. 1, while woodcock season is open through Nov. 4.

Other key seasons include:

Zone 1 (Upper Peninsula) pheasant hunting is open Oct. 10-31 in all of Menominee County and portions of Delta, Dickinson, Iron and Marquette counties.

Pheasant hunting in zones 2 and 3 (Lower Peninsula) runs Oct. 20-Nov. 14.

Sharp-tailed grouse hunting is open Oct. 10-31 in the eastern portions of Chippewa and Mackinac counties.

Upland game bird hunters will need a Michigan base license. Additionally, anyone hunting pheasant or sharp-tailed grouse will need a free pheasant/sharp-tailed grouse endorsement on their hunting license, except for those hunting pheasant only on hunting preserves. Woodcock hunters need a free woodcock stamp, which includes the federal HIP endorsement.

Base hunting licenses and free stamps and endorsements can be purchased online or anywhere licenses are sold.

Bag limits, season dates and information about game bird hunting is available in the 2019 Hunting Digest or at Michigan.gov/Hunting in the small game section.

Those interested in hearing more about upland game bird opportunities are invited to listen to the October episode of the DNR’s Wildtalk Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or online at Michigan.gov/Wildlife.

Looking for a place that offers premier bird hunting? Check out Michigan’s grouse enhanced management sites. These GEMS include walking trails, parking lots and information kiosks. Learn more at Michigan.gov/GEMS. Explore additional tools for finding public hunting lands at Michigan.gov/MiHUNT.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division, 517-284-9453.