Sportsmen are drawn to Iron County for its superb hunting found in prime forestland and on the many waterways dotting the county. Hunters have opportunities to harvest a trophy white-tailed deer and daily bag limits of grouse, woodcock and waterfowl. With more than 425,000 acres of public land open to hunters, and vast miles of roads and hunting trails offering easy access to prime locations.
Whitetail Deer Hunting Season:
Whitetail Deer begin their season with a reddish brown color in the spring and summer. Eventually they turn grey-brown throughout the fall of & winter. Whitetail Deer males weigh from 130 to 220 pounds, but some have been known to be over 300 pounds.
Woodcock, ruffed grouse, partridge, and a variety of duck species can all be found throughout the Iron County Area. With over 42,000 acres of lakes, area ducks and geese thrive. Dubbed one of the best ruffed grouse hunting areas by the Ruffed Grouse Society, the opportunities are endless within all of our forests. One of the major contributors to the area’s success is the fact that half of our forests are full of aspen – the perfect habitat for grouse and woodcock. Click here to find all bird hunting season dates.
Michigan’s great outdoors are home to many outstanding hunting opportunities. The state’s ruffed grouse get scores of resident and nonresident hunters afield each fall, and with good reason.
Hunting Upper Michigan grouse can be one of the best ways to spend a fall day. You don’t need a ton of gear—yourself, a trusty shotgun, a pocketful of shells, some hunter’s orange, and perhaps a good dog will do. A grouse hunt is never a waste of time, even when you don’t bag any of the tasty birds.
Grouse can elusive, but if you simply open your ears, it’s often quite easy to find them
A wild turkey is an exciting bird to hunt. For a long time, turkey experts said that wild turkeys could never survive a winter in the north. In spite of the experts, in 1994 Wildlife Unlimited launched a project to introduce the wild turkey into Iron County. The project was so successful with an estimated population of 3,000 birds for spring & fall hunt seasons!
Don’t miss the chance to hunt wild turkey. Turkey hunting returned to Michigan in 1965 with a fall season occurring in the Allegan area.
Since 1968, spring seasons have been the primary hunt times. In 1977, there were 5,000 square miles open for spring hunting in the Mio, Baldwin, and Allegan hunting units. By 1991, wild turkeys encompassed about 22,000 square miles of spring hunting area in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. Truly, the wild turkey population range had expanded dramatically. Today, turkeys inhabit most counties, and there are more areas open to spring hunting than at any time in the history of Michigan. In 1977, a hunter’s chances of drawing a license to hunt were about 25 percent. Today, all individuals are guaranteed an opportunity to buy a spring turkey hunting license. In 1977, hunter success was below 10 percent. Today, hunters experience about 30 percent success regardless of whether they hunt the first hunt period or the last period. In 1977, hunters harvested 400 turkeys. Today, over 30,000 turkeys are taken by successful hunters. Michigan is ranked seventh in the nation for turkey harvest trailing Missouri, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, and Mississippi.
Finding a Good Place to Live
Eastern wild turkeys are usually described as permanent residents of mature woodlands; yet, they have adapted to a variety of forest types and cover throughout their range in the Midwest. Trees, shrubs, and grass in close proximity to each other are the key ingredients of good turkey habitat. Trees supply fruits, nuts, catkins, and buds for food, and nighttime roosting sites where turkeys can escape from ground-dwelling predators. Mast-producing trees such as oaks and beeches are especially important food producers. Fruit-producing shrubs also provide important fall and winter food. Grassy openings supply an abundance of insects, seeds, and other foods for adults and especially for poults. Turkeys’ annual home range is roughly two square miles. Click here to find Spring and Fall Turkey Digest.
Spring Wild Turkey Licenses
Application Period: January 1 – February 1
Drawing Results Posted Online: March 1
Leftover Licenses (On sale at 10am)
Fall Wild Turkey Licenses
Application Period: July 1 – August 1
Drawing Results Posted Online: August 11
Leftover Licenses (On sale at 10am)
The black bear population in Iron County is healthy and especially near Amasa, Michigan. Approximately 15,000 – 19,000 black bears (including cubs) roam the hardwood and conifer forests of northern Michigan. About 90 percent of the bear live in the Upper Peninsula MI, while the remaining ten percent are mainly found in the northern Lower Peninsula. Click here for more information.
Bear Hunting License
Application Period: May 1 – June 1
Drawing Results Posted Online: June 29
Leftover Licenses (On sale at 10am)
What is Sporting Clays? Think of it as ‘golf with a shotgun’. Sporting clays is a shotgun shooting game in which clay pigeons are presented to the gunner in ways that mirror the flight patterns of game birds or occasionally rabbits, in their natural habitats. A course consists of several stations which creates entirely new shooting presentations at each station. With variations in trap position, trap speed, shooting position, and flight paths of different types of target size, targets can come from trees, straight down, over your head, quartering … truly any path a real bird may choose. It’s a great way to prepare for bird season. Brule Sporting Clays is located at Ski Brule resort www.skibrule.com.
Shooting is available Friday/ Saturday / Sunday beginning Memorial Day weekend through June and again September / October. Shooting midweek is available by advanced reservation. Sporting Clays shooting is available daily in July & August. Hours are 9-4:00 with last squad out at 3pm. Cost: $20 – 50 Targets and $30 – 100 targets. Gun rental and ammo available at the Clubhouse.
Iron County is one of the top destinations for hunters seeking ruffed grouse and woodcocks. The DNR attributes the high population to the large amount of aspen found in Iron County, and aspen is a favorite habitat for grouse and woodcock. The season goes from mid-September through mid-November. State woodcock hunters should also see bird numbers similar to 2011, Stewart said. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Harvest Information Program survey you take when purchasing a small-game license, Michigan was the top state in the nation for woodcock harvest, with 28,000 hunters killing 107,000 woodcock in 2011. This years Woodcock Season begins September 19 and ends November 2, 2015.
Iron County MI Hunting leaves endless possibility sport year-round. With hundreds of thousands of acres of public hunting land and over forty thousand acres of lakes, Iron County Michigan makes a good home for animals small and large.