Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore does allow hunting. Michigan hunting seasons often coincide with very popular visitation periods by non-hunters to the Lakeshore, such as during the time of changing fall colors. The Lakeshore Ranger staff asks both hunters and non-hunters to follow a few park rules and regulations and to work together in order to have a safe and enjoyable visit. A special Deer Hunt is also conducted on North Manitou Island each year.
Learn about the North Manitou Island Deer Hunt.
The Lakeshore Ranger staff recommends that non-hunters, who visit the Lakeshore during hunting seasons, wear blaze orange or other brightly colored clothing. Also, non-hunters should consider only hiking on marked, designated trails and beaches to minimize contact with active hunters. The Ranger staff can assist non-hunters with additional information concerning hunting and when the different hunting seasons occur within the Park.
Areas Closed to Hunting
The majority of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is open to hunting. However, most high visitor use areas and facilities are closed and include a 450 foot safety zone. The safety zone is defined as the area beginning at the edge or exterior boundary of any road, site, or development and extending outward for 450 feet. Hunting is not allowed at or near
- All occupied structures
- Platte River Campground
- D.H. Day Campground
- White Pine and Backcountry Campgrounds
- D.H. Day Group Campground
- The Village Campground on North Manitou Island
- Weather Station, Bay, and Popple Campgrounds on South Manitou Island
- Village areas on North and South Manitou Island
- Stocking Scenic Drive - when open to motor vehicles
- Glen Lake Picnic Area
- Good Harbor Picnic Area
Rules and Regulations
Hunters are asked to be familiar with both the State of Michigan and federal rules and regulations concerning hunting in Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Many park visitors are unaware that hunting activities may be ongoing within the Lakeshore.
Information on State of Michigan hunting regulations can be found in the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guides. National Park Service regulations are not contained in those guides. Following are some of the regulations which hunters will need to be aware of:
- Entrance fees are required when using park lands and waters.
- The cutting of standing trees (alive or dead) and branches, or the possession of green vegetation is prohibited.
- Digging or disturbing soils or vegetation is not permitted.
- Vehicles or other wheeled devices are not allowed off roads.
- Ground blinds may be built with natural dead or downed materials, but they must be dismantled at the end of the hunting season. When dismantling ground blinds, the area must be returned to its original, natural setting. All blinds must be removed within seven days after the close of the season.
- All trash and other man-made materials must be packed out and deposited in trash receptacles.
- Marking trees to locate trails using spray paint, colored flagging, or reflective tacks and similar materials is prohibited. The blazing of trees is not allowed.
- Tree stands and climbing devices must be in compliance with Michigan Department of Natural Resources Regulations and must not penetrate or damage the bark of the tree.
- Target shooting or the sighting in of weapons is prohibited.
- Hunters can hunt with dogs when they are used in compliance with Michigan Department of Natural Resources Regulations. However, training hunting dogs within the Lakeshore is prohibited.
- Trapping is prohibited in the Lakeshore.