A special hunt is held annually on North Manitou Island (NMI) to control the deer herd and preserve the natural vegetation. A park hunting permit, along with a current Michigan deer hunting license, is required to participate in the one-week hunt. In issuing these permits, the Park Superintendent serves as the agent of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to implement the deer hunt on NMI. Permits are not transferable.
2023 Hunt Date
October 28 through November 4, 2023
Submitting an Application
Applications for the 2023 hunt may be submitted between January 1, 2023 and August 31, 2023
Applications may be mailed, emailed or faxed. Each hunter must complete an individual application. A non-refundable $50.00 application fee is required before a permit will be processed. Pay.gov is the preferred method of payment. Fees may also be paid by charge card or check. Checks should be made payable to National Park Service. Groups may send one check for all the hunt applications in their party.
Mail applications to
Email applications to Dawn_Majewski@nps.gov
Information on transportation to and from the Island may be obtained from Manitou Island Transit, P.O. Box 1157, Leland, Michigan, 49654, telephone 231-256-9061. Reservations are required for ferry service during the hunt. Please make your reservations early to assist Manitou Island Transit in trip planning. The Manitou Island Transit ferry is expected to transport hunters from Leland to North Manitou Island on October 27 (the day before the hunt begins) and return hunters to Leland on Saturday, November 4.
Dock facilities are very limited on North Manitou Island and access is heavily dependent on weather conditions. Neither the National Park Service nor the Department of Natural Resources guarantee that transportation to or from the island will coincide with the desired transport time. Should hazardous weather prevent a scheduled pick up, hunters should be prepared to spend additional days on the island.
When transporting equipment, it is very important that all equipment be well packed and labeled with the owner’s name and address and all firearms must be unloaded and cased.
Charter boats must have a current commercial use authorization with the park to be able to transport hunters to the Island. Hunters may arrange transportation with a charter company and arrive on the Island before the first day of the hunt. A backcountry camping permit is required for any nights spent on the Island outside of the one-week hunt. Hunters are not permitted to hunt deer with a firearm before the park-managed hunt begins on Saturday.
Access by private boats is not recommended due to inadequate safe docking and lack of a protected harbor. We strongly recommend that you use the Manitou Island Fishing Charters or have a friend drop you off. Do not bring your boat and expect a safe anchorage or dock facility!
Last updated: January 9, 2023