A special deer hunt is conducted on North Manitou Island 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 this hunt. In issuing these permits, the park superintendent serves as the agent of the Department of Natural Resources to implement the deer hunt on North Manitou Island. Permits are not transferable.
Each hunter must send in an individual application. A NON-REFUNDABLE $25.00 application fee is required for the October 28 through November 4, 2017 hunt period before a permit will be processed. Make checks payable to National Park Service. Groups may send one check for all the hunt applications in their party. Fees may also be paid by charge card or submitted through pay.gov at https://www.pay.gov/public/home.
2017 North Manitou Island Deer Hunt Application
Bow: October 1 through October 27, 2017. An NPS hunting permit is NOT required. Please follow Michigan DNR bow hunting regulations. Hunters must obtain a backcountry permit.
Firearm - Muzzleloader and Rifle: October 28 through November 4, 2017 (Bow hunting is also allowed during this period)
- The baiting of deer on North Manitou Island is prohibited.
- All hunters are required to wear hunter orange at all times in accordance with Michigan Department of Natural Resources regulations.
- Wilderness management restrictions apply to camping on the Island.
- Small wood burning stoves will be allowed only inside tents. Ashes must be cold when disposed of by burying.
- Carts and other wheeled devices are allowed for the North Manitou Island deer hunt but are restricted to one or two-wheeled buck totes only.
- During the October 28 through November 4, 2017 hunt season on North Manitou Island, all hunters are required to check in with the rangers upon arrival on the island and attend the ranger orientation.
Bag LimitThere is no bag limit on the number or sex of the deer that can be taken during the October 28 through November 4, 2017 hunt season on North Manitou Islan. Deer taken legally during this period with a rifle, muzzleloader, or bow will not count against the hunter's regular deer season bag limit on the mainland. Park rangers will affix a special North Manitou Island deer tag to each legally taken deer.
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 hunts. Manitou Island Transit ferry is expected to transport hunters from Leland to North Manitou Island on Saturday, October 28 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. Weather may prevent the ferry from making a scheduled pick up so hunters should be prepared to spend additional days on the island until the ferry can run. We highly recommend you monitor the weather closely and call Manitou Island Transit’s main phone number (231-256-9061) towards the end of the hunt week to see if the pick-up schedule has changed.
When transporting equipment on the ferry, 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.
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 Ferry Service or have a friend drop you off. Do not bring your boat and expect a safe anchorage or dock facility! If you have any other questions regarding the hunt, please call park headquarters at 231-326-4741.
No services will be provided and all hunters will need to arrange their own transportation and bring all supplies including drinking water, or bring a water purification device. National Park Service island facilities and operations will be shut down by late September. Hunters need to be self-sufficient to survive for a period of time that may be longer than originally planned.
Food and supplies are not available on the island.