Michigan’s Bear Hunting Season Opens Today in the U.P.

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Lansing, MI — September 6, 2023

Michigan bear hunters, the wait is over, depending on where you hunt. Today is the opening day for hunt period 1 in the Upper Penisula. Saturday marks the opener for the lower counties. Complete hunt dates are listed.

Upper Peninsula

Season dates for Bergland, Baraga, Amasa, Carney, Gwinn, Newberry, and Drummond Island bear management units:

  • Hunt period 1: Sept. 6 – Oct. 21.
  • Hunt period 2: Sept. 11 – Oct. 26.
  • Hunt period 3: Sept. 25 – Oct. 26.

Lower Peninsula

Season dates for Red Oak, Baldwin, and Gladwin units are Sept. 9-19 and Oct. 6-12

It is important to be aware of regulations that apply to all bear hunters.

Bear Registration

Within 72 hours of harvesting a bear, the hunter must take the unfrozen bear head and pelt, or the entire animal, to a bear registration station to be registered and sealed.

Michigan DNR Bear Registration Stations Link

Bear Meat: Preventing Trichinosis

Trichinellosis, also called trichinosis, is a disease that people can get by eating raw or undercooked meat from animals infected with the microscopic parasite trichinella. In the lower 48 states, cases have been detected in black bears. Animals infected with trichinella usually don’t appear to be sick, and the parasite is microscopic, so it cannot be seen in infected meat with the naked eye.

You can prevent trichinosis by properly handling and cooking meat. Whole cuts and ground meat from wild game animals should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. A meat thermometer should be used because color is not a good indicator of doneness for game meat. After handling meat, wash hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water and disinfect all equipment and work surfaces. Learn more about trichinosis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bear Hunting Regulations

Find the 2023 Bear Hunting Regulations Summary online at Michigan.gov/Bear or view it in the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app. The app is available:

After downloading the app to your Apple or Android device, select the “Regulations and Info” button to view and download all the current regulations summaries.

If you have any questions about the app, call the DNR licensing customer service staff at 517-284-6057 during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Young Hunters Eligible for Free Bear Management Cooperator Patch

Michigan’s bear management cooperator patch program is coordinated by the Michigan Bear Hunters Association in partnership with the DNR. Anyone may purchase a patch for $7. Young hunters, 17 years old and younger, who have a valid bear hunting license may receive a free patch.

Order a patch online or send your name and complete address and a check or money order payable to the Michigan Bear Hunters Association or a legible copy of a youth’s valid bear hunting license to MBHA, Bear Patch Program, 10510 Fairgrieve Road, Johannesburg, MI 49751.