Public Land ??????


New member
Hello. I got into Pheasant hunting a couple years ago. My friend invited me to a hunt at a hunting preserve. Although I found it fun and now have "the bug"....preserve hunting is expensive.

Can anyone direct me to public hunting land in Michigan that is good for Pheasant hunting? I live in the Southern Lower peninsula, but would be willing to travel a reasonable distance to find a good pheasant hunting spot.

Any suggestions?
Michigan Public Land

I Lived in northern Indiana for over 50 years and hunted the lower portion of Michigan for many years. Allegan County has many acres of state land that is open for upland hunting. If you go on Michigans dnr website and look around you will find a map that shows all the state land available to you. Believe me, upland hunting for pheasant on state property is not for the faint of heart. Birds will be far and few between. Your compatition for land will be great. On the other hand waterfowl hunting in Michigan is first class , but upland not so good.
Where are the Pheasants

Thanks Chip.

Yea, I'm getting that idea. I guess I should've known that pheasants are scarce around here. I have hunted deer in Michigan for almost 30years and during that time I only jumped one pheasant walking through fields. So, where in the midwest are there a lot of pheasant? If you were going to take a pheasant hunting vacation, where would you go?
I currently live in Virginia , however before moving here I lived in South Bend Indiana. I've hunting pheasants for 40 years. For many many years the only upland huting I have done in Mich or Ind had been either game farms in Mich or put and take in Indiana. The reason I hunted that way is because there are very few birds anymore. So in about 1989 we started making a trip to Iowa. The first year we went there it has great, but every year there after the hunting declined. After going in the same area for 6 years the last year we went I hunted opening weekend From 8am to 4 pm and only had one shot and that was one over 40 yds. This area was only about a 6 hour drive from
where I lived so I scouted the area every summer. The point I'm making is we did our homework the hunting just declined in Iowa. After that last year we decided to go all the way to South Dakota. I am really happy we did. South Dakota is a whole differant deal. Before we hunted the first year I went on a 3 day scouting trip. I bet I saw 1000 birds, I couldn't believe it. That year we hunting public land. We did well ,but we didn't come anywhere close to a limit. It was fun. Since that first trip to SD we have been hunting private land. We limit out MOST of the time not always. It is a little expensive at about $1000 for the trip , but for my guys and I it is worth every nickle.
I agree with Chip, if you are looking for great pheasant hunting, South Dakota would be hard to beat. This will be my third year going there and just can't imagine how it could get much better. It doesn't hurt the recently South Dakota has had 40 year high in numbers of birds, but I think even in their bad years the hunting would still be good. We usually hunt public land and do well, but last year I took my boys to some private land that is managed for pheasants and it was incredible.

Here in Michigan there is still pockets of birds, but most hunters aren't going to give their favorite spots away. Get the book that has the state game areas (there are two for lower Michigan and the other for upper Michigan) by county and go from there. You will find plenty of places to hunt and most areas with good habitat will have at least a few birds. You sure won't see the numbers like they do out west but it's still pheasant hunting and good work for your dog. Good luck hunting this fall.

Hey Mike,
I was just browsing and caught your question out of the corner of my eye and decided to comment.I also had the hardest time finding good public land to hunt here in MI.The best that I found was in the thumb.The Verona state game area holds good numbers,give it a run,,,,,,,,,,,,,Onenation.
Hey Mike,
I've been bird hunting Michigan for over 30 yrs with dogs. The pheasant hunting is on the very poor side considering your other options. Up until last year, I'd average 6-10 birds a season over my pups. This included my buddy hunting with me. Alot of them were on HAP land (Hunters Access Program). But last year took a turn for the worse. Most all of my favorite spots were pulled out of the program as it was worth more farming corn due to the crop rates. So not a single bird last year as I found out the farms were closed when I pulled up opening morning :(

So now I've decided to not hunt wild pheasants in Michigan. Rather, I'll spend the time hunting grouse and woodies up North. So instead of the usual 2-3 weekends in the North woods, I'll be spending 6-8 weekends this year. As we have some of the best grouse and woodcock hunting in the nation a few hours away :cheers: I would suggest you hunt for them rather than the endangered Michigan pheasant.

Grouse hunting

I am looking for good areas for grouse and pheasant around the following counties: Clare, Missaukee, Roscommon, Osceola. I have never hunting michigan before and am needing help.
There are 100 acres of state owned property that is planted for habitat just north of Caro. It is hunted hard, but I have found if you hunt it slow and from different ways, you can get birds. It does help to have blockers at the end of the corn, if they plant corn this year! I have moved to Colorado for the winter,so I haven't been there this year but I ran the dog after season ended and found birds! It's best to go thru the week if you can, not as much pressure, like Tues-Thurs. or even Fri am. Good luck!