Penalties for Michigan Hunters: Taking Game Out of Season and Baiting

Penalties for Michigan Hunters: Taking Game Out of Season and Baiting

For many Michigan residents, including those of us at the Law Office of John Freeman, the coming of fall means a new hunting season is not far away. Popular in the state and throughout the Midwest, hunters are in preparation mode. With the challenges faced since the early part of the year, they are likely anxious to get out of the house and enjoy their favorite outdoor activity.

The Michigan DNR website has a page devoted to hunting seasons. From house sparrows to bears, the timing and length of hunts for particular animals vary. Crows and ruffled grouses have two seasons where the animals have brief respites in between. Hunting deer, a highly popular activity for state residents, have staggered times with specific dates for hunters with disabilities and particular weapons uses, such as bows, regular firearms, and muzzleloaders.

Knowing Hunting Laws Can Make a Difference

The laws governing hunting in Michigan are complex and lengthy. Knowing the specific regulations for each animal is challenging. However, that knowledge can mean the difference between a successful and legal hunt or serious criminal charges.  Every year we represent hunters who allegedly violate the law and face criminal charges.

Hunting game out of season carries fines up to $500 combined with a maximum of 90 days in jail. Financial restitution is determined by the number of animals and whether they were antlered and the number of points.  Taking game over unlawful bait is also a common violation.  These cases can be costly.

The consequences do not end there. Hunters could see their hunting privileges revoked for the remainder of a season and beyond. Antlered deer, in particular, could lengthen a suspension with a second offense penalty of several years. Convictions can also lead to a hunter serving mandatory jail time and forfeiting their weapon.

Therefore, it is vital to know the rules and adhere to them.  If law enforcement believes you have broken the rules and issues you a ticket or takes you into custody, it is important to contact an outdoors attorney immediately.  John Freeman is an avid hunter and fisherman.  He understands the outdoors.  He and his staff stand ready to defend you against any claim that you broke the law while hunting or fishing.  If you need help, call us right away.   We are always ready to defend you. Even if Mr. Freeman is in his tree stand or ground blind when you call, we are able to help.  And, in the case of an emergency, Mr. Freeman is available 24/7.

Stay safe and enjoy the hunt!