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Youth hunt PicYouth Hunt Picture Taken by Kevin Oldenburg

***Application Period will be July 15th- August 15th***

***Leftover permits sold on a first-come first-served basis starting September 9th***


2015 will feature a new white-tailed deer hunt lottery system.  Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will now handle the lottery, permits, and licenses for Deer Management (DMU) Unit 273 (Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge [SNWR] and Shiawassee River State Game Area [SRSGA]).  Applicants can apply for only one hunt at one location (e.g., SNWR or SRSGA).  Leftover permits will be issued on a first-come first-served basis starting September 9th and may be purchased for either area. See 2015 DMU 273 SNWR and SRSGA Reserved Hunt Application Sheet below for detailed information on the deer hunts and application process. 


2015 Deer Management Unit (DMU) 273 Reserved Hunt Application Information (PDF file - 1.8MB).

2015 Deer Season Purchasing Tutorial (PDF file - 3.28MB)

Shiawassee NWR Refuge specific hunting regulations 2015 Deer Hunt Regulations (PDF file - 79KB).  

Shiawassee NWR DMU 273 Hunt Area 3 Map (PDF file - 1.3MB).

Shiawassee NWR DMU 273 Hunt Area 3 Air Photo Map (PDF file - 1.6MB).


To register for the 2015 Shiawassee NWR Deer Hunt visit Or apply in person at any DNR license agent in the State.  For a complete list of all DNR license agents in the State,1607,7-153-10363_14518-34869--,00.html


Youth Hunt (16 and younger) will be held September 19-20th, 2015

Youth hunt participants will have to hunt using supplied hunting blinds.  They will be picked by lottery drawing on--site.

Youths less than 14 are restricted to archery-only hunting. Youth 10-16 must be accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. Youth less than 10 that are hunting under the Mentored Youth Hunting License must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. An adult accompanying a youth cannot possess or carry a firearm or bow and does not need a deer hunting license.  Youth’s parent/guardian must be listed as partner.  Youth hunters must have their hunter safety card. Mentors are available upon request (please contact Shiawassee NWR if selected for this hunt and require a mentor).

**All youth hunters will use blinds for youth hunt 201.**

For deer hunt related questions specific to Shiawassee NWR call the Hunter Message Center at (989) 607-6059

Vehicle Permit

New: Vehicles permits will not be required while hunting at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge.


2015 3-Day Scouting Period  

This year's scouting dates are September 25-27, 2015.  During this 3-day weekend, the entire refuge is open to hiking, bicycling, and deer scouting during daylight hours only. Please note that at this moment, there are no other opportunities for you to scout, but are welcome to use the refuge's trails or the Wildlife Drive (when it's open). Please note that you must stay on the designated trails and route on any day outside of Open House Weekend.  

Tittabawassee River Floodplain Wild Game Consumption Advisory - For more information please read the Michigan Department of Community Health's Eat Safe Wild Gameleaflet. 

2015 White-tailed Deer Hunt

2015 Refuge Deer Hunt Season Results: 596 permits issued across 15 hunt periods which resulted in a total harvest of 131. Overall hunter success rate was 22 percent. For the full report download a copy of the 2015 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report (PDF file - 302 KB).  


2015 Refuge Goose Hunting: October 10th, 2015 - November 12th, 2015  

Download:  Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Goose Hunt Information and Regulations(PDF file - 156 KB). 

9 Goose Hunting Blinds in 2015: Please note that there will be 9 goose hunting blinds available on the refuge. Agricultural lands, where some of the goose blinds were located in the past, have been taken out of production and have been or are now being converted back to wetlands. To reduce clutter and provide more opportunities for quality hunting we have modified our hunting areas and now opened spaces along a designated stretch on the Shiawassee River. 

Look For:  

  •  4 river hunting zones will be available on the Shiawassee River for the 2015 goose hunting season. Hunters will need a boat to access these blinds (boat is the best option for dry land blind zone 5). See 2015 Goose Hunt Map River Zones 1 - 5 (PDF file - 875KB) for river zone locations.
  •  5 dry land hunting zones will be available for hunting.  Fields consist of barley, black beans, soy, and moist soil plants and mudflats. See 2015 Goose Hunting Zones 6 to 9 (PDF file - 101MB).  


Goose hunting dates on the refuge are October 10th, 2015 - November 12th, 2015. A reserved hunt will be held opening weekend on Saturday, October 10 and Sunday, October 11. There MAY be room for stand-by hunters the first weekend, but with fewer blinds this year, there's no guarantee. Thereafter, hunting takes place only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays for the remainder of the season. The last day of goose hunting is Thursday, November 12th, 2015.  

A lottery drawing is held each morning of the hunt at 5:30 a.m. at the refuge headquarters.  Doors open at 5:00 a.m. for registration. Up to four (4) people per blind. There is a $4.00 fee per person; those individuals who meet the age requirements (age 62 or older) and possess an "Interagency Senior Pass" (cost is $10) receive a 50 percent discount. All State waterfowl regulations and refuge regulations apply. Hunters are required to stop shooting at 12:00 noon and drop off survey card(in goose hunt drop box) by 1:00 p.m. whether successful or not. Daily bag limit is two Canada geese per person per day.

2014 Refuge Goose Hunt Season Results: Hunters over 20 days of hunting harvested 65 Canada geese. 

State Information 

Visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for information about State regulations, licenses and more.


2015-2016 Trapping Season 

Furbearer trapping on Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is an important management tool in meeting refuge goals and objectives. Wetland habitats, dike maintenance, and migratory bird management are influenced by furbearer management.

A sealed-bid application system will be used to issue trapping permits. The primary targets of the trapping program are muskrat and raccoon, but other species can be taken pursuant to State of Michigan Trapping laws. River otter and coyote cannot be trapped legally on Shiawassee NWR.

A minimum bid of $200 is required per unit, payment will be made only if successful. A sealed bid including “Shiawassee NWR Trapping Bid” (last page of this packet), is due in the refuge office by 1:00 P.M., Wednesday October 14, 2015. A public opening of the bids will be held at 1:05 P.M. on the same day. Successful applicants shall make a full bid payment by 3:00 P.M., October 21, 2015. Checks shall be made payable to "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service". Trapping parties may bid on all trapping units but parties can only win one of the trapping units (i.e., 1 party cannot win and trap all units). If a trapping party is the highest bidder for multiple units that party will have the choice for which unit they want to trap, the second highest bidder for the other units will win that unit. If units are not bid upon, winning parties will then be offered the remaining units based upon the amount of their bid for those units.

Click on 2015-2016 Trapping Proposal Package to download (PDF file- 783KB) a copy.

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2016
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