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Youth hunt PicYouth Hunt Picture Taken by Kevin Oldenburg


2015 Refuge Deer Hunt: September 19th - January 1st, 2016

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

This year will feature a new lottery system.  Michigan Department of Natural Resources will now handle lottery, permits, and licenses for Shiawassee NWR. The process to register for Shiawassee NWR hunts are now the same as registering for other state lottery based hunts.  Please refer to this webpage for refuge specific information and regulations. Final information sheets will be posted at a later date. 


To find information on our Pre-Registered Hunt Schedule download 2015 Deer Hunt Schedule (PDF file - 304KB).


**Note: September 19-20th, 2015 is reserved for our Youth Hunt (ages 12-16 Mentored Hunt). Youth's parent/guardian must be listed as partner. Youth Hunter must be 12-16 years of age and must also have their Hunter Safety Certificate.  Mentor assignment is optional.      

To Register for the 2015 Shiawassee NWR Deer Hunt visit

For all questions or complications related to using using the e-license website, please e-mail or call 517-284-6057.

For deer related questions call Shiawassee NWR Hunter Message Center at (989) 777-5930 pressing 13 after the prompt.

To find more information about the hunt by downloading the 2015 Deer Hunt Information Sheet (PDF file- KB) will post at later date or the 2015 Deer Hunt Regulations (PDF file- 79KB). 

2014 Refuge Deer Hunt Season Results: 661 permits issued across 13 hunt periods which resulted in a total harvest of 149. Overall hunter success rate was 23 percent. For the full report download a copy of the 2014 White-tailed Deer Harvest Report (PDF file - 300 KB). 


Attention 2015 Refuge Hunters Who Need to Purchase an Antlerless License

The Deer Management Unit (DMU) number for the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge is DMU 273. You will also need your hunt number to purchase your tag.  


Leftover Tags are set to be made available on Monday, September 9th, 2015. Remember to bring your permit. 


Vehicle Permit

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


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

Deer Hunting Area Maps  

Click on the following maps to view them.

SNWR Deer Hunt Map (PDF file - 1,049 KB) - The entire refuge map.

SNWR Contiguous Core Aerial Map (PDF file - 1,325 KB) - The contiguous hunt area.

SNWR Cass River Unit Aerial Map (PDF - 1,248KB) - The Cass River Unit Bridgeport Township 

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 for deer. You 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.  


2014 Refuge Goose Hunting: October 11th, 2014 - November 13th, 2014  

Download:  Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge Goose Hunt Information and Regulations(PDF file - 140 KB). 

14 Goose Hunting Blinds in 2014: Please note that there will be 14 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 2014 goose hunting season. Hunters will need a boat to access these blinds. See 2014 Goose Hunt Map River Zones (PDF file - 875KB) for river zone locations.
  • 10 dry land hunting zones will be available for hunting.  Fields consist of barley, soy, and mowed grass. See Goose Hunting Zones 6 to 8 (PDF file - 946KB) and Goose Hunting Zones 9 to 14 (PDF file - 845KB) for other maps.


Goose hunting dates on the refuge are October 11th, 2014 - November 13th, 2014. A reserved hunt will be held opening weekend on Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12. 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 13th, 2014.  

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.

2013 Refuge Goose Hunt Season Results: Hunters over 16 days of hunting harvested 91 Canada geese. 

State Information 

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


2014-2015 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., Friday October 10, 2014.  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 17, 2014.  Checks shall be made payable to "U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service".  Trapping parties may bid on both trapping units but parties can only win one of the trapping units (i.e., 1 party cannot win and trap both units).  If a trapping party is the highest bidder for both units that party will have the choice for which unit they want to trap, the second highest bidder for the other unit will win that unit. 


Click on 2014-2015 Trapping Proposal Package to download (PDF file- 1.56MB) a copy.

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2015
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