Hunting on Conservancy Natural Areas and Preserves
Leelanau Conservancy natural areas are maintained thanks to the support of our members, making it possible for you to hunt.
Hunting permits are available to everyone, member or not, but your membership helps ensure that the lands are cared for and that native wildlife can thrive.
- 17 Leelanau Conservancy natural areas are open to hunters
- We have protected over 14,000 acres in Leelanau County
- All protected areas, even those not open to hunting, provide habitat for our native animals
- Protecting our land protects our water
- Membership starts at $30
Please join us so we can ensure that lands, waters, and native wildlife are protected for you and generations of hunters to come.
Hunting Restrictions and Guidelines
Hunting is allowed only on select natural areas and with a Conservancy permit.
Permission to hunt a Leelanau Conservancy property is obtained by completing the hunting permit form.
Once this form is submitted an automated hunting permit will be created and sent to your email address. Please check your email and spam folder for the permit. You must carry a copy of the permit with you while hunting and display the vehicle permit in the dash of your car.
Please observe these rules while hunting on a Leelanau Conservancy property. Each permit is valid for the period of September 15, 2019 through January 1, 2020. Permission must be requested and renewed by hunters on an annual basis from the Leelanau Conservancy. In addition, all hunters are required to follow the guidelines described below. Please note they follow the regulations set forth in the Michigan DNR 2019 Hunting and Trapping Guide.
- Each applicant for a hunting permit agrees to release, indemnify and hold the Leelanau Conservancy harmless for any injury, death or property damage incurred by applicant regardless of fault, or incurred by others as the result of applicant’s action or negligence.
- Hunting activity must take place a minimum of 150 yard (450 feet) from all occupied structures and at least 100 feet from trails, two-tracks, and other common areas.
- Our Natural Areas are multi-use areas which are open to the public on a year-round basis for passive recreation (such as hiking, skiing, etc.). Please keep this in mind at all times if permitted to hunt on a Conservancy owned property.
- Hunters must place the permit so it is visible from the windshield of vehicle while out hunting on Conservancy property. All hunters are required to carry a copy of the permit specifying which Natural Areas they have been approved a permit for hunting on.
- “Baiting” of animals is prohibited. Baiting is defined as putting out food materials for animals to attract, lure, or entice them as an aid in hunting.
- Hunters under the age of 17 are required to have completed a certified Hunter’s Safety Class and must be accompanied by an adult while hunting in the Leelanau Conservancy’s Natural Areas. “Accompanied by” requires the adult to be able to come to the immediate aid of the other person and staying within a distance from the other person that permits uninterrupted, unaided visual and verbal contact.
- Hunting rights may be rescinded at any time, and for any reason, by the Executive Director, Director of Natural Areas and Preserves, or the Stewardship Committee of the Leelanau Conservancy.
- The cutting of standing trees (alive or dead), and branches for shooting lanes is prohibited.
- Digging or disturbing soils is prohibited.
- All permitted hunters must follow MDNR regulations for Ground Blinds. Only Type 1 (Portable Ground Blind) and Type 2 (Dead Natural Materials Ground Blind) are allowed. They must be removed and/or dismantled within seven days after the close of the season. When dismantling ground blinds the area must be returned to its original natural setting.
- Screw-in type tree steps are prohibited; all tree stands must be portable. Hunting platforms cannot be affixed or attached to any tree by nails, screws or bolts. All tree stands must be labeled with name and phone number or they may be confiscated.
- The marking of trees to locate trails by the use of spray paint, colored flagging, or reflective tacks is prohibited. The blazing of trees is not allowed.
- All trash and human-made materials must be packed out and deposited in trash receptacles.
- Automobiles, motorized off-road vehicles and other wheeled devices are not allowed anywhere on Conservancy properties, except in designated parking areas or along public road right-of-ways.
- If a hunting activity is not listed on the permit, it is considered restricted and not allowed at the site.
- Use of non-toxic shot is required statewide for all waterfowl hunting. When you hunt to take ducks or mergansers anywhere in the state of Michigan during the waterfowl season, you may not possess or use shot shells loaded with a material other than non-toxic steel, bismuth, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten matrix or other shot determined by the USFWS to be non-toxic. Waterfowl hunters using muzzleloaders must also use USFWS approved non-toxic shot.
- At the close of hunting season, we ask each permitted hunter to take a few minutes to fill out the Hunter Survey. This information is important for us in assuring that the integrity of each preserve is maintained.
Please help us keep our lands in good condition. Contact the Leelanau Conservancy office at 231-256-9665 if you notice any inappropriate activity on a property or if trails, parking areas, or signs need attention. Trails require a good deal of management and maintenance. We appreciate the assistance of the many individuals who help monitor and provide stewardship for our properties and trails.
If completing the permit online is not your preference, you can still come into our office where you can either use a computer here to fill out the permit or have a staff member complete the online permit for you.
Please click the links below for downloadable PDFs of maps for those areas where hunting is allowed (primarily in the fall). Please use caution when hiking during hunting season and wear orange. Hunting permits are valid for one year only.