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can I shoot it?
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Just watched a show (apparently there is a whole season) based on Michigan elk hunting. This show was all rifle hunting and it did look unusual and very different than any elk hunting I have seen or done. The outfitter also spoke several times about it being a once in a life time draw. On the show they hunters walked up within a couple hundred yards of the giant bulls (maybe a couple hundred) and took some pretty relaxed shots.
Can anyone explain a bit about Michigan elk season and hunting? Can non-residents draw? Feeling a little foolish as I thought I was pretty up on the different draws and odds out there.
 

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its a joke. i believe the state record was shot out of a guys hay barn during a snow storm. it has ZERO comparison to western hunting.
 

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its a joke. i believe the state record was shot out of a guys hay barn during a snow storm. it has ZERO comparison to western hunting.
It's a management hunt. No, it does not compare to western hunting. I isn't meant to. Michigan is not a western state. But it isn't anything nearly resembling a joke. An elk tag in Michigan is a coveted tag. People put in for tags for years and never get drawn. When drawn the hunter cannot apply again. A Michigan elk is every bit of a prize as a western elk.
 

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It's limited draw for residents only
I believe. Even if you live in Michigan it's considered once in a lifetime to draw an elk tag here.

The elk population just broke 1000 a few years ago so it's not like other states. MIDNR has been working very diligently to raise herd numbers but the real problem is available habitat. The population declined severely in the early 20th century from logging and I overhunting. I think we were down to less than a few hundred elk at one point.

Honestly most guys don't even try for a tag here because the odds of drawing are so low. Its easier to just go to a western state and experience unique terrain and sights versus the homogenous, relatively flat big woods where most of the elk population resides in Northern Lower peninsula because of realistic draw odds or even over the counter elk tags.




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36,000 people applied for 60 either sex elk tags. those 36,000 and change had a max of 15 chances if they applied every year of the last 15 years making it 244,000 entries in the draw for which nobody had their name in more than 15 times, for 60 tags. to say people apply and may never draw is a vast understatement. All that for imo a paid private land hunt of a borderline tame elk, or very very challenging public land.
the dnr has to hold hunts due to the massive crop damage to the private pieces in the core of the elk area. Then many of those farmers charge high dollar to kill an elk.
 

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Ngurb pretty much nailed it. If you do happen to draw a bull tag, whether you harvest or not, you can never apply again. If you draw a doe tag, you cannot apply for ten years.
Also, I saw someone do the math once (can't remember the exact numbers), but in something like 15 years, with all the chances people will have, they'll be over a million names in the hat. For 60 tags.

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There is a new way around the One and Done,Bull License but it is still another Impossible Lottery to win... "Pure Michigan Hunt" if you win that you get an elk, bear, turkey, antlerless deer and a few. others. Most could maybe do 1 or 2 of these hunts but for most that don't have the time off squeezing in all that would be tough to do. It is also a lottery like the standard Elk Process but maybe 3 people get a license in that one. Plus elk is a few hunts in Sept and more in Dec but tougher hunt with deep snow... As for Elk thy were all gone till RMEF and Michigan brought them back and introduce them. But last year a bull elk was shot by the DNR being way outside the management area well south some talked about last year. As for Bull elks they seem to hang out on private lands that few have to access to so unless you know that land owner or a guide with access it is tough sure some are on public lands but the good bulls aren't.
Also there is some special requirements first you have to attend a class prior to the opening of your hunt, second you have to provide the exact location where and required to leave trail markers to that specific spot so the DNR can check the gut pile for testing plus you have take in to be weigh and sample of blood is taken and they also want the brain matter. As for Cow if you opt for any elk and get a cow license you are out for 5 years I think it is a friend got a cow license a few years ago. He was not aware of all these extra requirements it is not like taking a deer and taking in to be checked. At the class they give you some info as to where to hunt but the Sept area is different than the Dec Hunt area. My friend said it was a lot of work in deep snow to get his cow out nothing like dragging a deer out...
Few are aware of all of these requirements and it was all new to my friend plus the snow was a lot to walk any where in.
Been applying since you could they changed it now each time you don't get lucky you get another chance so if you apply 10 times the next year you get those 10 chances plus the next year so you get 11 chances in the hat / lottery. And each year the number of licenses changes some more but usually fewer... And they say crop damage is high from elk... So if you wanta good bull you might want to use a guide and pay for his access because some know right where the good bulls are...

As for Elk Hunting I have in Rockies of Montana and would do that again if I could did not take an elk but saw a spike and 2 cows...but the best hunt I have been on horse pakked it in with a guide service...

LFM
 

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I've taken 2 bulls with a bow in Montana and another bull with a muzzleloader in Colorado. I think the Michigan elk season is more like road hunting and basically a joke - makes a good story from lawyers and doctors. Plus I think you're assigned a specific unit to hunt in, whether there's elk there or not!
 

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can I shoot it?
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Not sure what unit or area they were in but every bull I saw on the show was a 300 plus bull.
 

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Not sure what unit or area they were in but every bull I saw on the show was a 300 plus bull.
are you sure it wasnt high fence. plenty of those around northern Mi. i dont know how a TV show could track down more than 1 or 2 of the 60 people that got a bull tag.
 

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I mean not when hunting. I vacation up there in the summer and drive right by the ranch. If you're lucky you see them in the hardwoods lounging. Pretty majestic but sure takes some of the luster off when they're behind chain links.
 

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can I shoot it?
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Yep. Called Bog Boyd TV or something similar to that. I believe all these bulls are free range, although they sure didn't look to spooked or aware but that very well could be the extreme limited pressure they have. I am guessing the show contacts most of those that draw and offers them a discount on a guided hunt in exchange to be videoed, plus it's 2017 everyone wants to be famous and filmed.
 
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