HomeLocal NewsWhat Rifles Are Legal to Hunt With in Lower Michigan? The Recommendations

What Rifles Are Legal to Hunt With in Lower Michigan? The Recommendations

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Michigan is among the states where hunting is popular, so you may wonder what rifles are legal to hunt with in Lower Michigan. 

Hunting has its regulations in Michigan, and various licenses are available for the types of ruffles you can use to hunt.

Depending on what you want to hunt, the Michigan DNR has outlined the requirements of the licenses and how you will utilize the permit for your hunting mission. The license also states the kind of ruffles you must use when hunting.

So, What Rifles Are Legal To Hunt With In Lower Michigan?

The kind of rifles to use in Michigan depends on whether you are hunting birds or animals. Generally, a short gun with a smooth barrel is suitable. 

Again, the black gunpowder needs to be loaded with black powder. A 35-caliber handgun that doesn’t go beyond a nine-round capacity of the barrels and magazine combined is ideal.

Why Do You Need a Legal Rifle for Hunting in Lower Michigan?

Legal requirements for using rifles when hunting in Lower Michigan keep changing to ensure animals and hunters are protected. The legality of the rifles used has several reasons behind them.

A legal rifle determines the game species you intend to hunt in Lower Michigan. In Lower Michigan, you’ll come across various game species like deer, bear, turkey, elk, and waterfowl. A hunter will need a specific rifle to pursue the animals.

Legal rifles are also important as they give everyone a chance to hunt during the hunting season in Lower Michigan. For example, young hunters with the legal age to handle rifles can access their hunting hobbies knowing they legally won them.

Furthermore, legal rifles are important as they ensure all hunters follow the regulations of the Departments of Natural Resources in Michigan. The regulations address the conflicts between humans and animals. Having a legal rifle is complying with the regulations.

Safety is crucial when hunting, and hunters are encouraged to get rifles that protect them from animals. Therefore, the hunting rifles that come in various sizes ensure the hunters can aim the animal at a distance as they remain. 

Hunters have preferences when it comes to the type of firearm. Many may prefer rifles over other tools, hence the demand for rifles. Making them legal ensures each hunter knows the regulations behind the rifles.

A legal rifle promotes ethical hunting. Hunters must humanely engage in their hobbies, and the selection of the rifle ensures the animals being hunted do not get hurt in an inhumane manner.  Having the appropriate rifle minimizes the chances of killing the animal.

Exploring Legal RIfles for Hunting in Lower Michigan

Lower Michigan has been a ground for hunting for many years, and hunters are happy since rifles are legal. Initially, only shotguns were permitted for hunting wild game.

Even though the rifle age is now available for hunters, rules and regulations must be followed to ensure ethical hunting occurs in the fields.  With the change of rule allowing the use of rifles, hunters now have various options of rifles to choose what they feel is suitable for hunting.

The new rifles come with better range and accuracy. They are also lightweight, allowing youthful hunters to use them with less recoil.

For example, a 35-caliber or larger rifle is hunter-recommended as long as it uses a straight-walled cartridge. The shot has a similar velocity to that of a shotgun, and since it has variations, it makes it easy to hunt deer and other animals in Lower Michigan.

The rifle must have a minimum of 1.16 inches case length and 1.80 inches maximum length. With these rifles, hunters can choose straight-walled cartridges like the 44 Magnum, Winchester .350 Legend, and .450 Bushmaster.

The 44 Magnum is common with hunters as it is easily available and features different loads. It is a fun experience hunting a deer in Lower Michigan using a close range of 44 Magnum rifles. The 450 Bushmaster is new and is slowly becoming common.

Lately, many rifles are being designed for it and it typically works with the AR-15 pattern semi-automatic rifles.

The 350 Legend is a straight-walled cartridge and new in the market.  It is made to work with the AR-15 pattern semi-automatic rifles, just like the 450 Bushmaster. Each of the cartridge options is available for purchase and use in your rifle while hunting.

Other Regulations For Use Of Rifles During The Michigan Firearms Deer Season

The Michigan government has proposed more measures to ensure hunters correctly use rifles during the deer hunting season.

Initially, only shotguns were legal for hunters, but changes in rules to allow hunters to choose rifles for hunting came into place. The news was exciting to regular hunters who needed something more accurate.

However, regulations regarding the use of the rifles are in place. For example, low-powered rifles loaded with pistol cartridges are permitted for hunting.  The cartridges must be straight-walled and have a minimum bullet diameter of .35 caliber, and the case length must not be less than 1.16 inches and not more than 1.18 inches.

When comparing the energy level of the now-legal rifles to the shotguns that have been in place for years, the difference is not massive, and the shooting ranges are almost similar. It is worth noting that some of the rifles have much less power than the guns currently in place.

The low-powered rifles have a low power and range of almost 50% of the current shotguns. The government notes that the rifles must not initiate any extra safety concerns.

Regarding noise, the shotguns produce noise based on the cartridge used. When loaded into the rifle, the 40-50 grains of powder makes less noise. Hunters must avoid 150 grains of powder that may disturb the hunting ecosystem.

Firearms with less recoil are suitable as youths and women may use them for hunting. The specification ensures the hunters aim more accurately at the animal than using a pistol or gun that may be hard to aim.

Common Game Species Hunted in Lower Michigan

Lower Michigan offers a wide variety of game that hunters can hunt. Before you plan for any hunting mission, it is advisable to check the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website for the regulations regarding hunting of the various animals and birds available.

Below are some game species you can hunt in Lower Michigan using a legal rifle with the recommended cartridges.

The White-tailed deer is popular in Lower Michigan, and in most places, you’ll find them in homesteads, parks, and forests. Michigan State has various hunting seasons for the White-tailed deer. 

Also, hunting regulations are in place regarding deer hunting to prevent the spread of diseases and protect the deer population.

Wild turkey is another common bird united in Lower Michigan. During the spring and fall seasons,  the government allows hunting of the bearded and non-bearded.  

Hunters must have turkey hunting licenses and need to take not more than one bearded turkey during the season.

Small game animals are always on the hunter’s radar. These animals include rabbits, grouse, and squirrels, among others. 

Depending on what the hunter is looking for, the regulations available will detect how to hunt any small animals in Lower Michigan.

Geese and duck hunting is highly regulated in Michigan. If you are a waterfowl hunter, check the limits available for hunting regulations, and above that, you need a state waterfowl hunting license.

Lastly, the furbearers have regulations for hunting. The small animals include raccoons, coyotes, and foxes. The species have regulations that ensure trapping is minimized.

Tips For Hunting In The Lower Michigan

During the hunting season, hunters flock to the hunting regions to show their skills. While Lower Michigan is a hunting zone, remember the following tips to ensure your hunt without trouble.

  • Follow the regulations in place. The Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) outlines everything regarding the hunting season. You must check the updates regularly to keep up with the requirements.
  • Understand the game species and the seasons for hunting in Michigan. Different species exist, and knowing when to hunt is key to enjoying the hunting season.
  • Obtain the required licenses from the Department of Natural Resources. The licenses will help you get the right to hunt in different regions of Lower Michigan. At the same time, you’ll have the right rifles for the task.
  • Choose your hunting area carefully. Know that private property is restricted for hunting, hence the need for permission. You can opt to get access to public hunting zones.


Now that you know what rifles are legal to hunt with in Lower Michigan, we trust your hunting will succeed. Michigan is known for different wild game species, and each comes with restrictions for hunters.

Shotguns have been used in hunting, and rifles are now legal with regulations to ensure they are used correctly. Some essential requirements include using rifles with less noise and the same cartridges as shotguns.

Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper
Jason Cooper is a dedicated news blogger with a zeal for storytelling. Enthusiastically covering current events, he constantly seeks fresh angles and innovative ways to refine his craft and engage his readers.


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