If you are a deer hunter, did you realize there was a five day quiet period leading up to the start of the season?

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is serious about this time of calm before firearms deer hunting season begins on November 15th.

During the quiet period, which begins on Wednesday, November 10th, it is against the law to transport or possess a rifle or shotgun with buckshot, slug load, ball load or cut shell in an area that is frequented by deer. Unloaded firearms that are securely encased, or carried in the trunk of a vehicle, may be transported to or from a hunting camp. You also may target shoot on your own property provided there is no attempt to take game. (Refer to page 50 of the DNR's Hunting Digest for more information.)

DNR officials say that this period is like pushing a reset button. It allows deer to settle back into their regular day-to-day patterns -- which can in turn increase your chances of a successful hunt.

What about if you're hunting for small game or waterfowl, or fur harvesting? The Michigan DNR says you can still carry the appropriate firearm for your season. Small game and waterfowl hunters may carry a shotgun with shotshells for hunting small game, but you cannot possess buckshot, slugs, ball loads or cut shells during this time. Fur harvesters may carry a rimfire firearm .22-caliber or smaller while actively hunting or checking trap lines during the open furbearing animal season.

A great resource for all your deer hunting information is the Michigan DNR's 2021 Michigan Hunting Digest. This 80 page guide gives you all the information you need to prepare for deer hunting. There are even some things I didn't know, including that there is actually a table of hunting hours for various zones in Michigan (see pages 13-16 of the Hunting Digest).

So get ready for the calm before the hunt. The 5-day Quiet Period begins on Wednesday, November 10th. Good luck hunting this year. Be safe and successful!


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