10 Things You can Hunt for in Michigan Besides Deer

October 31, 2016

10 Things to Hunt for in Michigan Besides DeerHunting season quietly started in Michigan in late August with Elk. It reaches full frenzy in November when regular firearm for deer opens on November 15th. But don’t worry if stalking animals Elmer Fudd style isn’t your thing. There are plenty of other targets to set your sights on in Michigan.

1. Petoskey Stones – Spring and fall are the best times of year to search the beaches of Northern Michigan for this coveted fossil. Petoskey stones are identified by the unique hexagonal pattern that appears when they’re wet or polished. You can bring home as much as 25 pounds of stones for souvenirs. You’ll only find authentic Petoskey stones in Michigan.

2. Morel Mushrooms – In the spring, morel mushroom hunters flock to the Michigan woods in search of the elusive mushroom. The season begins in early April and runs as late as early June in the northern most parts of the state. For many, the thrill-of-the-chase is just as exciting as eating a morel. According to the state of Michigan, more people go out in the woods hunting morel mushrooms in the month of May than go deer hunting in November.

3. Birds – Michigan’s vast forests and Great Lakes draw a variety of birds, both waterfowl and migratory, making it a prime location for bird watchers. You’ll find birding trails set up by the Audubon Society across the state. In the Lower Peninsula, the Sleeping Bear and Saginaw trails are popular. In the Upper Peninsula, the Superior trail spans 150 miles of coastline inhabited by birds. Birding is a year-round venture with owls and woodpeckers among the feathered friends that don’t fly south for the winter.  

4. Shipwrecks – The Shipwreck Coast is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, between Marquette and Whitefish point along the rugged shores of Lake Superior. The waters claimed more than 300 shipwrecks over the years, including the famous Edmund Fitzgerald. In Munising, take a tour of underwater shipwrecks in a glass bottom boat. At The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, you’ll find the Edmund Fitzgerald memorial. Near Sleeping Bear Dunes in the Lower Peninsula, shipwrecks rest in shallow waters. When the water is clear enough they can be seen from shore. Adventurous searches can dive on the shipwrecks and view them up close. Michigan has a total of 13 underwater preserves where shipwrecks rest on the lake bottom.

5. Houses – Need that perfect vacation home? Come find it in Michigan. We have large, palatial homes just steps away from Lake Michigan. Imagine waking up to that on a summer morning! Or maybe you prefer a small cottage on one of Michigan’s 11,000 inland lakes. There are also plenty of cabins in the woods for hunters to set up base camp. If you really love Michigan, you can always make one of our beautiful towns your permanent home. No matter where you settle, you’ll only be about two hours or less from a Great Lake by car.

6. Geocaching – Geocaching is a great way to get outside and explore the community. Register for free at geocaching.com, then find a list of places to hunt for hidden treasure near you. Many of Michigan’s hiking trails have caches hidden along them. You’ll also find several in state parks. There are more than 20,000 active caches in the state, just waiting to be found! You can even create your own cache to leave for someone else to find.

7. Pokemon – Pokemon Go took Michigan by storm this summer just like the rest of the country. Like Geocaching, this app game gets you moving outside and exploring your surroundings. With several gym locations, Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids are hotspots for the game, but even small towns in the Mitten State get in on the Pokemon action. Pokestops can be found in locations as remote at the Hiawatha National Forest in the Upper Peninsula.

8. Animal tracks – Hunting animals for game may not be your thing, but you can still learn to track animals by identifying and following their footprints. You may encounter some pretty cool wildlife like deer, fox and even bear. In the Upper Peninsula, if you’re lucky, you could come across rare wolf or moose tracks. Of course, you should be careful when tracking wild animals. Always maintain a safe distance, and in the case of dangerous animals like bear, make lots of noise so you don’t sneak up and surprise them.

9. Lighthouses – Michigan has more lighthouses than any other state. At one time, its shores along the Great Lakes had as many as 247. Somewhere between 100 and 124 remain. Many are no longer in use, and sadly, some are in disrepair. Several, however, have been preserved, restored and are open for tours. Even if they aren’t open, many can be viewed from the outside. If you do visit a lighthouse, be sure it’s on public property as some are privately owned. The Lake  Michigan Circle Tour provides a great roadmap for seeing many of the lighthouses in the Lower Peninsula.

10. Waterfalls – Michigan has 200 named waterfalls. All but one is in the Upper Peninsula. With a drop of 50 feet, Tahquamenon Falls in the largest. It’s also the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi. Other popular falls include Miners Falls, Bond Falls and Laughing Whitefish Falls. Some falls, like Tahquamenon, are accessed by easy trails within a park.  Many of the falls are located close together along Lake Superior’s shoreline, making it a great road trip from one to the next. Some falls are more remote, and require a hike over rough terrain through the forest. You’ll find Ocqueoc Falls in the Lower Peninsula inside a small park. It’s outside of Onaway.

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