CADILLAC, MICH. - The Huron-Manistee National Forests are now open to hunt, specifically fowl and game, according to the current season schedule.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has set forth some regulations and United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service has reminders when hunting on National Forest Systems lands that will ensure a more enjoyable trip:
Make sure you have your hunting license. Check the MI-DNR website to confirm that you have the correct and most up-to-date license.
Don't forget your Motor Vehicle Use Map. Forest Service wants to reminds hunters that on all National Forests, motor vehicles can only be used on designated road, trails or areas specific to the vehicle. This includes all motorized wheeled vehicles--from ATVs to street-legal cars and SUVs. Check in with any Forest Service office for a map or online.
Operating off-road vehicles. According to USDA Forest Service it is illegal to operate an ORV on National Forest lands, except on designated trails. In Huron-Manistee, all cross-country ORV travel is prohibited and it is illegal to drive a cross-country ORV to blinds or retrieving game.
Camping regulations. Check the Forest Service website for a list of all the campgrounds open during hunting season. Visitors are limited to 14 consecutive days in developed campgrounds. It is prohibited to leave camping equipment for more than 24 hours and Forest Services says the equipment will be removed.
Dispersed camping is allowed anywhere there isn't a "No Camping" sign posted. A permit isn't needed when disperse camping, however, you can not stay in any one location for more than 16 consecutive days.
Permanent camping structures and damaging trees by placing nails or anchors into trees is strictly prohibited. Forest Services also states that when camping or stopping somewhere to hunt for a few hours, remember that vehicles are only permitted to be parked 25 feet or less from the road.
For more information about bringing firewood, creating food plots, blinds and trespassing on the Huron-Manistee National Forests visit the USDA Forest Services website.
(© 2016 WZZM)