A variety of species in all four seasons. Experience nature from our fields and forests while in pursuit of small game, deer and bear.


The quality of hunting in Northern Michigan is legendary, while Cadillac offers some particularly unique advantages. Extensive access to public land is a primary reason hunters find their way to Cadillac during hunting seasons throughout the year. Whitetail Deer hunters flock to the Cadillac area for bow hunting, rifle and muzzle loading seasons, and are rarely disappointed. Black Bear is also included in the big-game list on our 600,000 acres of prime hunting land in the National Forest and State Forest surrounding Cadillac.

Small Game

A small game license entitles you to hunt rabbit, snowshoe hare, squirrel (fox and gray), pheasant, ruffed grouse, woodcock, quail, woodchuck, crow, coyote and waterfowl during the open season in the Cadillac area and Wexford County.  There is no closed season on opossum, porcupine, weasel, red squirrel, skunk, starling, feral pigeon, English sparrow, ground squirrel and woodchuck. Wexford County boasts one of the highest wild turkey populations in Northern Michigan and both fall and spring hunting opportunities exist on the permit basis.

Hunting Resources

We have several guides for hunting in the area, as well as hunt clubs, contact our office for more information on Marion Hunt Club, Manton Hunt Club, Cadillac Sportsman’s Club. We are also VERY lucky to host one of the seven MDNR Visitors Centers in the State – Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center, adjacent to Mitchell State Park and Cadillac’s famous canal that connects Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell.

Trophy Pike to Crappie frenzy on Lakes Mitchell & Cadillac

By Steve Knaisel,, Cadillac Some years the ice lingers through the middle of April. This winter has had so many highs and lows, it’s any ones guess as to how long it will last. Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell appear empty since the...

Summer 2020 Family Bucket List – Cadillac, Michigan

Take a Day to go Hiking – from wide trails to forest trekking, there are several trails in the area to take the whole family. Always ensure you pack water, possibly a few snacks and bug spray.  Most trails only have bathrooms at the trailhead.   Make sure you have a...

The Superbowl of Deer Season

(Mike Porter, Tim Porter, Levi Rowan, Lynn Frankenberger, and Jon Porter take a break from hunting for a picture and some lunch) November 15, a day for many Michiganders filled with incredible excitement. The opening day of deer rifle season is one of the best days of...

Lake & River Angling

Rolling hills, scenic beauty and pristine waters.  Welcome to the Cadillac area, offering an abundance of angling options on the lakes and along our rivers.  This area is unique in that there are several nearby streams and rivers that offer an angler a...

Out & About, Steelhead on the Move

By Dave Foley Rivers like the Pere Marquette, as well as the Big and Little Manistee, get a little crowded after Labor Day as thousands of salmon leave Lake Michigan to push up these steams to spawn. From late August until September king and coho salmon dominate the...

Gobble, gobble… Spring is upon us; turkey hunting season is here

We are, in my opinion, in the “good ole days” of turkey hunting. It may be hard to believe, but not too long ago the wild turkey hunting season was unimaginably different. In the late 1970’s, according to Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources, a hunter had only a...

Woods & Water Fishing

The warm low waters seen as the summer drags on create an increased density of trout in the deep pools. Targeting these deep holes after rapids and gravel often create the most opportunities to hook into a quality trout. Time of day is also an important factor. The...

Waterfowl Hunting Tips

Cadillac, Michigan has the luxury of being located in the middle of the Mississippi Flyway. This means that many ducks and geese will migrate through the area on their way south. The Cadillac area also has the good fortune of having many lakes, ponds, and marshes for...

September Anglers Chasing Salmon or Gearing up for Hunting

By Steve Knaisel,, Cadillac The leaves are starting to turn and there’s no traffic on the lakes-what a great time to be fishing. This fall, fish two different lakes connected by a canal. Each has a unique personality. No matter the weather,...

Whitetail Firearm Season – Opening Day

The anticipation of hunting season is always fun, setting up blinds in the best spot possible, getting out trail cameras and taking photos of the deer in the area. The reality of hunting can be somewhat less glorious, long hours spent trying keep warm while making the...

Cadillac Hunting & Fishing Stories

Find the latest news and stories about the Cadillac region.  Our team of local writers dig deep into the region’s culture and provide our travel community the latest about entertainment, art, culture, trails, seasons and so much more.

*NEW* MDNR Hunt Fish Mobile App

Licenses, permits, regulations and more, all in the palm of your hand!


  • The local MDNR office is located on Mackinaw Trail, between US-131 BR and M-115, just south of Downtown Cadillac.  Call 231-775-9727.
  •  Commercial Michigan Hunting Guides link to the MDNR website
  • Carl T Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center is located on the west side of Cadillac, across the canal from the Mitchell State Park.  We are proud to host one of the seven MDNR Visitors Centers in the State, and the only one that focuses its museum and activities on Hunting & Fishing in our Great State!  Call 231-779-1321, located at the intersection of M-115 & North Boulevard, just north of the M-55 & M-115 intersection.
  • The Huron-Manistee National Forest are the only National Forests in Lower Michigan.  The Huron-Manistee National Forests comprise almost a million acres of public lands extending across the northern lower peninsula of Michigan, offering over 500,000 acres in the Cadillac area, the largest single span in the lower peninsula.  It provide recreation opportunities for visitors, habitat for fish and wildlife, and resources for local industry. Throughout the year there are campsites and trail heads throughout the National Forest for use.   Some may require a fee/ permit.  Call (800) 821-6263, located at 1755 South Mitchell street, just south of Downtown on BR US-131.
Buck Pole Contest


ALL HUNTERS in the contest have a chance to win ONE of many prizes in the LUCKY HUNTER DRAWING
Prize Categories:

  • First Buck on Pole Daily – $100 (First Buck Daily must be shot same day as hung)
  • Largest Scored Rack
  • 2nd Largest Scored Rack
  • 3rd Largest Scored Rack
  • Heaviest Buck & Heaviest Doe

Free for all kids that enter Youth Buck Pole – Bring your legally tagged Youth Hunt rack to hang at the Buck Pole event for a chance to win random drawing prizes

Learn more about this year’s event on our event page.

Hunting Works for Michigan

Hunting Works For Michigan advocates for public policy that supports jobs and economic prosperity. As a grassroots organization, we help tell the story of the role hunting and shooting sports play in both the heritage and economic health of Michigan.

Support Hunting Works for Michigan by spreading the word, and asking your friends with businesses to sign up today with Hunting Works for Michigan. Hunting makes a major economic impact to our state, local economy and we need to ensure it continues.