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...

Cadillac Fall Routes & Rivers – 10 Ways to Enjoy Our Autumn Colors

Book Your Fall Golf Getaway in Cadillac – Fall golfing in Cadillac can be the most picturesque time of year to hit the links! With crisp autumn air, foliage in full color and affordable late season golf deals, you will avoid the summer crowds to enjoy great views of...

Out & About, Steelhead on the Move

By Dave FoleyRivers 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...

Out and About, Fishing Hotspots for Free Fishing Weekend

By Dave Foley: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has designated   June 10-11 as Free Fishing Weekend. That’s right, no license needed. Residents and out-of-state visitors may fish fish for free on both inland and Great Lakes waters, but fishing regulations...

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...

Top 5 Places to Fish Opening Day of Trout Season

By Dylan Cook For many, the opening day of trout season is a woodsmen’s holiday only rivaled by the opening day of deer season. The last Saturday of April, which falls on the 27th this year, will see anglers from across the state head to the river in search of 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...

Opening day brings out walleye, pike, and trout anglers

by Dave FoleyAlthough the November 15 deer season opener garners most of the attention, among anglers, the last Saturday of the month, this year the big day is April 29, when pike, walleye, and trout become legal.At dawn on the 29th cars bump down seldom-used two...

Sweet Summertime Weekend for $500 bucks

With summertime in Cadillac, you have outdoor adventure, trails, history and much more. Here is a recommended road map for those families looking to venture to the great outdoors this summer, on a budget. First off, you will need to book your accommodations. The great...

Birders flock to these 7 NW Michigan locales

By Dave FoleyWith its mixture of lakes and streams as well as forests, meadows, marshes, and agricultural lands, Cadillac is a natural gathering point for birds, both migratory, and year-round resident flocks. To help visitors, I worked with Dave Newhouse, a veteran...

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.

We welcome you to explore Cadillac.


  • 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.


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