Landowners receive payment to enroll in MNR’s Hunting Access Program

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Hunting Access Program (HAP) registers private properties throughout Michigan to increase public hunting opportunities in areas where public land is limited.

Landowners must have at least 40 acres of land with wildlife habitat such as forest, brush, wetland, etc.

Michigan is home to one of the nation’s largest and oldest private land public access programs. Since 1977, HAP has offered private landowners another option for earning income from their land by allowing controlled access to hunting.

Owner benefits include:

  • Annual payment based on acres of registered land, type of land cover and type of hunting allowed.
  • Liability protection on listed lands.
  • Flexible options for permitted hunting types including all species, deer only, turkey only, small game only, sharp-tailed grouse only, and young and apprentices only.
  • Can control the maximum number of hunters allowed on the property at one time.
  • Promote and support Michigan’s rich hunting heritage.
  • Better wildlife management on the property.
  • Helps minimize damage to wildlife crops.

There is no additional charge for hunters to use HAP lands, but they are responsible for reviewing the rules of each property where they plan to hunt, checking in daily on the property, and adhering to the property of landowners.

The registration station of a former Hunting Access Program property in Lenawee County basks in the late winter sun.  Hunters log in here and search for other users, then can hunt on the property if capacity is not reached yet.

Registration will remain open until September 1. For registration information, contact Laura Judge at the Lenawee Conservation District: [email protected] or 517-263-7400 ext. 5592, or DNR Wildlife Division: [email protected] or 517-284-9453, or visit mi.gov/hap.


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Elaine R. Knight