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October 24, 2007

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100 Best Public-Land Hunts: Michigan

Allegan State Game Area
Location: south Michigan
Size: 50,000 acres
ZIP: 49010

You won't find any underused public lands in Michigan. The state's 1.7 million-strong deer herd is nearly matched by its huge hunting contingency (750,000 deer licenses are sold annually). Deer numbers are highest here in the southern Lower Peninsula (which is 97 percent private land), and Allegan is the region's largest public holding. Oak and pine forest dominates this sandy plain 10 miles east of Lake Michigan, and lowland areas in particular can feature good mast crops. The Fennville Farm Unit, on the area's southwestern boundary, is a popular deer hunting spot, but be prepared to venture far from roads: Like much of this region, Allegan gets crowded.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge
: north Michigan
Size: 95,212 acres
ZIP: 49883

The good news is that the Upper Peninsula offers abundant public access: More than half of Michigan's state and corporate land open to hunting is here. The bad news is that hunting pressure is still fairly high and deer numbers low. Seney's sheer size (and the abundance of sanctuary in its extensive wetland areas) offers elbow room for hunters and a decent chance at a mature buck. Two-thirds of this mostly flat land is open to deer hunting, and deer range through a wide mix of habitats that includes wooded corridors along streams, pockets of pine forest, and expanses of beech, birch, cherry and oaks in the hardwood forest that lies in the refuge's southeastern section, near Germfask.


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Please don't tell anyone else that the best hunting in the East is in this norther paradise!


Sounds crowded!

michael hintz

sounds crowded, only with hunter and not anth deer for them all.

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100 Top Public Lands
Field & Stream reporter Steven Hill spent two months interviewing state game agency officials, deer biologists, and whitetail experts to identify the absolute best public whitetail hunting grounds in the nation.

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