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Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Hunting on Parks & Recreation Properties

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers hunting on over 3,340 acres of selected properties with some restrictions intended to protect hunters and park visitors alike. Before you head out to hunt, please review the rules and permit requirements. Along with the general park property rules, hunters must comply with the following:

  • All hunters must follow the laws of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Trapping is not allowed.
  • Target practice or paint ball shooting is not allowed.
  • Hunters must maintain a 30-yard distance from property lines.  Property lines are marked with red stakes.
  • Hunting is not allowed within 450 feet of any occupied building.
  • Motorized vehicles are not allowed except in designated parking areas.
  • Cutting of trees or branches to create shooting lanes is not allowed.
  • Gathering of dead materials found on the ground to construct blinds is not allowed.
  • Tree stands and type 1 ground blinds may be used per state laws. All stands or blinds must have identification attached.
  • Using bait to attract deer is not allowed.
  • Fishing is allowed in designated areas following the laws of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
  • More in Sections 11 & 12 of Ordinance No. 03-2
  • Hunting Brochure

Properties with Hunting Available

hunting map North Ottawa Dunes Crockery Creek Natural Area  Jubb Bayou Bur Oak Landing Eastmanville Bayou Grand River Park Bend Area  Ripps Bayou  Johnson Street Forest Robinson Forest Bur Oak Landing Hiawatha Forest Port Sheldon Natural Area Van Buren Street Dunes Upper Macatawa Natural Area Upper Macatawa Natural Area

Special Permits

Properties requiring a special permit for hunting include Crockery Creek Natural Area, Upper Macatawa Natural Area and North Ottawa Dunes. Lottery drawings are held prior to the hunting periods at each of these sites.

Crockery Creek and Upper Macatawa Natural Areas:

Applications are now open until noon on September 4. Please note: Hunters may only apply for one of these lottery sites, not both. There are separate applications below for each site. Hunters whose names are on more than one application will be disqualified from the lottery.

Hunters selected to receive a special permit via the drawing must pay a $20 fee. (There is no pre-hunt meeting this season for these two sites.) Before applying, hunters should review the 2018 lottery rules and hunting maps. Selected applicants will be notified via email by September 21. Selected hunters must complete a survey at the end of the season in order to be eligible to apply for future hunts. Please find the 2017 hunting survey results here.
  • Apply for the lottery at Crockery Creek Natural Area: A ‘quality deer management program’ is in effect at Crockery Creek Natural Area. Does and bucks may both be taken at this site - however, each hunter is limited to one buck, and the buck must have a rack totaling 6 points or more. A hunter may also take a doe as long as he/she possesses a public-land antlerless deer license. All DNR rules and regulations are still in effect for this program.
  • Apply for the lottery at Upper Macatawa Natural Area: Under Michigan DNR regulations, Upper Macatawa Natural Area is considered “public land,” and therefore a hunter must possesses a public-land antlerless deer license to take a doe on site.
North Ottawa Dunes:

Applications are now open until noon on September 4. Hunters whose names are on more than one North Ottawa Dunes application will be disqualified from the lottery. You may apply for North Ottawa Dunes and either Crockery Creek OR Upper Macatawa Natural Areas.

Selected applicants for North Ottawa Dunes will be notified via email by October 5 and must attend a pre-hunt meeting on either Saturday, October 27 at 11 am or Tuesday, October 30 at 7 pm. A $20 fee will be due at the pre-hunt meeting. If you would like to receive emails about special permits, please sign up here.

Hunting is Not Allowed at:

Hunter Safety Tips

  • Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.
  • Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  • Be certain of your target and what's beyond it.
  • Keep your finger outside the trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  • Control your emotions when hunting.
  • Always let someone know where you are hunting and when you plan on returning.
  • Hunter Safety Courses