Ottawa County Parks & Recreation

Hunting on Parks & Recreation Properties

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers hunting on over 4,500 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.

Properties with Hunting Available

hunting map

Click map to expand

  1. Bass River Open Space
  2. Bend Area
  3. Bur Oak Landing-East
  4. Bur Oak Landing-West
  5. Crockery Creek Natural Area
  6. Eastmanville Bayou
  7. Grand River Open Space
  8. Hiawatha Forest
  9. Johnson Street Forest
  10. Jubb Bayou
  11. Kuits Bayou
  12. North Ottawa Dunes & Ottawa Sands
  13. Port Sheldon Natural Area
  14. Ripps Bayou
  15. Robinson Forest
  16. Stearns Creek
  17. Upper Macatawa Natural Area
  18. Van Buren Street Dunes

Special Permits

Properties requiring a special permit for hunting include Crockery Creek Natural Area, Upper Macatawa Natural Area, Stearns Creek Park, Stearns Creek North, North Ottawa Dunes, and Ottawa Sands. Lottery drawings are held prior to the hunting periods at each of these sites. Hunters may apply for each of the lotteries, but may submit only one application for each; duplicate entries results in removal from the lottery process. Please click on the plus sign for more information about each hunt and the application link.

  • Waterfowl Hunting

    Crockery Creek Natural Area is also open to waterfowl hunting by special permit only. At this time, there is no lottery for this hunt.

    Apply for Waterfowl Hunting Permit
  • Archery Deer Hunting

    Crockery Creek Natural Area, Upper Macatawa Natural Area, and Stearns Creek are open to archery deer hunting each fall by special permit only, during specific periods by lottery-chosen hunters. The parks remain open for hiking, fishing, and other recreational uses during the hunting season. Special hunting rules and regulations are in effect for these hunts; please review before you apply.

    Archery Deer Hunting Season Dates

    • Fall
      October 14, 2022 - November 14, 2022
    • Winter
      December 1, 2022 - January 1, 2023

    Application & Lottery Drawing

    The online application must be completed by August 31, 2022. Hunters may only apply once. Hunters whose names appear on more than one application will be disqualified. All applicants will be notified of lottery results by e-mail no later than September 13, 2022. Hunters selected to receive a permit (either season) will be required to do the following:

    • Complete and return a liability release form (will be sent by e-mail to those selected).
    • Pay the permit fee of $20 to the parks office.
    • Read and agree to follow the rules for the hunt.
    • Complete a post-season survey. Failure to complete this survey will result in being excluded from the opportunity for a special permit in the future. See survey results from the 2020-2021 season. Survey results for the 2021-2022 season are coming soon.

    Under Michigan DNR regulations, these sites are considered “public land,” therefore, a hunter must possess a public-land antlerless deer license to take a doe on site.

    Apply for a special permit at Crockery Creek, Upper Macatawa, or Stearns Creek Park by competing this survey.
  • New!  Stearns North All Game Hunting

    This Special Permit opportunity is for all game hunting per DNR regulations. There are two hunting seasons available on this property. The park will remain open for hiking, fishing, and other recreational uses during the hunting season.

    All Game Hunting Season Dates

    • Fall
      October 15, 2022 - January 1, 2023
    • Spring
      April 15, 2023 - May 15, 2023

    Application and Lottery Drawing

    The online application must be submitted by August 31, 2022. Hunters may only apply once. Hunters whose names appear on more than one application will be disqualified. All applicants will be notified of lottery results by e-mail no later than September 13, 2022. Hunters selected to receive a permit (either season) will be required to do the following:

    • Complete and return a liability release form (will be sent by e-mail to those selected).
    • Pay the permit fee of $20 to the parks office.
    • Read and agree to follow the rules for the hunt.
    • Permit holders may scout the property (off trail hiking) up to seven days prior to their season.
    • Complete a post-season survey. Failure to complete this survey will result in being excluded from the opportunity for a special permit in the future.
    Apply for the Stearns Creek North-All Game Hunting Special Permit Lottery
  • Lakeshore Wildlife Management Hunt

    The wildlife management hunt will take place between the dates of November 18-November 21, 2022 (each participant will be scheduled for two of those dates) at North Ottawa Dunes and Ottawa Sands. The parks will be closed to the general public. Special hunting rules and regulations are in effect for these hunts; please review before you apply.

    Application & Lottery Drawing

    The online application must be completed by August 31, 2022. Hunters may only apply once. Hunters whose names appear on more than one application will be disqualified. All applicants will be notified of lottery results by e-mail no later than September 13, 2022. Selected hunters will be required to do the following:

    • Complete and return a liability release form (will be sent by e-mail to those selected).
    • Pay the permit fee of $20; due at pre-hunt meeting.
    • Attend a required pre-hunt meeting (in-person) on Tuesday, October 25, 2022 at 6 pm
    Apply for the Lakeshore Wildlife Management Lottery

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