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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
  1. Bend Area
  2. Bur Oak Landing-East
  3. Bur Oak Landing-West
  4. Crockery Creek Natural Area
  5. Eastmanville Bayou
  6. Grand River Open Space
  7. Hiawatha Forest
  8. Johnson Street Forest
  9. Jubb Bayou
  10. Kuits Bayou
  11. North Ottawa Dunes & Ottawa Sands
  12. Port Sheldon Natural Area
  13. Ripps Bayou
  14. Robinson Forest
  15. Stearns Creek
  16. Upper Macatawa Natural Area
  17. 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, North Ottawa Dunes, and Ottawa Sands. Lottery drawings are held prior to the hunting periods at each of these sites. Hunters may apply for both lotteries, but may submit only one application for each; duplicate entries results in removal from lottery.

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.

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

  • Season One: October 12, 2020 - November 14, 2020
  • Season Two: December 1, 2020 - January 1, 2021

Application and Lottery Drawing

The online application must be completed by Monday, August 31, 2020. 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 11, 2020. 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 2019-2020 season.

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.

Lakeshore Wildlife Management

Wildlife management will take place between the dates of November 20-23, 2020 (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 and Lottery Drawing

The online application must be completed by Monday, August 31, 2020. 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 October 4, 2020. 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 online via Zoom (link will be provided to those chosen to hunt) on either Wednesday, October 28 at 7 pm or Saturday, October 31 at 11 am.
  • 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 2019-2020 season.
Apply for the Lakeshore Wildlife Management Lottery

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