Getting a License



Getting a License


How to Apply

When do I apply for a Michigan bear license? How do I apply for a bear tag? How many points do I need to draw a bear tag?  What bear management unit should I hunt in?

The application period is in May. Don't forget to apply! It's a long time before season.

In Michigan, bear tags are awarded on a lottery system. You must apply for a bear tag well in advance. Michigan has a preference point system for the bear draw. So for each year you apply, even if you don't win a tag, you'll earn a preference point. If you want to hunt, you need to begin building up points. It can take several years to build up enough points to earn a tag.

We guide for first, second, and third seasons. Success rates are significantly improved in first or second seasons though, so if you have the option, we recommend avoiding third season - even if that means having to wait an extra year or two.

When the application period opens in May, you can apply for a license online here.

Application Period: May 1 - June 1
Results Posted Online: June 26

Leftover Licenses:

  • July 10th - Lifetime License Holders
  • July 17th - Applicants
  • July 24th - Over-the-Counter

For more information, refer to the Michigan Black Bear Digest.

Your chances of drawing a tag vary by season and unit. To get a pretty accurate idea of how many points you need to draw a tag, you can refer to last years results here.