For hunters who are upset that this year's firearm deer season in Michigan only included two weekends, you'll have an opportunity to keep hunting into December with your trusty shotgun.

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For the past couple of seasons, the DNR in Michigan has allowed some hunters to continue using their shotguns or rifles into the muzzleloader season.

📷 Ken Evans
📷 Ken Evans
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Traditionally to hunt in the December season you were limited to archery hunting with a bow or crossbow, or having access to an old-school muzzleloader. While muzzleloaders have gotten fancier and easier to use over the years, they still require you manually load your ammunition and gunpowder before heading afield.

For those that want to continue to use their rifles or shotguns to get more hunting time in, here's the info you need to know.

Where can I use my rifle or shotgun to hunt in December?

Hunters who want to use their rifle or shotgun to hunt during muzzleloader season must do so in Zone 3. This includes the full counties of Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Mecosta, Isabella, Midland, and Bay counties.

📷 Michigan DNR
📷 Michigan DNR
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Can I use any rifle to hunt in Zone 3?

No, you can only use rifles, shotguns, and firearms that are allowed during regular firearm season.

For those in the limited firearm deer zone, you are restricted to shotguns or rifles which fire certain straight-walled calibers as described in the Michigan Hunting Digest.

When is the muzzleloading season in Michigan?

For 2021 muzzleloading season runs from December 3rd-12th.

📷 Michigan DNR
📷 Michigan DNR
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Do I need a special tag (license) for Muzzleloading Season?

No, you can use your regular tags to take deer during muzzleloader season, no special license is required, but you must follow the antler point restrictions in effect for your zone and DMU (deer management unit). You can find an interactive map from the state online with the Michigan DNR.

📷 Michigan DNR
📷 Michigan DNR
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Where can I get more Michigan deer hunting info?

The DNR has complete information online at Michigan.gov/Deer

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