2017-11-09 / Outdoors

Hiawatha National Forest welcomes hunters

GLADSTONE – The Hiawatha National Forest is open to hunting in the pursuit of fowl and game according to the current season schedule and hunting regulations set by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. In addition to making sure to have a hunting license from the DNR, there are a few things to remember when hunting on National Forest System lands:

Maps – Don’t forget to download a current Motor Vehicle Use Map before you go.

On all National Forests, motor vehicles can only be used on roads, trails or areas that are designated as open for that particular vehicle. This includes all motorized wheeled vehicles from ATVs to street-legal vehicles.

To make sure you know where you are and where you are going, stop at any Forest Service office and get the map for the area you where you will be hunting.

Maps are also available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/hiawatha/ mvum.

Off-road vehicles – It is illegal to operate an ORV on National Forest lands except on designated trails. All cross-country ORV travel is prohibited on the Hiawatha. It is illegal to drive an ORV cross country to blinds or to retrieve game.

Camping -- For information on Dispersed Campgrounds that are open during hunting season visit the website at http://www.fs.usda. gov/ detai l / h iawatha/ newsevents/? cid= FSEPRD521379. These campgrounds will remain open until the snow doesn’t allow you to drive in.

Leaving camping equipment unattended for more than 24 hours is prohibited, and your equipment will be removed. Dispersed camping is also allowed anywhere that isn’t posted “No Camping”. You do not need a permit to dispersed camp, however you can camp for no more than 16 consecutive days at any one location.

Permanent camping structures and damaging trees by placing nails or anchors into the tree is prohibited.

Parking – When camping, or stopping somewhere to hunt for a few hours, vehicles may be parked no more than 25 feet off the road.

Firewood – Please purchase or gather firewood locally to reduce the spread of invasive species such as emerald ash borer and gypsy moth. Campfires or warming fires must be attended at all times. You do not need a firewood permit to gather wood for a campfire or cooking fire.

Food Plots -- It is illegal to create food plots on National Forest System lands.

Blinds – Hunters may not erect permanent blinds on National Forest lands, and all blinds, shelters and other personal property must be removed at the conclusion of this season.

Blinds must meet the Michigan DNR’s requirements as described in the Michigan Hunting and Trapping Guide.

No trespassing – It is illegal to post areas of the National Forest as private property in order to discourage other hunters. Also, National Forest System lands are interspersed with private land; make sure you are on National Forest during your hunting trip.

Remember to download a motor vehicle use map to know before you go.

For more information on the Hiawatha National Forest visit www.fs.usda.gov/hiawatha.

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