Like Shining Deer? Make Sure You Know Michigan’s Laws on Spotlighting
If you like using a spotlight to shine deer and other animals for fun, you may want to make sure you know Michigan's laws regarding spotlighting or it may cost you.
Michigan Deer Season is Approaching
A lot of Michigan hunters and people who just like seeing deer will drive around at night and shine for deer using a handheld spotlight that you usually plug into your vehicle's cigarette lighter.
Some Michiganders will just use an old trusty flashlight to spot some of the green eyes from the deer at night to help them see what is hanging around their hunting areas. There are rules for spotlighting in Michigan you must follow or it might cost you in fines or perhaps hunting privileges altogether.
Deer Shinning Laws According to the DNR
First and foremost you are not allowed to hunt at night and use any kind of spotlight to aid in harvesting an animal in Michigan. That means you can't use any artificial light one hour before and 1 hour after shooting hours while you are in possession of any unloaded firearm or bow and traveling afoot to and from the licensed hunter's hunting location. This goes for a spotlight, headlight, or any other artificial light to shine on a field, woodland, or forest and you can't possess any kind of weapon, firearm, or archery equipment in your vehicle when shinning for deer in legal hours.
The rule according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is you can not shine at all during the month of November and from 11:00 p.m. to 6 a.m. the remainder of the calendar year. So in the fall, you can shine up until 11 p.m. but no weapons in your vehicle.
If you get caught shinning with weapons in your vehicle especially if you are taking wildgame that way you could wind up spending time in prison and getting fined all the way up to $5000. Click here to see the breakdowns of jail time and fines based on the crime.