What Rifles Are Legal To Hunt With In Lower Michigan Introduction: Michigan has specific regulations regarding the calibers permitted for deer hunting. It’s essential for hunters to understand these rules to ensure they comply with the law. In this guide, we’ll outline the legal calibers for deer hunting in Michigan.
Legal Calibers for Deer Hunting: In Michigan, the legal calibers for deer hunting must be .35 caliber or larger. This means that rifles and handguns chambered for calibers smaller than .35 are not allowed for deer hunting in the state. The most commonly used calibers for deer hunting in Michigan include .30-06, .308, and .300 Winchester Magnum.
Michigan’s Firearm Regulations:
Michigan’s firearm regulations for deer hunting have evolved over time, which can sometimes lead to confusion among hunters. The following key points summarize the current firearm regulations:
- Large Caliber Rifles: In certain seasons, hunters in Michigan can use large caliber rifles, such as .35 caliber or better. This two-week season allows the use of regular firearms. Additionally, firearm regulations in Michigan’s southern half have been relaxed. In southern Michigan, hunters can now use round-nosed bullets in rifles with a .35 caliber or larger, unless the round is straight-walled. It’s recommended that each rifle cartridge case falls within a length range of 1.16 to 1.75 inches.
- Hunter Requests: The changes in firearm regulations were made in response to long-standing requests from hunters in the state. These changes offer them the opportunity to possess and use specific firearms.
- .223 Remington/5.56x45mm: While the .223 round is legal for deer hunting in Michigan, it might not be the best choice for larger deer due to its lower energy compared to larger calibers.
- .44 Magnum Lever Action: Firearms like the .44 Magnum lever-action rifle from the Field and Stream line are legal for deer hunting in Michigan and are commonly used for this purpose.
Using .223 Caliber in Michigan:
The legality of using a .223 caliber rifle for deer hunting in Michigan can vary from state to state. In Michigan, the minimum caliber allowed for deer hunting is .22, making a .223 caliber rifle legal. However, it’s always advisable to consult the state’s hunting regulations before heading out to ensure compliance.
.223 Caliber Considerations:
The .223 round is widely used and versatile, found in firearms like the AR-15 and Mini-14. While it’s legal for deer hunting in many states, its effectiveness may vary. Factors like wind conditions can affect bullet trajectory, and .223 bullets may not expand as much as larger calibers, potentially leading to a less lethal shot. It’s important to choose appropriate ammunition, avoid full-metal jackets or hollow points, and consider the grain count to determine shot strength.
Phasing Out .22 Caliber Centerfire Rifles: .
22 caliber centerfire rifles are being phased out in favor of larger and more powerful calibers. While legal for deer hunting in revolvers like the T/C Encore, rifles with a case length of 2.105 inches or smaller, such as the .22-250, are considered less suitable for deer hunting than larger, more powerful calibers like the .243 Winchester and .270 Winchester.
Hunting with .45-70 in Michigan: Hunting deer with a .45-70 caliber rifle is legal and popular in Michigan. This caliber is known for its power and accuracy, making it a great choice for deer hunting in the state.
Using .357 Magnum in Michigan:
The legality of hunting deer with a .357 Magnum in Michigan depends on state regulations. While Michigan allows deer hunting with rifles or shotguns using slugs, and handguns using straight-walled cartridges, specific mention of the .357 Magnum may not be available. However, as it’s a straight-walled cartridge, it is likely to be allowed. It’s essential to verify the latest regulations before hunting.
Considerations for .357 Magnum:
When hunting with a .357 Magnum, it’s recommended for close-range shots within 50 yards, using bullets weighing 180 grains or less. Expansion of the bullet may not be a significant concern with powder burners, and tracking blood trails may be necessary.
Understanding the legal calibers for deer hunting in Michigan is crucial for hunters to ensure they comply with state regulations. While .223 and .357 Magnum are permitted for deer hunting in Michigan, hunters should consider the specific attributes and limitations of these calibers and choose appropriate ammunition. Additionally, staying informed about the latest hunting regulations is essential to hunt legally and responsibly in the state of Michigan.