For many of my friends, hunting is an important part of existence here in Michigan. Our relationship with nature in this state is perhaps the most unique in the nation.

Most people hunt once a year in November for deer, but many others take part in the entire "menu" of hunting seasons. See what I did there?  Anyway, it's important to remember you can't hunt without a license, so heed these words from the DNR...

David Cannon/Getty Images
David Cannon/Getty Images

Bear and elk hunters – don’t forget to apply for license by June 1

The Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that they only have until Monday, June 1 to apply for bear and elk hunting licenses. There will be 100 elk licenses and 6,951 bear licenses available for the 2015 hunting seasons.

Only Michigan residents are eligible to apply for an elk license. Bear licenses are available for both residents and nonresidents; however, no more than 2 percent of licenses in any bear management unit will be issued to nonresidents.

Hunters can apply online at, at any authorized license agent or at a DNR Customer Service Center. A nonrefundable $5 fee is charged at the time of application. Hunters may purchase just one bear and one elk application.

Applicants may call the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-WILD (9453) by June 1 for assistance with their application and may check their drawing results online at beginning June 29 for both species. Also see the 2015 Michigan Elk Hunting Digest and 2015 Michigan Bear Hunting Digest for more details about the application processes. All hunting digests can be found online at

Applicants are responsible for submitting a valid application with the correct customer ID and application type. Make sure to check the receipt for accuracy and call the Wildlife Division immediately at 517-284-WILD (9453) if there are any mistakes.

Want another chance at a bear or elk license? Hunters can increase their odds by applying for the Pure Michigan Hunt, which also includes elk and bear hunting opportunities. Applications are $5 and are available at any license agent or online at Hunters may buy as many applications as they want. Three lucky winners will win prize packages that include elk (Michigan residents only), bear, deer and turkey licenses; first pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area; plus firearms, crossbows and much more – worth over  $4,000. For more information, visit

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