Michigan pheasant release season starts October 20

2023 Pheasant Release Season Begins October 20

The 2023 pheasant release season begins October 20 across Michigan’s state game areas (SGA).

After a limited 2022 release season due to poor timing of legislative appropriations the 2023 season is looking much more robust.

There are four new release sites and triple the number of birds put on the ground compared to 2022. 

MUCC supported the creation of this program based on our grassroots policy, and continues to work with the DNR and stakeholder groups to ensure its continued success. 

On top of triple the birds, there will also be four new release sites, and additional hunt opportunities for December hunting at some SGAs.

  • Cass City (Tuscola County) – fall and December release.
  • Cornish (Van Buren County) – fall release only.
  • Crane Pond (Cass County) – fall release only.
  • Crow Island (Bay and Saginaw counties) – fall and December release.
  • Dansville (Ingham County) – fall and December release.
  • Erie (Monroe County) – fall and December release.
  • Lapeer (Lapeer County) – fall and December release.
  • Leidy Lake (St. Joseph County) – fall and December release.
  • Pinconning (Bay County) – fall release only.
  • Pointe Mouillee (Monroe and Wayne counties) – fall and December release.
  • Rose Lake (Clinton and Shiawassee counties) – fall and December release.
  • Stanton (Montcalm County) – fall and December release.
  • St. Johns Marsh (St. Clair County) – fall and December release.

Adam Bump, the DNR Upland bird specialist, said in a statement that the increase in the number of birds should make for a memorable season.

“For seasoned hunters and newcomers alike, this is a prime opportunity for everyone to experience the thrill of pheasant hunting. We’re excited to expand the pheasant release program and offer hunters a unique chance to connect or reconnect with upland bird hunting in Michigan,” said Adam Bump, DNR upland game bird specialist. “The increased number of rooster pheasants and the addition of new release locations ensure that hunters can enjoy a memorable hunting season.”

To participate in the season, hunters are required to purchase a $25 pheasant stamp. The funds from the stamp go directly to the program and buy more birds.

The program is now funded a year in advance, thanks to work by MUCC and our partners, this ensures that we have a steady revenue stream, and can plan well in advance to ensure the success of the program. 

Buy a stamp, hunt safe, and enjoy the 2023 pheasant release season.


  1. Ronald Burris on October 24, 2023 at 11:10 am

    Thanks Justin.

    • Howard Miller on November 30, 2023 at 2:07 pm

      Thank you, pheasant hunting brings back fond memories, after striking out my first two years my dog has finally figured it out. I have introduced a junior and his dad and they loved it. With the late season I will introduce few more to pheasants, thanks again

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