Laws for Hunting Bobcats in Michigan

This article discusses some of the laws for hunting bobcats in Michigan. Federal, state, and local laws frequently change (they did in 2022). A hunter’s responsibility is to check for updates and changes and hunt safely. This article is not legal advice; it is for informational purposes only.

Laws for hunting bobcats in Michigan.
The laws for hunting bobcats in Michigan.

In Michigan, the bobcat hunting season in the Southern Lower Peninsula is from Jan. 1 to Jan. 11. In the Northern Lower Peninsula, it runs from Jan. 1 to Jan. 20. A base license, a fur harvesting license, and a kill tag are required. Bag limit: 2 Per resident fur harvester.

Note: November 30th is the last day to obtain bobcat kill tags for a season. 

Purchase a Michigan hunting license here.

Check out the Michigan hunting seasons.

Related: First time hunting bobcats? Read this article on three tips for a successful bobcat hunt.

Related: read my article on the laws for hunting coyotes in Michigan.

Related: read my article on the laws for hunting fox in Michigan.

That’s the famous Kevin Rought—one of our favorite master predator hunters.

General rules for hunting bobcats in Michigan.

Kill tags. One kill tag is valid for all lands and for all units combined. A second kill tag is valid for Unit A ONLY, on private lands (excluding Commercial Forest lands).

Residents with a fur harvester license who intend to harvest bobcat must request free kill tags for these species.
• Bobcat Kill tags are available May 1 through Nov. 30.

Kill tags will be available from license agents, DNR Customer Service Centers or online. A person who harvests a bobcat should immediately validate the tag and attach the tag to the hide from the upper jaw through the eye socket or through the lower jaw. The kill tag will be replaced by an official DNR seal at registration.

If you harvest bobcat, fisher, marten or otter, you must present the animal at a DNR registration station for registration.

Night hunting. Hunting bobcats at night is prohibited.

Registering a bobcat harvest in Michigan.

What do I need to know before registering my bobcat?

• Animals should be skinned prior to registration.
• The pelt and skull must be brought in to a DNR registration station for
• The skull will be retained and will not be returned.
• If possible, note township, range and section of harvest location (or mark the
spot on a map).
Hunters and trappers are strongly encouraged to call ahead to determine
availability of DNR personnel and to make an appointment to register animals. A complete listing of available furbearer registration locations and hours is available at

Using electronic callers and decoys when hunting bobcats in Michigan.

Electronic calls, mouth calls or other types of game calls or predator calls may be used when hunting bobcat. Mechanical/ electronic decoys may be used as well.

While electronic callers are expensive, mouth and hand callers are cheaper but harder to use.

Read this article and watch the video to learn how to use a closed reed rabbit squealer.

Follow along as call manufacturer Brian Rush shows you three open reed calls you can learn and use today.

You can check the price for an electronic caller on Amazon.

Decoys are legal. 

Legal hours for hunting bobcats in Michigan.

Hunting hours listed are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset (adjusted for daylight saving time).

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

Recent Posts