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Old 06-11-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
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Default Michigan Laws Regarding Target Practice

I know a few people without hunting licenses have taken me out to various michigan hunting grounds to shoot (their) pistols and rimfire rifles, but is it legal to do so?

I really want to go run a ton of ammo through my first piece all day long tomorrow to really become accustomed to it (without paying out the ass for being at a firing range all day long) but I really haven't found much information on this topic.

Would I require a hunting license for target practice with a pistol? Does it have to be done in firearms season? If this is not a legal situation to put myself in, I don't want to risk it. I just don't know where to find the information I need.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Guys!
-Joe



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Old 06-12-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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After Exhaustive research, information mostly points to 'Yes', but I have yet to see any actual LAW outlining target practice on state hunting grounds, all of it that has been posted around is paraphrased. I don't want someone's take on what the law means, I want to know the actual law.

What I've learned so far (which could still be proven false: )

  • Certain state hunting areas strictly forbid it.
  • You cannot target practice during firearm hunting season (and 5 days prior, or after).
  • You cannot target practice in state parks that have recreation areas for camping, and boating, etc (Basically, if there are people wandering around in substantial numbers.)
  • You have to do it a certain distance away from any body of water, any road, railway, and so on.
  • You have to use materials that are safe for target practice (No glass bottles, etc.)
  • You also have to pick up any left over shells or debris.


Damn, why is it so hard to find obscure information on laws on the internet. There should be more then what I'm seeing, maybe I'm overlooking a link somewhere.

Anyone know where I should look for the actual law governing this situation?

Thanks again.


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Old 06-12-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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Since you are looking to target shoot on state hunting grounds, I would CALL your state dept of fish and game(whatever your agency is called). They should be able to give you the skinny in facts, not someone elses interpretation of the facts. Hope this helps.

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Old 06-12-2010, 07:33 PM   #4
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The best advice to get is from those that get paid to know the law. It would seem that if you are not hunting you would be OK. But I would not want you to use my advice and get your stuff taken and get a court date.

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Old 06-12-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Joe, I don't know about Michigan, but I do know that Ohio has some state mangaged ranges that are free to (or nearly free) to residents of the state. They are funded by extra taxes on fishing and hunting gear and licenses. I personally would never go to State game lands to shoot for many reasons. The biggest reason is that is where the mall ninjas go, and I will never trust my safety to assumed responsibilities of other people. How do I know that someone a couple of hundred yards away is not shooting in my direction without knowing or even checking?

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Old 06-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #6
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...How do I know that someone a couple of hundred yards away is not shooting in my direction without knowing or even checking?
Generally, I would rather go to a state funded park. The reason I'm thinking about going back to the area in question is it is 5 minutes from my home. The hunting area starts with one dead end road that ends in one dirt 'parking lot', meaning you would be able to tell if someone else were there, unless they made the mile hike. Most 'mall ninjas' would most wouldn't make the trek, they would drive. It's almost perfect for target practice, one long strip of land (not sure how deep, walked pretty far before and never hit a fence.

Anyways, I feel particularly safe in that area, and any time we actually see someone they're practicing firing in to 'the hill'. The hill is less then 30 yards in from the parking lot. Clearly visible, and that's where you find 99.9 of spent casings on the land.

Never ran in to DNR out there before, but we did get the attention of a local hunter that lived outside of the area. Came up and introduced himself and then joined us in our target practice.

Comfy and private would be the best way to describe it. Just hope I can add the word legal to the previous statement.
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:33 PM   #7
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Here in Jersey, we have free target ranges available, the requirements are that at least one person in the party has a current hunting license, and you are limited to the firearms that there are specific seasons for. because we don't have center fire rifle or pistol hunting seasons, the firearms are prohibited at these ranges.
Make the call to your local DNR office and be specific about where you want to shoot. This way there are no surprises, and you can be comfortable in your legality.



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