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Hunting Access Program (HAP)
2016 HAP Overview Maps
Hunting HAP Properties this year? Remember these things:
- You must sign-in before you hunt a parcel. Failure to do so is trespassing.
- It is the hunters responsibility to stay on designated HAP lands. Be diligent and do not trespass.
- No driving is allowed on HAP Lands. You may, however, enter a HAP property from an alternative location as long as you are not trespassing and have signed in at the appropriate mailbox and sign-out upon exiting.
- Beware that many fences are "hot" as cattle may be present at some sites. Be respectful of farmers' gates and while you may open a gate to gain access you must close it behind you!
What is HAP?
HAP, the Hunting Access Program, is a financial opportunity for landowners that also provides public hunting opportunities. Although focused primarily in southern Michigan where public hunting lands are limited, HAP has been expanded into the eastern Upper Peninsula to increase public hunting opportunities for sharp-tailed grouse. The DNR leases private lands form landowners who give licensed hunters access to their property, generally on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters using HAP lands are guests of the landowner and are asked to register each time they visit the property.
Why HAP in the UP?
Sharp-tailed grouse are a grassland species, preferring areas with limited shrub and tree growth. Private lands currently support the majority of this type of habitat in the hunting zone; opportunities on public lands are limited. The DNR aims to increase public sharp-tailed grouse hunting opportunities through HAP by partnering with landowners, providing public access on private lands in the hung zone in the eastern
What's in it for you?
HAP offers a chance to increase and diversify your farm income. It's a way to allow controlled access on your land, and it's flexible.
Are landowners covered for liability?
Yes. The Michigan Legislature has addressed the concern some landowners had over sharing access to their lands because of legal liability for hunting. Landowners are free from liability as stated in P.A. 451 of 1994: "No cause of action shall arise for injuries to persons hunting on lands leased under HAP unless the injuries were caused by gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct of owner, tenant, or lessee."
What are the hunter's responsibilities?
Hunters are asked to register or take a daily permit if they are actively hunting; observe all instructions of the landowner; know the property boundaries and not trespass on adjacent property; not block field access routes or drive in fields without the host's permission; leave no trash; observe all hunting and trapping rules and regulations; and observe safety zones around buildings.
Who can enroll in HAP?
Landowners in the sharp-tailed grouse hunting zone owning 40 or more acres are eligible to apply. HAP contracts can include grassland and cropland, forest, and/or wetland. A minimum of 20 percent of the contract acres must be in wildlife habitat (grassland, forest or wetland).
Click Here for a Hunting Access Program Application and Current Rates.
Click Here for a brochure on how to manage your property for sharp-tailed grouse.