Hunting in Ottawa County Parks

Hunting is an important part of managing natural lands and parks in Ottawa County. Biodiversity is dependent on a delicate balance of predator and prey populations. In Michigan, this balance has been altered by a significant loss of predators, like wolves. As a result, some prey populations, such as deer, do not have the natural checks and balances needed to prevent overpopulation. Humans have always been and continue to play an important role in hunting prey populations. 

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers hunting on over 3,400 acres of selected properties. Five of the properties require a special permit, which are available via lottery. These lotteries are now open, see below for more information on how to apply. 

Special Permits

Properties requiring a special permit for hunting include:

  • Crockery Creek Natural Area
  • Upper Macatawa Natural Area
  • Stearns Creek Park
  • North Ottawa Dunes/Ottawa Sands

Lottery drawings are held prior to the hunting periods at each of these sites. Hunters may apply for both lotteries, but may submit only one application for each; duplicate entries results in removal from lottery.

Special Permit Archery Hunting

Crockery Creek Natural Area – Upper Macatawa Natural Area – Stearns Creek Park

Crockery Creek Natural Area, Upper Macatawa Natural Area, Stearns Creek Park are open to archery deer hunting by special permit only, during specific periods by lottery-chosen hunters. The parks remain open for hiking, fishing, and other recreational uses during the hunting season. Special hunting rules and regulations are in effect for these hunts; please review before you apply.

Crockery Creek Natural Area is also open to waterfowl hunting by special permit.

Learn more and apply

Lakeshore Wildlife Management:

Firearm Hunting Season Dates

The Lakeshore Wildlife Management hunt (firearm) takes place at the end of November at North Ottawa Dunes and Ottawa Sands.

Both parks will be closed to the general public during the hunt. Special hunting rules and regulations  are in effect for this hunt; please review them before you apply.

Learn more and apply

If you would like to receive future emails about special hunting permits, please sign up here.

More information about hunting on Ottawa County Parks properties can be found online

About the Author

Jessica VanGinhoven

Jessica is the media contact for the Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Department:, (616) 994-4716