Michigan Deer Hunting: What Calibers are Legal for Taking Down Whitetail?


Deer hunting in Michigan is a popular outdoor activity. However, before you can hit the woods, it’s essential to understand which calibers are legal for deer hunting in Michigan.

Rifle Caliber Limitations

Michigan allows hunters to use centerfire rifles with a minimum caliber of .22 inches and a maximum of .35 inches. Rifles that fire larger rounds than this limit are illegal for deer hunting. It means that popular cartridges such as the .30-06 Springfield and the .308 Winchester are both permitted.

Shotgun Gauge Limitations

Hunters can also use shotguns when going after deer in Michigan. The state limits shotgun gauges to 10, 12, 16, 20, or 28 gauge with slugs only. Buckshot is illegal for taking deer during firearm season.

Muzzleloader Regulations

Muzzleloading firearms have their own set of requirements for those who want to hunt whitetails in Michigan. Hunters must use one-shot muzzleloaders with an open ignition system – meaning flintlock or percussion cap style only – and cannot exceed .50 caliber.


In summary, if you plan on going deer hunting in Michigan using either a rifle or shotgun will require adhering to specific caliber limitations while keeping safety first and foremost by following accurate shooting techniques and procedures laid out by wildlife officials to ensure ethical harvesting practices continue being implemented within our nation’s wildlife management programs. With these guidelines put into practice alongside good hunter ethics more generally followed across all states including proper tagging guidelines per harvested game species allowed under local laws–you too could become part of successful future hunts!