You never see michigan on the outdoor channel, you never hear about it in the magazines unless your reading an article about wolf problems, or possibly a successful bear hunt. There is a reason why Michigan is such and underrated state when it comes to deer hunting.
Michigan is no doubt a two part State. the differences between the upper and lower michigan is pretty extreme.
the upper peninsula is made up of vast cedar swamps and mountainous terrain. the upper pensinsula has such deep woods that they actually are home to moose.
Most hunting shows, and articles are geared towards midwestern hunters. geared toward those who have access to extensive food plots and crop fields. and the common ingredient of hunting the wind.
this doesnt work well when you are hunting in the mountains or deep down in the cedar swamp. alot of times the wind isnt to your advantage. unlike the midwestern states, there is no real link between bedding areas and feeding grounds. when you have thousands of trees bearing acorns, and an infinite amount of bedding grounds, you cant really transition hunt. theres no point A and Point B and i'll just throw a stand in between.
Deer sign doesnt always mean success. Alot of times if you find some scrapes and rubs and maybe a small deer run, its probably just a small buck working that area. this is true because its in an easy to access area, and has no doubt had human activity there already. your best bet is finding really hard to access areas and then finding deer sign.
Also terrain is important. finding natural funnels due to terrain is huge.
Upper michigan would stand no chance at being on tv, because your not gonna see 4-5 bucks in one sit, probably not even that in a week. lots of big bucks, but they are just really elusive and hard to find. and require lots of time and energy. upper michigan is home to my biggest buck ever.
the lower peninsula, is mostly a typical midwestern state. most of the lower peninsula is almost all flat farmland. while the top part of the lower peninsula is more hilly, and actually home to a small elk herd, which michigan allows you to hunt with a lottery drawing.
I've hunted all parts of the lower peninsula. mostly the flat farmland down below. its very difficult because there is such small sections of woods, while most is field. and its extremely over hunted. most people hunt sections no bigger than 40-80 acres if your lucky. and most of the sections around you get hunted. and its almost all private land. not alot of state land. somehow though, deer find a way to grow mature, and you can get lucky at harvesting a bigger deer.
i've been lucky enough to have over 1,000 acres of land to hunt in lower michigan. one of the properties, the farmer actually let us build a 2 acre bedding area for the deer. it took about 5 years to grow to the point we wanted. its super thick and nasty, but the deer took it over and made a network of trails through it. we never disturb it. we usually seen about 1 decent buck on the property every other year or so. and come season he would quickly move on to somewhere else. this past year we had 2 different 3 year old bucks living in the swamp. and multiple 2 year olds. we werent able to harvest either of the 3 year olds. one was a 9 point, and the other was a 5 point. with 4 on one side and a large blade on the other! really cool deer. we know both of them lived through the season due to trail cam photos.
lower michigan is extremely hard to hunt but i've seen alot of guys put alot of energy into it and come out on top!