Sorry I can't help you buddy. I'm clear on the other side of the state. For as many people in Michigan that hunt, you should be able to find a hunting buddy.
Try asking some of your coworkers, or just start talking to them about hunting. Maybe you could work something out with them to visit your old hunting grounds in Indiana for permission to hunt with them here in Michigan. An invite to harvest some extra deer in a nearby state is always inviting.
I live in WA now, but grew up in Grand Rapids. I moved out of Grand Rapids one and a half years ago. You are not allowed to hunt in most state parks. There is one or two I believe that have special hunts, but not open to the public. The state land is where you want to go. Hunting in the LP during gun season on public land is crazy. Wear lots of orange!!!!! But if you stay put in one spot long enough, the other hunters will push deer by you. There is some private land open to the public, but from what I understand, there is rapidly becoming less and less of that as most people are disrespectful to other peoples property. You can check the dnr website for a list of land and how many people are allowed on it. There is a sign in/out mailbox at the property to let you know how many people are there. But that is one of the problems, some people aren't honest.
South of 19mile just north of Big Rapids is the rifle/shotgun line. (Double check that to make sure.)
I used to hunt South and West of Middleville. There is a big chunk of State land there that gets a lot of pressure, but if you walk in a ways, you will have it mostly to yourself. (By a ways I mean [u]at least[/u] a half mile off the road.) Depending on what part of Grand Rapids you live in this is 45-60 min. from you. There is also some good spots by Lowell. (east of GR)
Other than that I would suggest heading north. There is a lot more land the farther north you go. (both state land and national forest land) We used to hunt the UP every year for a week over Thanksgiving. I can't say that there are any more deer up there, but it is a much different hunt than the LP. (more room and less people) And, as with anywhere else, if you can get permision to hunt private property not open to the public, you will do well.
There are maps available at most sporting goods stores (Gander Mt., MC, Meijers, etc) that will show what is state land and national forest land.
I'm a student and a full time worker in Grand Rapids. I grew up in Southern Indiana, and have always hunted there. Does anybody know of a good place to hunt in this area? State parks or funded land.
I'm about 60 miles north of you now(White Cloud), but I use to live in GR. The best hunting spots on public land use to be in Yankee springs south of GR or as "tcgeester" said there is some state land in lowell right by the Ionia kent county line (sorry i can't remember the road name)
Or just north of GR in sparta area, actually north of sparta on sparta ave, and 18 mile rd. area there is a lot of state land. Ive seen some big bucks taken out of there. Or if your up for an hour drive head up to newaygo county, There is lots of national forest land up here. If you decide to hunt this way let me know and I can tell you some areas to check..
The DNR puts out a list of land enrolled in the Commercial Forest Act, which by law is open to public hunting, Get that list and a county map and you will find lots of accesable land.
I tried hunting that way once Every place I went to in kent county told me the place was full for the season, The way I understood it you had to pick up your permit to hunt for the day on the day of the hunt but I was told that's not the case. As far as I'm concerned that's a scam by land owners to get money from the state. Maybe it has changed though, That was about 12 years ago.
I have always looked for ways to save money and gain skills. I have the firearms basics covered so I rarely buy firearms these days. But I do watch for bargains. Sometimes a little TLC with simple tools will let you bring an old gun back to life without investing a lot of money. One such find was a side by side 12 gauge marked “W. Richards” It is not from the fine English gun maker Wesley Richards, it is a cheap knock off copy probably made in Belgium about a hundred years ago...