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Tag Archive | "Michigan DNR"

Brush fire burns out of control


Wind caused this fire to burn out of control last week. Post photos by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Dry and windy conditions caused a brush fire to spread out of control behind a home in Nelson Township last week. 

Cedar Springs Fire was called to the scene behind a home on 18 Mile, just to the east of Hillcrest Community Church, on Friday, March 23. 

According to Fire Chief Marty Fraser, when the fire began to spread, the homeowner attempted to put it out but could not get it under control. Approximately two acres was burned. 

The fire department got it knocked downand then went over the hot spots.

The Michigan DNR had a burning ban out for northern Michigan, and most of the fire departments in the lower peninsula also had a burning ban on for the dry, windy conditions. Anyone in the lower peninsula who wants to burn brush needs to call their local fire department to get a burn permit prior to burning.

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‘Tis the season for Christmas bird counting


 

Michigan DNR and Audubon Great Lakes working together for conservation

Pine grosbeaks, like this female photographed in Marquette County, are among the species found on Christmas Bird Counts in the northern part of the state.

By Holly Vaughn, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

This holiday season tens of thousands of Americans will fan out across the country with one goal in mind: finding and counting as many species of birds as they can find.

These observations will add to a large data set going back 117 years to Dec. 25, 1900, when the Christmas Bird Count, known then as the Christmas Bird Census, was first established.

The Christmas count remains one of the most important citizen science datasets today, helping scientists understand population declines and range shifts in North American birds.

“From beginning birdwatchers to experts, participants in Christmas counts gather to identify and census birds within 15-mile diameter count circles,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “The Christmas counts are a great opportunity to learn more about the winter birdlife of a particular area, and for beginners to gain experience birding alongside experts. Some participants count for an hour or so, some birdwatch for the whole day, some count at their bird feeders at home.”

There are now more than 2,500 Christmas Bird Counts in the U.S., Canada, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Michigan alone has 75 count circles, stretching from the Keweenaw Peninsula in the north, to Monroe and Berrien counties in the south.

To find the nearest count circle, the National Audubon Society maintains an informative map at https://audubon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=fadfb421e95f4949bde20c29a38228bd. Clicking on a count circle on the map shows where and when the bird counting team meets, and who the count compiler is.

Christmas Bird Counts are open to the public, family-friendly and a great way to meet local birders.

“Year after year, my wife and I participate in Christmas Bird Counts. We’ve counted birds in Grand Traverse County, Macomb County and Oakland County over the years.” said Jeremy Joswick, a Macomb Audubon Society member. “We feel it is important to contribute to this citizen science project and are glad we can help.”

Joswick said one of the most memorable Christmas Bird Count experiences he and his wife had was in Grand Traverse County, very early in the morning, before the sun rose.

“We were standing on the side of Hoosier Valley Road, listening for owls, when a great horned owl began to hoot,” Joswick said. “It echoed in the quiet morning air—a really cool experience.”

The Christmas Bird Count is spearheaded by Audubon, a nonprofit organization with over 700 employees in the U.S.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources shares an employee with Audubon out of its Great Lakes office in Chicago.

Michigan bird conservation coordinator Caleb Putnam oversees a communications program called MI Birds, which is focused on bridging gaps between the hunting and birding communities and increasing understanding of the value of public lands and the need for strong funding of conservation in Michigan.

MI Birds began about one year ago, with the formation of a steering committee consisting of a dozen partner organizations from game and non-game conservation organizations, including Ducks Unlimited, Ruffed Grouse Society, Pheasants Forever, National Wild Turkey Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Audubon, Detroit Audubon, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Michigan State University Extension and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Together, the members of this group help to develop messaging communicated by MI Birds and determine audiences to send the messages to.

“In the beginning, we were just excited to assemble such a diverse and unique group,” Putnam said. “We made important conversations happen just by getting all of these conservation groups to the same table, and it’s something I haven’t seen before.”

Others agreed.

“Creating an environment of collaboration between birding and hunting groups is something we’ve been pushing for years, and this program has really made it happen,” said Audubon Great Lakes’ Director of Conservation Nat Miller.

Russ Mason, DNR Wildlife Division chief, said it’s been a long-term challenge of the agency to engage new user groups and begin to plan for declining hunter revenues for public-lands conservation.

“MI Birds is our first big attempt at leading discussions between all of these conservation-minded groups,” Mason said.

MI Birds’ biggest presence is online, on a Facebook page with over 4,000 followers. The page features real-time information about Michigan’s birds and their migrations, presented in a fun and engaging way for the public.

Putnam posts videos and hosts Facebook live feeds from a variety of public-lands areas. For example, one video produced earlier this year from the Murphy Lake State Game Area in Tuscola County showed Putnam investigating the nesting habitat of the Louisiana waterthrush, a state special concern songbird that lives there. See it at https://www.facebook.com/MIBirdspage/videos/283336678809254/.

Putnam is also working to publicize the DNR’s important habitat work statewide. He is leading tours to key state game areas and other lands, engaging the public in a conversation with DNR biologists about the work being done, which species it benefits and how it is funded.

“Once non-consumptive users understand how nongame species benefit from primarily game-funded work, the light bulbs immediately go off,” Putnam said. “We have people asking how they can donate to the work before the tours even begin.”

By elevating these discussions statewide, MI Birds stands to engage new user groups and create a broader constituency for public-lands conservation in Michigan.

Christmas Bird Counts are one of many places members of the MI Birds groups could find common interest, fun and camaraderie, paving the way for greater understanding and cooperation in the future.

The gatherings are also places new participants might find future best friends, while pursuing their personal interest in birds, nature and conservation.

For more information on MI Birds, visit the MI Birds Facebook page.

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Fishing Tip: Where to find northern pike in Michigan


From the Michigan DNR

As the temperatures continue to cool, fishing for northern pike will continue to pick up. Pike are extremely popular during the ice fishing season but are readily available throughout much of the year. 

There are many notable northern pike fisheries located throughout Michigan, including on Muskegon, Portage and Manistee lakes and also Michigamme and Houghton lakes. But this species can be found in many lakes and virtually all larger rivers in the state. 

Please note there are many regulations for northern pike regarding minimum size and possession limit. Be sure to read up on this species in the 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide. Download a pdf of the guide at http://www.eregulations.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/16MIFW-LR-17.pdf.

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March maple syrup making is good family fun


 

Michigan DNR and DEQ partners make maple syrup

A “sugar stove” used by the LeSages to boil down maple sap.

A “sugar stove” used by the LeSages to boil down maple sap.

There’s an old saying that goes, “From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks.” In this case, it was maple trees and the seed that was planted was that of inspiration.

Last March, Christian LeSage, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologist, and his family went to Fenner Nature Center in Lansing for its annual Maple Syrup Festival.

That glimpse into how sap is turned into treats like syrup and maple cream sparked an interest in starting his own sugar bush at home in Holt, where LeSage has 1.5 acres and seven nice maple trees.

He bought a book about maple sugaring and $30 worth of gear from the local store that sells sugar-bush supplies, and his syrup-making endeavor was off the ground.

“Last year we tapped five trees and got 40 gallons of sap in one week, which boiled down to almost a gallon of syrup,” LeSage said.

LeSage has since learned that his trees are big enough to tap multiple times.

“I thought we could double production this year by placing two bags for sap collection on each tree,” he said.

In one week’s collection time, the seven trees he’s tapped yielded 85 gallons of sap.

Gather: Leona and Silas LeSage out on a maple sap gathering outing.

Gather: Leona and Silas LeSage out on a maple sap gathering outing.

The process of making maple syrup usually begins months before spiles (taps) are knocked into tree trunks in February or March. The first steps are to identify trees for tapping and collecting supplies.

Next comes the actual tree tapping, followed by boiling of the sap to kill bacteria and evaporate excess water, which turns the sap into syrup.

Last year, LeSage did some Internet research and figured out how to create a wood-powered outdoor “oven,” using cement blocks, to boil down the sap. This year, he made the stove 30 percent larger and is now running three steam trays, versus two last year, to aid in reducing the sap boiling time.

“We had to resort to using a turkey fryer for part of the boil-down this year, when the stove malfunctioned due to an electrical issue,” he said. “It’s not really a good idea to boil a lot of sap down in the house, as it will turn your house into a sauna.”

While he enjoys his family’s new hobby, LeSage admits that it can be labor-intensive.

Boiling maple sap nearing the finishing point.

Boiling maple sap nearing the finishing point.

“It takes about eight hours to boil down 40 gallons of sap,” he said. “We did 60 in one day earlier this year and that added several more hours. I ended up having to bring some lights outside after it got dark.”

It’s a process that requires constant sieving—so that the sap that burns when it bubbles up doesn’t end up giving the syrup a bad flavor—and stoking the stove with wood.

“My lower back was screaming at the end of that day,” LeSage said.

One tricky part about making syrup is determining at which point in the boiling process it is finished.

“My wife, Sarah, has that tough job. When do you have syrup? If you go too far, it crystalizes. Barometric pressure and elevation factor in too,” he said.

But LeSage’s nose helps tip him off when it’s close to syrup stage.

“It smells like cotton candy when it’s almost done,” he said.

Finding the right window of time for tapping trees can be complicated too.

“It’s a race against time,” LeSage said. “Since the temperature has to be above freezing for sap to flow but sap gets bitter when the trees start to bud.

“And once you tap trees, they’re good for only six to eight weeks before they seal up or start to develop bacteria, from what I read.”

The syrup-making hobby has become a special family affair, with Sarah, the kids and in-laws helping. Sarah works as the aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

“It’s fun to get in touch with one of the first signs of spring that’s happening right outside our backdoor,” she said.

The LeSage kids get a kick out of being involved too.

Silas LeSage demonstrates one way to eat maple cream.

Silas LeSage demonstrates one way to eat maple cream.

“My son talked about it in his kindergarten class when they were learning about trees,” he said.

Besides syrup, the family has tried making maple cream, a thick confection also known as maple butter or maple spread.

“My kids each ate a jar of that in about two days,” LeSage said.

Sarah LeSage said her kids help empty the containers of sap, but by far their favorite part of the process is enjoying the “maple cream.”

“It’s a specialty product you won’t find in grocery stores and is delicious spread on just about anything,” she said.

The family makes the syrup mostly for their own consumption. As the weekday breakfast-maker, LeSage uses a lot of it on waffles and pancakes. What he doesn’t use, he gives away.

“It’s neat because you did it in your own backyard,” he said.

Interested in getting an up-close look at maple sugaring?

Check out Maple Syrup Day at Hartwick Pines Logging Museum in Grayling on Saturday, April 1—with tree-tapping demonstrations, information on how to start your own sugar bush and kids’ activities—or visit one of the other local maple syrup festivals around the state.

Find out more about making maple treats from maple trees at several online websites, including www.tapmytrees.com.

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Become a DNR conservation officer


The conservation officer academy recruits ran the first leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Michigan.

The conservation officer academy recruits ran the first leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division is actively seeking recruits for its next conservation officer academy, which begins July 16, 2017, at the Michigan State Police Training Academy in Dimondale.

“The DNR, an equal opportunity employer, is seeking a diverse applicant pool, including military veterans,” said Sgt. Jason Wicklund, recruit school commander.

Certain criteria apply. All recruit applicants must:

  • Be able to lawfully possess a firearm in Michigan.
  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Be at least 21 years of age before graduation from the academy.
  • Become a resident of the state of Michigan by completion of the Probationary Training Program.
  • Possess a valid Michigan driver’s license.
  • Possess a satisfactory driving record.
  • Possess a clean criminal record absent of any felony convictions.
  • Submit to a thorough background investigation measuring the applicant’s suitability for law enforcement work.
  • Be able to pass the MCOLES physical fitness test. Go to http://www.michigan.gov/mcoles and click on “physical fitness test.”

To apply, for the job, complete the online application at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/michigan/jobs/1525399/conservation-officer-10-statewide.

Recruits spent time learning conservation law, including how to identify various features of game fish common to Michigan waters.

Recruits spent time learning conservation law, including how to identify various features of game fish common to Michigan waters.

When submitting an application, download and complete the Job Fit Questionnaire and Location Preference Sheet found in the “Additional Requirements and Information” section of the “Description” tab. Attach completed Job Fit Questionnaire, Location Preference Sheet, cover letter and resume to the application. Applicants not completing and submitting all requested materials will be screened from the process. The State of Michigan is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, age, disability or other factors prohibited by law.

Recruits are classified as State of Michigan employees during the academy and receive pay for their training. The 22-week academy culminates in graduation and is then followed by an additional 20 weeks of field training throughout the state while paired with experienced conservation officers.

At the completion of training, the new officers are assigned to one of the state’s 83 counties where they will work and live.

During ice safety training, recruits jumped into an ice hole and learned to use their issued ice picks to maneuver out of the hole. All safety precautions were taken during the exercise to ensure recruit safety

During ice safety training, recruits jumped into an ice hole and learned to use their issued ice picks to maneuver out of the hole. All safety precautions were taken during the exercise to ensure recruit safety

“DNR conservation officers serve a distinct role in Michigan’s law enforcement community,” Wicklund said. “They are certified police officers with the authority to enforce all Michigan’s laws.”

Conservation officers have unique training in a wide variety of areas related to the protection of Michigan’s citizens and natural resources. This includes extensive training in game, fish, and trapping enforcement and recreational safety and enforcement.

They also receive extensive training in firearms, precision and off-road driving and survival tactics.

Conservation officers also serve the public in life-saving capacities, including ice-rescue, search and rescue and first-aid. Often, and especially in rural communities, they are the first to respond to an emergency.

For more information on the application process and how to apply to the conservation officer academy, contact Sgt. John Meka at mekaj@michigan.gov or 517-284-6499. To learn more about the conservation officer hiring process, visit www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers and click on the link below the “Hiring Process” subheading.

Learn more about the academy by reading the 2016 Conservation Officer Academy blogs for Recruit School No. 7. Visit www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers and click on “Conservation Officer Academy” under the “Hiring Process” subheading to read about each week of training, view training photos and watch videos of recruits persevering.

Subscribe to the conservation officer academy blog, also posted on the Michigan DNR Facebook page, which follows these new officers during their challenges and accomplishments throughout field-training and beyond. Intermittent posts continue past graduation.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more about Michigan conservation officers at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers.

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North Country Trail to run through area


Kurt Mabie (right), Chair of the Community Building Development Team, signs the document for the National Country Trail to come through our area. Christopher Loudenslager from the National Park Service is on the left.

Kurt Mabie (right), Chair of the Community Building Development Team, signs the document for the National Country Trail to come through our area. Christopher Loudenslager from the National Park Service is on the left.

By Judy Reed

It’s no longer a question of “if” the North Country Trail will run through Cedar Springs—it’s only a question of exactly where.

Representatives of the Community Building Development Team, the City of Cedar Springs, Solon Township, National Park Service, North Country Trail Association and Michigan DNR met last Thursday for the signing of the document solidifying the North Country Trail route through Cedar Springs.

All of these representatives had to sign the documents for the intention of the White Pine Trail to come through the Cedar Springs area. From left to right: Christopher Loudenslager, National Park Service Trail Planner; Bob Ellick, Supervisor of Solon Township; Jerry Hall, Mayor of the City of Cedar Springs; Scott Slavin, of the Michigan DNR; and Kurt Mabie, Chairman of the CBDT.

All of these representatives had to sign the documents for the intention of the White Pine Trail to come through the Cedar Springs area. From left to right: Christopher Loudenslager, National Park Service Trail Planner; Bob Ellick, Supervisor of Solon Township; Jerry Hall, Mayor of the City of Cedar Springs; Scott Slavin, of the Michigan DNR; and Kurt Mabie, Chairman of the CBDT.

“Cedar Springs is now home to a State Trail (White Pine Trail) and a Federal Trail (North Country Trail) crossing each other in our town, and we have a National Park that runs through town and through Solon Township out to the Rogue River State Game Area! It feels so good to have achieved this milestone!” said CBDT secretary Carolee Cole.

The North Country Trail is one of 11 National Scenic Trails, and stretches 4,600 miles, across seven states, from the New York/Vermont state line, to North Dakota. It is the longest of the 11 trails.

An optimal location review was done to connect the National Country Trail from the Russell Road and White Pine Trail intersection, to existing trail off Red Pine Drive in the Rogue River State Game area. The review noted that points of interest along the trail route include Long Lake County Park, Howard Christensen Nature Center, Duke Creek, Cedar Creek, Solon Township Hall and the park they are planning, and the City of Cedar Springs, with the planned boardwalk along Cedar Creek and other attractions. Several alternative routes were mapped.

The new part of the trail will be approximately seven miles long. But the exact route is not yet established since easements have to be obtained before the trail is officially certified.

However, certain sections of the trail may not be certified. “At this time the trail will not be able to be certified on the White Pine Trail, as the trail can only be certified in locations that are free of motorized vehicles,” explained Cole. “The Michigan DNR is in the process of approving the possibility for a parallel walking trail that could then allow the trail to be certified. It’s not unusual to have parts of the trail all along the route remain uncertified because a section must share with a motorized trail.”

So what’s next? “Well, a lot more work!” said Cole. “We have to secure easements (talk to people), then build the trail (clear a narrow, hiking only trail to certain specifications) and then maintain it (be willing to go out after a wind or ice storm and clear debris). So we need more people to get on board. A lot more people to get on board!”

If you would like to contribute to this piece of history in Cedar Springs, please contact Amy Anderson at a2andy@yahoo.com and let her know you would like to help with the creation of the North Country Trail.

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Use Michigan’s parks and trails to realize fitness goals


A group snowshoes through a northern woodland, enjoying a sunny Pure Michigan winter’s day.

A group snowshoes through a northern woodland, enjoying a sunny Pure Michigan winter’s day.

From the Michigan DNR

A week into this new year, many people are working on—or perhaps already struggling to keep—resolutions to get in shape.

While those resolutions often go by the wayside before the first flip of the calendar page, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests a different approach to exercise that might help people stick with a healthier lifestyle beyond a few weeks—combining exercise with family and friends.

This graphic outlines five benefits of exercising outdoors.

This graphic outlines five benefits of exercising outdoors.

“Fitness resolutions come and go each year, but spending quality time with friends and family is no fad. Spending that family time out for a walk can make for a powerful fitness pledge,” said Maia Turek, DNR statewide recreation programmer.

The DNR is encouraging Michigan residents to make 2016 #MiShoeYear and to put on their shoes, skis or skates to get outside and move.

“Whether you are taking the first step toward fitness ever or the first step in a long time, the beginning of the year is when a lot of people kick off healthier lifestyle routines,” Turek said. “When you declare #MiShoeYear, it’s more than just a workout, it’s an adventure. Explore new trails. See new vistas, get to know Michigan while you get fit.”

Calling the idea “a movement for movement,” Turek said many of Michigan’s state parks offer programs featuring outdoor winter activities like hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing—some  even by candlelight or lantern light. Those looking for an outdoor adventure can find nearby events at www.michigan.gov/dnrcalendar.

With more than 100 state parks and thousands of miles of trails in Michigan, there’s also plenty of opportunity for self-guided workouts that explore the great outdoors. Find a new favorite place to run, hike, ski or snowshoe using the DNR’s Recreation Search website, www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/

Don’t forget about local and regional parks.

“Michigan has some of the country’s best parks, with endless ways to stay active and spend time with family and community,” said Ann Conklin, chief operating officer for mParks (Michigan Recreation and Park Association). “They’re a convenient and affordable place to get moving and build healthy, active habits.”

The unique advantages of outdoor exercise can make people more likely to stick with a fresh air fitness routine, rather than with a gym.

“There are plenty of reasons to take your workout outside,” Turek said. “Enjoying nature’s scenery will distract from your effort or fatigue, so you’ll work out longer. You’ll burn more calories because the varied terrain of a park or trail helps keep you out of a fitness rut and you’ll be happier—breathing fresh air can create a feeling of euphoria.”

Outdoor fitness also can save money and help manage time.

The DNR’s Recreation Passport—at only $11 per year for access to Michigan workout destinations, including thousands of miles of trails, 102 state parks and 136 state forest campgrounds–could be considered the most affordable gym membership available, with the most locations statewide.

The flexibility of not being confined to class schedules allows outdoor workouts to fit more easily into daily routines. Not to mention, getting outside for some active adventures can make the long Michigan winter a lot more enjoyable.

“Winter is way more fun when you get outdoors and embrace it, instead of wishing it was over. Hiding indoors has never successfully made winter go away, so make the most of it,” said Jacquelyn Baker, communications and marketing manager for mParks. “Michigan is a four-season state, and that’s a great thing. There’s something exhilarating about getting active in winter. Bundle up and breathe some fresh air. Enjoy the picturesque snow and ice.”

Eva Solomon, founder and CEO of Epic Races, agreed.

“Michigan winters are for embracing, not escaping,” Solomon said.

Solomon’s organization is offering a virtual 5K event for those who want some great gear and accountability backing their New Year’s fitness resolution. Register to participate at http://epicraces.com/event/shoe-years-day-virtual-5k/ and a portion of the proceeds will support fitness programs and reforestation efforts in Michigan state parks.

“After the overwhelming response to our Heart MI Run Virtual 5K, we created the Heart MI Snow Virtual 5K. So many people have a 5K run or walk on their bucket lists, but need some extra motivation to begin. Others are worried about feeling out of place at a group event with experienced runners,” Solomon said. “The virtual 5K gave people the opportunity to run, walk, hike, ski or snowshoe their 5K where they want and when they want, and we will reward them by sending them a shirt and medal in the mail.”

Turek said those who exercise outdoors can add to the fun by sharing their adventures on social media using #MiShoeYear.

“State parks, township parks, your neighborhood—wherever it is, just get outside and snap a selfie,” Turek said.

To help fuel up for active outdoor pursuits, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has compiled recipes for nutritious meals using Michigan-grown produce. The recipes, and other healthy, active lifestyle tips for families, are available at michigan.gov/puremichiganfit.

Interested in seeing how fun and easy winter outdoor fitness can be? Watch a video filmed at Muskegon State Park to get tips from Cari Draft with EcoTrek Fitness. The video is part of the “Active Living Through Parks” series, showcasing different forms of outdoor fitness and their benefits through a partnership between the DNR, mParks and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Whether you want to shed a few pounds, strengthen your heart or reduce stress, outdoor exercise can get you there,” Turek said. “Grab your friends and family and head outside to take the first step toward being fresh air fit.”

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Deer seasons in Michigan


 

 

It’s that time of year again, when hunters take to the woods for deer hunting season. For the most up to date changes and requirements for deer and other game licenses, see the Michigan DNR’s Hunting and Trapping Digest. It can be downloaded for free at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Deer seasons:

Early Antlerless Firearm: Sept. 20-21

Liberty Hunt: Sept. 20-21

Independence Hunt: Oct. 16-19

Archery: Oct. 1 – Nov. 14 and Dec. 1 – Jan. 1

Regular Firearm: Nov. 15-30

Muzzleloading:

Zone 1: Dec. 5-14

Zone 2: Dec. 5-14

Zone 3: Dec. 5-21

Late Antlerless Firearm: Dec. 22 – Jan. 1

 

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Is your tree stand safe?


 

 

Hunting from a tree stand is a popular way for hunters to enjoy their season, but nearly every year a Michigan hunter is seriously injured or killed falling out of a tree stand. Conservation officers at the Department of Natural Resources remind hunters of the top safety tips when it comes to tree stands.

Before a hunt, know your equipment:

• Read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions and warnings before using a tree stand and harness.

• Check the stand, straps and chains before you go out for signs of wear and tear or missing parts.

• Practice at ground level with your tree stand and harness with a friend or family member.

• Learn how to properly use your harness. The DNR recommends a full-body harness.

• Waist belts or upper body-only harnesses can cause serious injuries or death in a fall.

• When scouting for a tree:

• Choose a healthy, straight tree that is the right size to hold you and your stand.

• Check the tree beforehand for insect nests or animal dens.

• Avoid using climbing stands on smooth-barked trees, especially during icy or wet weather.

• Clear debris from the base of the tree to minimize injury from a fall and to ensure a sturdy base if using a ladder stand.

During your hunt:

• Tell a reliable person where you are hunting and when you can be expected to return.

• Wear a full-body harness and make sure it is connected to the tree at all times. If using a ladder stand or climbing sticks, attach the harness before securing the platform to the tree or stepping onto it.

• Climb higher than your stand and always step down onto your platform.

• Wear boots with non-slip soles.

• Never carry equipment when climbing – use a haul line to raise and lower equipment, unloaded firearm or bow. Do not attach the line near the trigger or trigger guard of your firearm.

• Have emergency equipment – a knife, cellphone, flashlight and/or whistle.

“DNR conservation officers responding to tree-stand falls see the same mistakes over and over – not using a harness or a haul line,” said Sgt. Tom Wanless, supervisor of the DNR hunter education program. “Nationally, 82 percent of hunters who fall from a tree stand are wearing a harness, but it’s not connected. And 86 percent of tree-stand falls take place during the climb up or down. Harnesses and haul lines save lives.”

For more information about tree stand safety, go to the Treestand Manufacturers Association website at www.tmastands.com.

For more information about hunting in Michigan, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/hunting.

 

 

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Fishing in Michigan


 

The Michigan DNR reminds anglers that a new fishing license season began  April 1, and that Michigan’s fishing licenses were restructured. There are now five options to choose from when making your purchase. All fishing licenses are good for all species.

•   Resident Annual – $26

•   Non-Resident Annual – $76

•   Senior Annual (for residents age 65 or older) – $11

•    24-Hour (resident or non-resident) – $10

•    72-Hour (resident or non-resident) – $30

Residents and non-residents can also purchase the Hunt/Fish combo license for $76 and $266 respectively that consists of a base license, annual fishing license, and two deer tags. Please note, a base license is not required when just purchasing a fishing license.

Michigan’s new fishing licenses will bring additional revenue into the state that will be invested into the state’s fisheries; including providing greater access to world-class fishing opportunities, improving fisheries habitat in inland lakes and streams, and increasing the health and quantity of fish stocked in the state.
Fisheries Division does not receive any general funds and depends on angler dollars (through license sales and federal excise tax dollars for fishing tackle) to manage the state’s fisheries. Buying a fishing license, even if you do not plan to fish, can make a big difference to the future health of Michigan’s prized freshwaters.

There are two simple ways to purchase a fishing license in Michigan:

1. Visit your local license retailer or DNR Operations Service Center and make a purchase in person.

2. Use the E-License system to buy a license online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just visit www.mdnr-elicense.com on your computer, smartphone or tablet to get started.
Don’t miss your chance to experience some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world!

For more information on fishing in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing

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