The Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites waterfowlers to bring their young hunters to one of Michigan’s Wetland Wonders in October and November for a memorable hunting experience. Hunters can choose from several dates and locations for youth waterfowl hunts. Parties with at least one youth will be given priority in the draw at all seven Wetland Wonders:
Oct. 22 – Nayanquing Point Wildlife Area (afternoon hunt only) in Pinconning
Oct. 29 – Muskegon County Wastewater (morning and afternoon hunts) in Twin Lake
Oct. 29 – Fish Point State Wildlife Area (afternoon hunt only) in Unionville
Nov. 5 – Fennville Farm Unit of the Allegan State Game Area (morning hunt only) in Fennville
Nov. 5 – Shiawassee River State Game Area (afternoon hunt only) in St. Charles
Nov. 11 – Harsens Island Managed Hunt Area (afternoon hunt only) on Harsens Island
Nov. 13 – Pointe Mouillee State Game Area (morning hunt only) in Rockwood
Drawings for the youth morning hunts will occur at 5:30 a.m. and for the youth afternoon hunts at 11 a.m. (11:30 a.m. at Harsens Island).
Youth priority drawings are available for hunting parties with at least one youth (16 and younger) and up to two adults (maximum party size is four). Youth hunters 9 years old and younger must be accompanied by a qualified Mentored Youth Hunting Program mentor.
Only parties including youth hunters will be allowed to hunt at Fennville Farm the afternoon of Nov. 5, and only youth will be permitted to shoot during this hunt.
All youth participating in these priority hunts must be properly licensed to hunt. Youth up to the age of 9 need only a Mentored Youth Hunting license to hunt waterfowl. Youth 10-15 years of age need a junior base license only, and youth ages 16 and older need a junior base license, a waterfowl license with Harvest Information Program survey questions answered and a Federal Duck Stamp.
Michigan’s Wetland Wonders are the seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areas in the state. These areas, scattered across the southern Lower Peninsula, were created in the 1960s to provide exceptional waterfowl hunting opportunities and still are managed today to provide waterfowl habitat for nesting and migration and for the benefit of other wetland wildlife. Since the beginning, the areas have been funded by hunting license fees and area use fees, but they are open for anyone to visit, use and enjoy most of the year.
For more information about hunting the managed waterfowl hunt areas, visit www.michigan.gov/wetlandwonders.
Don’t forget that the Wetland Wonders Challenge, sponsored by Consumers Energy, runs until Feb 12, 2017. Youth and adult hunters who hunt at three managed waterfowl hunt areas can be entered in the contest. Hunt at more than three areas for additional contest entries. Seven hunters will be chosen to win ultimate waterfowl hunting prize packages valued at $1,500, including a “golden ticket” good for one first-choice pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area for the 2017-18 season (non-reserved). See www.michigan.gov/wetlandwonders for contest terms and conditions.