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Tag Archive | "Wetland Wonders"

Spring birding tours at Michigan’s Wetland Wonders 


Red-winged blackbirds are some of spring’s first arrivals at Michigan’s Wetland Wonders.

Nothing says spring like the “conk-a-ree” call of a red-winged blackbird or the raucous sounds of a sandhill crane. Celebrate spring and explore Michigan’s wetlands with a birding tour at one of the Wetland Wonders – or managed waterfowl areas – around the state.

Highlights of the birding tours may include diving and dabbling ducks in full breeding plumage, trumpeter and tundra swans, osprey, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, and many others. Michigan Department of Natural Resources wildlife staff members and volunteers from Ducks Unlimited and Audubon Clubs will lead the tours, which may include a “sneak peek” driving tour into refuge areas that normally are closed. 

The birding tours will be held on the following dates:

  • March 17 at 8 a.m. – St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area, 3857 Columbine Road, Harsens Island; 810-748-9504 
  • March 24 at 9 a.m. – Fish Point State Game Area, 7750 Ringle Road, Unionville; 989-674-2511
  • March 31 at 9 a.m. – Fennville Farm Unit of the Allegan State Game Area, 6013 118th Ave., Fennville; 269-673-2430
  • April 7 at 9 a.m. – Maple River State Game Area, southwest corner of South Baldwin and Crapo roads in Washington Township, east of U.S. 127; 616-446-0555
  • April 7 at 9 a.m. – Shiawassee River State Game Area, 225 East Spruce St., St. Charles; 989-865-6211
  • April 14 at 9 a.m. – Muskegon County Wastewater System, meet at the Muskegon State Game Area Office, 7600 E. Messinger Road, Twin Lake; 231-788-5055
  • April 14 at 9 a.m. – Pointe Mouillee State Game Area, 37025 Mouillee Road, Rockwood; 734-379-9692
  • April 14 at 9 a.m. – Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area, 1570 Tower Beach Road, Pinconning; 989-697-5101

If you have questions about bird tours, please contact the appropriate office at the phone number listed above. Most tours will meet at the area’s headquarters building. Please dress for the weather and bring binoculars. Spotting scopes are also helpful for long-range viewing. The ground may be quite muddy and wet, so plan to wear boots. 

Michigan’s Wetland Wonders are the seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areas in the state: Fennville Farm Unit at the Allegan State Game Area (Allegan County), Fish Point State Wildlife Area (Tuscola County), St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area on Harsens Island (St. Clair County), Muskegon County Wastewater Facility (Muskegon County), Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area (Bay County), Pointe Mouillee State Game Area (Monroe and Wayne counties) and Shiawassee River State Game Area (Saginaw County). To learn more about Michigan’s Wetland Wonders, visit michigan.gov/wetlandwonders

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Youth waterfowl hunts at Michigan’s Wetland Wonders


Youth waterfowl hunts at Michigan’s Wetland Wonders, the seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areas in the state, offer kids a memorable hunting experience.

Youth waterfowl hunts at Michigan’s Wetland Wonders, the seven premier managed waterfowl hunt areas in the state, offer kids a memorable hunting experience.

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.

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