Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Featured Managed Waterfowl Hunt Area: Pointe Mouillee

Looking for a new waterfowl hunting or birding spot to explore this fall? Take a trip to Pointe Mouillee State Game Area for beautiful views and plenty of ducks.
mallard close-up
Pointe Mouillee State Game Area is located in Rockwood, on the western shore of Lake Erie. Pointe Mouillee, one of the largest freshwater marsh restoration projects in North America, is composed of 4,040 acres of cattail marsh, field, coastal wetland and forest.

Dabbling and diving ducks, as well as Canada geese, can be found at Pointe Mouillee and on the adjoining waters of Lake Erie. Mallards are the most commonly harvested ducks, with a good number of wood ducks and teal taken early in the season.
“Pointe Mouillee offers great opportunities for both managed and open hunting, walking in or by boat, and for both divers and dabblers,” said DNR wildlife biologist Zach Cooley. “Whatever type of waterfowl hunting you’re looking to do, you can find it at Pointe Mouillee and the adjacent waters of Lake Erie.”
Waterfowl hunters who hunt the managed hunt portion at Point Mouillee must enter the managed hunt drawing. Drawings occur Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays during the hunting season. Tuesday’s only draw occurs at 5:30 a.m. Thursday and Sunday have both morning and afternoon draws at 5:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. There are 12 flooded field zones and nine marsh zones on the area. Most zones can be walked into, but some require a flat-bottomed boat, canoe or kayak.
The Walpatich Unit has been added to the managed hunt area this year, adding eight flooded fields to the managed drawing and additional habitat for migrating waterfowl. The addition of the Walpatich unit to the draw was made possible with hunter dollars generated from the 2014 license restructuring.
Hunters not successful in the managed draw can hunt the open hunting areas – Bad Creek, Vermet or Humphries Units of Pointe Mouillee or on the waters of the Huron River and Lake Erie. A few nearby state game areas are also available to hunt. Pointe Aux Peaux State Wildlife Area, Erie State Game Area, Sterling State Park and the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge also offer waterfowl hunting.
Point Mouillee is a premier birding spot in Michigan. Birders from Michigan and Ohio regularly visit its marsh, field and forest habitats to see ducks, shorebirds, herons, eagles, ospreys, warblers and more. Pointe Mouillee often hosts rare avian visitors. In recent years, glossy and white-faced ibises, black-necked stilts, a white wagtail, king rails and a black-headed gull have made appearances in the marsh. Some of the dikes have restricted access from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15.Check with the headquarters if you have questions about where you can and cannot go.
To learn more about Pointe Mouillee, visit www.michigan.gov/wetlandwonders or contact the Pointe Mouillee Office at 734-379-9692.
We look forward to seeing you at Pointe Mouillee!
Don't forget that the Wetland Wonders Challenge, sponsored by Consumers Energy, runs untilJan. 31, 2015. Youth and adult hunters that hunt at three Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas (MWHA) can be entered in the contest. Hunt at more than three MWHAs for additional contest entries. Seven winners will be chosen to win ultimate waterfowl hunting prize packages valued at $1,500, including a "golden ticket" that's good for one first-choice pick at an MWHA for the 2015-16 season (non-reserved). Check out www.michigan.gov/wetlandwonders for contest terms and conditions.
The Wetland Wonders Challenge is part of the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy (MWL), which is a 10-year, cooperative partnership to restore, conserve and celebrate Michigan's waterfowl, wetland and waterfowl hunting community. The initiative is a "call to action" to honor yesterday, engage today and build for tomorrow. To learn more about the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy, visitwww.michigan.gov/mwl or look for MWL on Facebook.