Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Managed Waterfowl Hunt Area: Fish Point


Fish Point State Wildlife Area, located in Unionville, juts out into the Saginaw Bay. Because of the tremendous variety and abundance of waterfowl found here, the Fish Point area has been called the "Chesapeake of the Midwest." During spring and fall migrations, the habitat and food resources at this site attract thousands of ducks and other water birds.
Hunters waiting for draw at Fish PointDabbling and diving ducks, along with Canada geese, are plentiful across the area. Mallards are the most commonly harvested duck, with a good number of green-winged teal, wood ducks, widgeon, pintails, gadwall and black ducks being taken as well.  
Waterfowl hunters who want to hunt Fish Point must enter the Managed Hunt drawing. Drawings occur at 5:30 and 11 a.m. daily during the hunting season for the morning and afternoon hunts, respectively. If hunters miss a draw, they are allowed to take a leftover spot if available. There are 63 hunting zones, covering flooded agricultural fields and cattail and emergent marsh zones. Most zones can be walked into easily, with water about knee-deep.
Hunters not successful in the managed draw can hunt at other nearby wetland areas – Crow Island State Game Area, Wildfowl Bay State Wildlife Area or Quanicassee State Wildlife Area. The waters of Saginaw Bay are also available for hunting.
Fish Point is also an excellent birding and wildlife-watching spot. An observation tower and wildlife-viewing trail provide excellent opportunities to see wildlife in and around the wildlife refuge. Drive the county roads to see birds feeding in local farm fields and wetlands. Drive north on Ringle Road to view the tip of Fish Point and Saginaw Bay. During winter, it is not uncommon to see snowy owls at Fish Point. Trumpeter and tundra swans move through in numbers during spring and fall migration. Shorebirds, herons, egrets, bitterns and other marsh birds make their home here. Fish Point is closed to birding and wildlife viewing from Oct. 1 until Jan. 1.
Being a state game area, Fish Point is also open for small game hunting and trapping in designated areas during the waterfowl season, with harvest and season dates following state regulations. Deer hunting is by permit only through a pre-registered draw.
To learn more about Fish Point, visit www.michigan.gov/wetlandwonders or contact the Fish Point Office at 989-674-2511.
We look forward to seeing you at Fish Point!
Don't forget that the Wetland Wonders Challenge, sponsored by Consumers Energy, runs until Jan. 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, visit www.michigan.gov/mwl or look for MWL on Facebook.