This fall, as part of the Explore Michigan's Wetland Wonders campaign, Consumers Energy and the Department of Natural Resources challenge hunters to discover everything the state's seven Wetland Wonders have to offer.
Michigan's Wetland Wonders are the seven premier Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas (MWHAs) 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).
These areas, scattered across the southern Lower Peninsula, were created in the 1960s to provide exceptional waterfowl hunting opportunities. They're still 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.
A new Wetland Wonders Challenge, sponsored by Consumers Energy, began Oct. 12 and continue through Jan. 31, 2014. To enter, participants must hunt at three of the seven southern Michigan Wetland Wonders and submit a punch-card entry form. Seven winners will be chosen to win ultimate waterfowl hunting prize packages valued at $1,000, including a "golden ticket" good for one first-choice pick at an MWHA for the 2014-15 season (non-reserved). Winners will be selected on Feb. 10, 2014, by contest partners Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
When hunters register at any of the MWHAs, they will receive an individual commemorative duck leg band for that MWHA and a validation on their Wetland Wonders Challenge punch card (available at all MWHAs). For more information on the MWHAs – including location, drawing times, dates and rules and regulations – and the Wetland Wonders Challenge contest (including terms and conditions), please visit www.michigan.gov/wetlandwonders.
"Our MWHAs offer hunters access to some of the best waterfowl hunting areas in the state," says Barb Avers, DNR waterfowl and wetlands specialist. "If you haven't visited an MWHA before, we invite you to come experience these unique hunting areas and see what they're all about."
The Wetland Wonders Challenge is part of the Michigan Waterfowl Legacy (MWL), 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.