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Michigan’s Waterfowl Hunting Zones

November 1st, 2011

As Michigan continues the discussions about potential changes to our waterfowl hunting zones, MUCC is once again asking for member input.

To recap where we are with proposed zone boundary changes, the Citizen Waterfowl Advisory Committee (CWAC) discussed the following at the March 2011 meeting:

  • 4 proposals to move Saginaw Bay into Middle Zone
  • 2 proposals to split Saginaw Bay up the middle
  • No proposals for four zones

Several motions were made to keep the zone boundary the same as well as to move Saginaw Bay into the Middle Zone but no motions passed.  There was general opposition toward a split of Saginaw Bay and no motions were made for that option.  Likewise, there was opposition for four zones because of the loss of flexibility with split seasons; if we have four zones we will not be able to split the season up into segments, the 60 days would have to run consecutively.

At the August 2011 Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting, a gentleman from southwest Michigan attended and opposed the 2-day late split in December in the South Zone.  Based on the discussion that followed, the NRC asked the Wildlife Division to consider other proposals for waterfowl zone changes, such as four zones that would address the concerns of some of our southwest Michigan hunters. The DNR has asked MUCC and other members of the CWAC to help capture these proposals that some of our waterfowl hunters may have, particularly to determine if there are proposed changes that hunters in the southwestern region of Michigan would like to have considered.

The CWAC will again be discussing these proposed changes at their March 3, 2012 meeting.  In order to be informed well in advance of that meeting, I’m asking that you provide any additional proposals to MUCC’s CWAC representative, Steve Wyckoff, by November 30 via email at dnswyckoff@iserv.net.  An aggressive schedule is necessary if we want changes to our waterfowl hunting zones for the 2012-13 season.

Please include any of the following information in your suggestion:

  • What change are you proposing?  (e.g., a change to current boundaries or 4 zones with no splits)
  • Zone boundary change:  Describe your proposed change in detail using roads/highways/county lines/etc if possible. 
  • Why the change is necessary: Provide justification for the proposed change.  What benefits are expected from this proposed change?  What information was used in the development of this proposal?  Address how this change will affect 60, 45 and 30-day seasons.
  • Level of Support: Describe how you developed your proposal.  What level of input did you receive?  Summarize the comments (both in support of and disapproval of the proposal) that you received.  Include endorsements from hunting clubs or individuals. 
  • Tkriegle

    Perfectly happy with seasons and zones as they are now.

  • Greenhead494239111

    leave well enough alone!Later open date for zone 3.

  • John Singer

    I live and hunt in Southern Michigan. I used to live and hunt in NE Lower Michigan. I support Saginaw Bay being included in the Middle Zone. The weather patterns, migration patterns, and freeze-up are such that there is lost opportunity when Saginaw Bay is included in the Southern Zone.

  • Swampboss

    Move Saginaw Bay to the middle zone. Reasoning: Bay is in the middle of MI and subject to those weather patterns. Frozen most years by Thanksgiving. Increase hunter recruitment by offering hunting when early departing species are here-BWT, Wood ducks (or offer an early teal only season).

    Bring Back 2 day Jan season for South Zone.

    Raise License fees (Except for Senior/Junior Hunters) to support enforcement efforts.

  • M.Webb

    Put Saginaw Bay in the middle zone.Keep 3 zones with no splits.

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