This weekend, MUCC’s wildlife habitat program will be completing a project at the Gratiot-Saginaw State Game Area; making this the fourth habitat project we’ve hosted in the area with the first project being in 2013. In previous projects, volunteers along with the students built large brush piles for rabbitat in fence-rows and on field edges. This project will be focusing on clearing shrubs and trees from a wildlife opening that will be planted for deer and small game browse. The trees and brush removed from the clearing will be used to build five large brush piles on the outer edges of the opening. Volunteers will be meeting in the field on Saturday, February 20th at 9am; see more details and RSVP to volunteer here!
I scouted the area last week with DNR Wildlife Technician Chad Krumnauer and we marked trees to fell as well as brush areas that will need to be cleared by volunteers on Saturday. There was good sign of rabbits in the area, so I anticipate the brush piles will be of use to them immediately. Local hunters have been requesting that the DNR plant food plots for deer in this particular section of the Gratiot-Saginaw SGA, as there are not currently any plots near this location to hold deer in the area. This opening presents a great opportunity for just that and hunters will be happy to see that progress is being made towards their requests.
Students from the Midland Dow High School Conservation Club will be joining volunteers for the second year to help with this event. Last year, students helped build quality brush piles in fencerows to provide cover for rabbits as they move from one soy bean field to the next. The students didn’t let sub-zero wind chill bother them and had the energy for a snowball fight after the project. Although, I don’t expect to see much snow on the ground for this weekend’s project with warmer temperatures expected to be in the high 40’s and even reaching the high 50’s just one day before the event.
I'm really looking forward to this event and I'm going to take full advantage of the opportunity to check out previous project sites and kick some brush piles in hopes of scaring out a rabbit or two! Putting in the work to improve wildlife habitat is just half of the fun, I'm glad I have the opportunity to utilize public lands to hunt as well. Coordinating these habitat events gives me direct insight on great locations to hunt the following season too and possibly a few new hunters to tag along with! Next, MUCC's wildlife habitat program will be building brush piles for rabbitat in the Fulton State Game Area on March 5th, 2016; see more details and RSVP to volunteer here!