September has been busy for OTG events and recruiting, providing many opportunities to shake new hands and make more connections. To start off the early hunting season, I attended the Hunting Film Tour in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids to promote upcoming volunteer wildlife habitat events in the SE and SW regions of the state. This was the first year for the film to be hosted at locations here in Michigan and I am glad I got to be a part of the great event!
The film was presented as a series of short hunting films from all over the world with a variety of game species; waterfowl, whitetail deer, mule deer, rams, elk, and more. Each story had its own unique background and focus and not all were successful; a good reminder that the hunt itself is still a reward. What a great way to get amped up for the fast approaching archery season! I look forward to seeing what films they put together for next year. Aside from the great film series, there was also a ton of free gear given away from Sitka gear, Kill Cliff, Vortex Optics, Deer Michigan, Ducks Unlimited, and more!
I attended MUCC’s Camo at the Capitol event for more volunteer outreach and event promotion. This was a great experience to see hunters, anglers, and trappers support and defend their rights at the Lansing Capitol building and make an impression on our very own legislators. It was an empowering feeling to stand among other proud men and women taking the time to ensure that the conservation of wildlife and public land moves forward here in Michigan.
Volunteers continued to show their support and dedication to conservation by removing 420 pounds of European frog-bit from access sites at Nayanquing Point Wildlife Area. The five of us tackled a 1 acre patch of the invasive aquatic plant in a popular water access site by using rakes to pull the clumps of frog-bit into buckets and then transferring it into trash bags; just in time for duck season. These efforts will go a long way in slowing the spread of the plant further along the shoreline of Lake Huron. This project was possible largely in part of the support from a grant with the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (SBWIN)!
Next weekend on Saturday, September 26th, we will be in Allegan State Game Area removing standing dead-wood to restore a coastal marsh area for duck habitat. Coming up in October, on the 11th we will be at Sharonville State Wildlife Research Area removing wire fencing to prepare an area for hunter and easier equipment access as they plant native grasses for pheasant habitat. Join us and volunteer for wildlife!