Cooperative Waterfowl Management in the United States

In the realm of migratory game bird management within the U.S., a joint effort between state and federal governments is crucial. The guiding framework for this management comes from migratory bird treaties with Canada and Mexico, which delineate huntable species, set boundaries on hunting times, and determine the length of hunting seasons. Federal governments in these countries hold the ultimate authority over these regulations.

The continental partnership is segmented into four distinct flyways for more effective governance of waterfowl migration: the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific Flyways. Michigan, specifically, is part of the Mississippi Flyway. These flyways have dedicated Flyway Councils, which are comprised of representatives from state and provincial game management agencies. The councils' primary role is to propose regulations concerning waterfowl and migratory, shore, and upland game birds to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

In turn, the Flyway Technical Committees—teams of state and provincial biologists—offer advice to the councils. Their analysis spans the study of population status for species, the assessment of harvest and hunter participation data, and they utilize these insights to shape the councils' regulatory recommendations. Subsequently, the USFWS carefully reviews the council's propositions, placing emphasis on factors like species status, species biology, the cumulative impact of regulation, and existing policies before confirming the final regulations.

Once the federal regulations are established, it becomes the role of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to assess various local inputs, including population and migration patterns, results of hunter opinion surveys, and consultations with the Citizens Waterfowl Advisory Committee (CWAC). Utilizing feedback from CWAC along with statewide hunter input, DNR constructs proposals for Michigan's waterfowl hunting seasons. These proposals are then presented to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), which decides on the final hunting regulations within the state. For further details on the CWAC's role and Michigan's waterfowl management, one can visit Michigan's Waterfowl Resource.

This intricate mechanism of the waterfowl management system highlights the interconnectedness of cross-border wildlife conservation efforts and the importance of federal and local cooperation. It ensures that the management of waterfowl populations is carried out in an informed and sustainable manner, accounting for ecological considerations and communal interests alike.

Essential Role of Waterfowl Population Surveys and Monitoring

Waterfowl population surveys and monitoring programs stand as fundamental components of effective waterfowl management in North America. The data collected from these surveys serve as pivotal inputs for crafting population models; these models are integral to the decision-making process that guides biologists and wildlife managers.

By analyzing the trends and numbers from the surveys, experts can formulate strategies for both harvest management and habitat management programs. These programs play a vital role in maintaining healthy waterfowl populations and ensuring sustainable hunting practices.

For those seeking more in-depth information about the ways in which survey data underpin waterfowl regulatory decisions and management practices, a rich resource is available at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website. By visiting Michigan's Waterfowl Management and selecting “Setting Regulations for Waterfowl – Management and Status,” enthusiasts, researchers, and the general public can access detailed explanations of the methodologies and outcomes of waterfowl monitoring and its impacts on conservation policies. This link is a gateway to understanding the complexities of waterfowl conservation and the meticulous work involved in ensuring these bird populations thrive for generations to come.

Understanding the Citizens Waterfowl Advisory Committee (CWAC)

The Citizens Waterfowl Advisory Committee (CWAC) is a vital link between the waterfowl hunting community and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Composed of a 20-member panel that includes 13 at-large members along with representatives from seven major waterfowl hunting organizations, CWAC plays a pivotal role in guiding effective waterfowl conservation and management.

The core mission of CWAC is to supply the DNR with informed feedback on both existing and proposed waterfowl regulations, as well as addressing issues that concern waterfowl hunting. Members of CWAC carry the responsibility of articulating the interests and concerns of their respective constituencies—communicating the perspectives of stakeholders within their geographical regions of the state or from the organizations they represent.

Moreover, CWAC members have the critical task of sharing information gleaned from committee meetings with the broader community of stakeholders they represent, thereby fostering a transparent and collaborative approach to waterfowl management.

For residents, hunters, conservationists, or anyone looking to engage with or understand more about CWAC, detailed information is accessible about the committee’s member composition, mission, and application process. Those interested in contributing to Michigan’s waterfowl conservation efforts or learning more about the committee’s workings are invited to visit CWAC's Official Overview at This portal provides an avenue for individuals to explore how they might become an active part of Michigan's waterfowl regulatory framework and influence the stewardship of these vital wildlife resources.

Contributions to Conservation through Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Licenses

A Michigan waterfowl hunting license serves not only as your entry ticket to the sport of waterfowl hunting but also as a significant contribution to wetland conservation efforts within the state. When hunters purchase these licenses, they directly support critical conservation initiatives—highlighting the connection between responsible hunting and wildlife habitat stewardship.

Specifically, out of the cost of each license, nine dollars are allocated to the protection, restoration, and enhancement of Michigan's wetlands and other lands that are managed for the benefit of waterfowl. These funds play a crucial role in ensuring that these habitats remain viable for waterfowl populations and other wildlife that depend on wetlands.

An additional $1.93 from each license sale is dedicated to the operational expenses required to maintain and develop managed waterfowl areas in the state. Such areas are essential for providing regulated hunting opportunities and also serve as crucial sanctuaries for waterfowl during migration and breeding seasons.

This monetary distribution from waterfowl hunting license sales highlights the practical way in which hunters serve as active contributors to wildlife preservation. It illustrates a sustainable model where the interests of sportsmen and sportswomen are aligned with the broader goals of conservation and ecological balance.

For enthusiasts and conservation-minded individuals who wish to purchase a license or require more information on waterfowl hunting regulations and conservation contributions in Michigan, they can find resources and guidelines at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website or by visiting the section specifically dedicated to waterfowl hunting Michigan Waterfowl Hunting License Information. This guarantees that those invested in the future of waterfowl habitats can easily access the tools and information they need to sustainably enjoy and protect Michigan's rich waterfowl heritage.

Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Requirements

To legally pursue the sport of waterfowl hunting in the United States, hunters must acquire a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp, commonly known as a Federal Duck Stamp. This mandatory stamp serves not only as a hunting license but also as a vital instrument for conservation. Revenue produced through the sales of these stamps is directly allocated to safeguarding and maintaining wetland habitats within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The Federal Duck Stamp program is hailed as an exemplary model of conservation success, reflecting its considerable impact on wetland preservation. Since the inception of the program, the funds generated from duck stamp sales have contributed to the protection of millions of acres of aquatic habitats, crucial for the sustenance of migratory waterfowl populations as well as other wildlife.

Hunters, collectors, and nature enthusiasts alike recognize the value of the duck stamp. By purchasing a stamp, individuals contribute to an enduring legacy of wildlife conservation and habitat protection, ensuring that the rich biodiversity of our nation's wetlands is preserved for future generations. To obtain a Federal Duck Stamp or to learn more about how this program benefits wildlife, please visit the official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service page at FWS.

Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program Coordination and Use of Funds

The Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program is a collaborative initiative orchestrated by the Michigan Duck Hunters Association (MDHA), in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The MDHA, a nonprofit entity, is staunchly committed to the conservation of waterfowl and wetlands.

Financial contributions collected from the sale of Michigan waterfowl stamps are directed towards MDHA conservation projects. A significant proportion, amounting to 10% of the proceeds, is utilized to enhance DNR funds explicitly earmarked for wetland acquisition ventures. Through these endeavors, the program plays a pivotal role in the protection and enhancement of Michigan's delicate wetland ecosystems.

2023 Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Artwork and Purchase Details

The artist behind the 2023 Michigan waterfowl stamp is John Brennan, capturing the natural elegance of a pair of hooded mergansers in his design. Acquiring a Michigan waterfowl stamp, however, is not obligatory for waterfowl hunting within the state; the purchase is purely voluntary.

Waterfowl hunters interested in receiving a complimentary standard-edition stamp can do so by providing a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with a copy of their Michigan waterfowl hunting license. This envelope should be mailed to MDHA at the following address: MDHA Waterfowl Stamp Program, P.O. Box 186, Kawkawlin, MI 48631—subject to stamp availability.

Those wishing to purchase the Michigan waterfowl stamps or prints can find the necessary order form by visiting Navigate to "Additional Resources" and click on "Michigan Waterfowl Stamp Program" to access and print the order form. Completed forms should be forwarded to the same MDHA address provided above.

Delivery Timeline for Michigan Waterfowl Stamps and Prints

Upon ordering a Michigan waterfowl stamp or print, customers can anticipate a delivery timeframe of four to six weeks to receive their items. This allows hunters and collectors to factor in adequate time for their arrival, ensuring their collection remains up-to-date or permitting timely compliance with conservation support through voluntary stamp purchases.

Early Teal Season Hunting

During the early teal hunting season, only two specific types of ducks are permitted to be hunted: the blue-winged teal and the green-winged teal. Hunters are advised to hone their identification skills to ensure they can accurately recognize these species in the field. It’s crucial to exercise caution and refrain from taking a shot if there's any uncertainty regarding the identification of the bird.

Early Teal Season Dates and Legal Hunting Hours

The early teal season in Michigan is open from September 1st through September 16th, statewide. The legal time frame to hunt teal during this period extends from sunrise to sunset daily. For precise shooting hours in Time Zone A, hunters should refer to the established schedule, which lists specific times that denote the earliest and latest parts of the day when hunting is permitted. Shooting hours commence at 6:57 AM on September 1st and conclude at sunset, with times slightly later each subsequent morning and earlier each evening, reflecting the natural shift in daylight.

Bag and Possession Limits for Early Teal Season

For those participating in early teal season hunts, the daily bag limit is set at six teal per day, and the possession limit is a total of 18 teal – this equates to three times the daily bag limit, allowing avid hunters to enjoy multiple outings during the season.

Best Practices for Successful Teal Hunting

A successful teal hunt incorporates strategic use of decoys to entice these birds closer, aiding in their identification before taking a shot. It is discouraged to engage in pass shooting due to the difficulty in species confirmation. Teal tend to frequent shallow water zones, favoring areas peppered with mud flats and sparse vegetation, while avoiding heavily forested wetlands, a typical habitat for wood ducks. For more tips on teal hunting and detailed information about the early teal season, visit and click on the "Early Teal Season" section.

Early Teal Season Shooting Hours for Time Zone A

Teal hunters within Time Zone A of Michigan must strictly adhere to the official shooting hours during the early teal season. Below is a comprehensive schedule listing the precise times for both morning and evening sessions between September 1 and September 15.

  • September 1: 6:57 AM - 8:06 PM
  • September 2: 6:58 AM - 8:05 PM
  • September 3: 6:59 AM - 8:03 PM
  • September 4: 7:00 AM - 8:01 PM
  • September 5: 7:01 AM - 8:00 PM
  • September 6: 7:02 AM - 7:58 PM
  • September 7: 7:04 AM - 7:56 PM
  • September 8: 7:05 AM - 7:54 PM
  • September 9: 7:06 AM - 7:53 PM
  • September 10: 7:07 AM - 7:51 PM
  • September 11: 7:08 AM - 7:49 PM
  • September 12: 7:09 AM - 7:47 PM
  • September 13: 7:10 AM - 7:46 PM
  • September 14: 7:11 AM - 7:44 PM
  • September 15: 7:12 AM - 7:42 PM

This daily schedule ensures hunters know the legal parameters within which they can legally hunt for teal, respecting conservation measures while also maximizing opportunities within permissible daylight hours. For further information or any additional resources related to early teal season, regulations, or Time Zone B shooting hours, hunters should visit the Michigan DNR's waterfowl page at

Managed Waterfowl Hunt Area Details and Regulations

Managed waterfowl hunt areas in Michigan, referred to as Wetland Wonders, are designed specifically to offer unmatched waterfowl hunting and wildlife observation opportunities. In southern Michigan, you'll find seven of these premier managed areas, each providing daily drawings for zone hunting permits at no cost. Detailed schedules for drawing dates and times can be found on pages 13 and 14 of the relevant hunting guide or documentation.

When planning a hunt in these areas, it is advisable to equip yourself with waders, decoys, various calls, and retrievers. Small boats with motors may also be beneficial for traversing the wetlands. It's essential for hunters to be aware of the unique regulations in place at these managed areas, covering specifics like shell and shot size limits, the maximum number of hunters in a party, and other localized rules. For a thorough understanding of these regulations, visit

As the season progresses, it's possible for the standard drawing procedures at these managed areas to be suspended, particularly if harsh weather conditions lead to a decline in hunter turnout. Any amendments to check-station rules are announced a minimum of two days in advance of changes taking effect. To stay informed, especially late in the season, hunters are encouraged to contact area headquarters to confirm the status of the draws.

Managed waterfowl hunt areas also have specific reserved hunts, particularly during the opening weekend of the duck-hunting season. These reserved hunts are allocated by reservation, allowing hunters to secure their spot ahead of the usual drawing system.

Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas: Schedules and Contacts

Below are the details for specific managed waterfowl hunt areas in Michigan, including contact information, youth hunting dates, and times for drawings.

Fennville Farm (Allegan County, Fennville)

  • Phone: 269-561-2258
  • Youth Hunting Dates:
    • December 16 (AM) nonreserved
    • December 30 (AM) nonreserved
  • Drawing Dates and Times:
    • Morning Hunts: Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Dec. 16 – Feb. 12 at 5:30 AM. Zones may be reassigned until 11 AM, with permits remaining valid until 4 PM.
    • Closed Dates: Goose hunting is closed Sept. 1-30. No drawings on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from Dec. 16 – Feb. 12.
    • Self-Registration: Available for goose hunting (Nov. 4-12 and Nov. 25 – Dec. 3) and duck hunting outside drawing dates during South Zone duck season at the Fennville Farm Unit office.

Fish Point (Tuscola County, Unionville)

  • Phone: 989-674-2511
  • Youth Hunting Dates:
    • October 7 (PM) reserved
    • November 4 (PM) nonreserved
  • Drawing Dates and Times:
    • Morning Hunts: Daily at 5:30 AM with reserved hunts during the first and second weekend of duck season.
    • Afternoon Hunts: Daily at 11 AM with reserved hunts during the first and second weekend of duck season.

Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center (Muskegon County, Twin Lake)

  • Phone: 231-788-5055
  • Youth Hunting Dates: Call for opening dates
  • Drawing Dates and Times:
    • Morning Hunts: Tuesdays and Saturdays at 5:30 AM
    • Afternoon Hunts: Thursdays and Saturdays at 11 AM
    • Additional Info: Hunts continue through November, now open Nov. 15-30. Tuesday morning permits are valid until the close of shooting hours.

Nayanquing Point (Bay County, Linwood)

  • Phone: 989-697-5101
  • Youth Hunting Dates:
    • October 7 (PM) reserved
    • October 28 (PM) nonreserved
  • Drawing Dates and Times:
    • Morning Hunts: Daily at 5:30 AM with reserved hunts during the first and second weekend of duck season.
    • Afternoon Hunts: Daily at 11 AM with reserved hunts during the first and second weekend of duck season.

Hunters seeking further information or wishing to verify opening dates and drawing statuses are encouraged to directly reach out to the contact numbers provided for each managed waterfowl hunt area.

Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend Essentials

Dates and License Requirements for Youth Hunters

The Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend is scheduled statewide for September 16-17. This event is open to properly licensed youth who are 16 years old or younger. Participants will require one of the following licenses:

  • A base hunting license
  • An apprentice base hunting license
  • A mentored youth hunting license

Youth hunters who are exactly 16 years old must also possess a waterfowl hunting license and a federal duck stamp to engage in the weekend's hunting activities.

Adult Supervision for Youth Hunters

Youth waterfowl hunters who are between the ages of 10 and 16 must be accompanied by a responsible adult during the hunt. This adult can be a parent, guardian, or an individual who is at least 18 years old and designated by the youth hunter's parent or guardian. For those under 10 years old, the accompanying adult must be at least 21 years old and adhere to the Mentored Youth Hunting Program's guidelines.

If a youth is utilizing an apprentice license for the hunt, they are required to hunt with an adult who is 21 years or older. It's mandatory that the adult supervisor holds a non-apprentice base hunting license and a waterfowl hunting license.

Approved Game and Regulations for the Hunting Weekend

During the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend, hunters may harvest ducks, mergansers, geese, coots, and moorhens. However, accompanying adults are not authorized to hunt these species unless it coincides with the September segment of the Canada goose season. It's important to note that the daily bag limits and species-specific restrictions align with those established for the regular waterfowl hunting season.

Waterfowl Hunting Days for Veterans and Active-Duty Military

Scheduled Hunting Days for Service Members

Veterans and active-duty U.S. military personnel can look forward to dedicated waterfowl hunting days occurring statewide on September 16-17. These dates coincide with the Youth Waterfowl Hunting Weekend. This special event is designed to recognize the brave service of military members and afford them the chance to engage in the tradition of waterfowl hunting across Michigan.

Required Documentation for Participation

Those veterans and active-duty military eager to join in the hunt must carry pertinent documentation to present upon request by conservation or law enforcement officers. The following documents are acceptable as proof of military status:

  • Military ID
  • Leave or duty papers
  • Official military orders
  • DD Form 214
  • Enhanced driver’s license indicating veteran status
  • Veterans Administration disability documents

Licensing Requirements

Before setting out, participating service members need to ensure they have the necessary licensure which includes:

  • A valid base hunting license
  • A waterfowl hunting license for the current season
  • A federal duck stamp

These credentials will allow them to legally hunt during the designated days set aside for their recognition.

Harvest Regulations

During the Veterans and Active-Duty U.S. Military Personnel Waterfowl Hunting Days, participants are allowed to harvest a variety of waterfowl, including ducks, mergansers, geese, coots, and moorhens. It is paramount that all hunters abide by the same daily bag limits and species restrictions that are applied during the regular waterfowl hunting season. This ensures both a fair and regulated hunting experience for all service members involved.

Veterans Preference Drawings at Michigan Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas

Scheduled Drawings for Veterans and Active-Duty Military

Veterans and active-duty military who are Michigan residents can participate in preference drawings at specific managed waterfowl hunting areas on November 9 or November 11. It is noteworthy that Fennville Farm and Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge will not host a veteran's preference drawing. Preference drawing dates for participating areas are as follows:

  • Fish Point: November 11
  • Harsens Island: November 11
  • Muskegon County Resource Recovery Center: November 11
  • Nayanquing Point: November 11
  • Pointe Mouillee: November 9
  • Shiawassee River: November 11

Required Documentation for Veterans Preference Drawings

Valid identification is required for participation in these special drawings. Veterans and active-duty military personnel must present proof of status alongside a Michigan driver’s license or voter registration card. Approved documentation includes:

  • Military ID
  • Leave or duty papers
  • Military orders
  • DD Form 214
  • Enhanced driver’s license indicating veteran status
  • Documentation from the Veterans Administration related to disability
  • NGB Form 22 or NGB Form 23 for Army or Air Force National Guard discharge

Licensing Requirements for Veterans Preference Hunts

To partake in the veterans preference drawings, participants are required to hold:

  • A base hunting license
  • A waterfowl hunting license
  • A federal duck stamp

These licenses ensure that hunters are compliant with state and federal regulations during the hunt.

Eligibility Criteria for Veterans Preference Drawings

For the veterans preference draws, eligibility is focused on the following criteria:

  • Single Hunters: Must be active-duty U.S. military personnel or veterans.
  • Party Hunters: At least one member of the hunting party must be active-duty military or a veteran.

The preference drawings aim to give back to those who have served, by providing them an enhanced opportunity to engage in waterfowl hunting at some of Michigan's preeminent managed hunt areas.

2023 Reserved Waterfowl Hunt Drawing Information

Application for Reserved Hunt Drawing

Waterfowl hunters can apply for the reserved hunt drawing once between August 1 and August 28. Eligibility requires applicants to be a minimum of 10 years old or possess a mentored youth license.

License Requirements for Application

Applicants do not need to have a base or waterfowl hunting license at the time of application. Securing these can be done after the application process.

Application Fee

There is a non-refundable application fee of $5 for those entering the reserved waterfowl hunt drawing.

Post-Drawing Requirements and License Acquisition

Selected hunters in the drawing are assigned the opportunity to hunt on a specific date, time, and location during the opening weekend. Depending on age, successful applicants will need to purchase appropriate licenses:

  • Youth under 10: A mentored youth license and a migratory bird youth (HIP endorsement).
  • Youth aged 10-15: A base license and a migratory bird youth (HIP endorsement).
  • Aged 16 and over: A base license, a waterfowl hunting license, and a federal migratory bird hunting stamp.

It's important to note that hunting conditions may vary (e.g., water levels, crop conditions), and hunters should contact the respective area headquarters for the most current conditions. Special rules are also in effect at managed waterfowl hunt areas, which can include restrictions on shell limits, shot sizes, and the use of motion-winged decoys. Maps and additional regulations can be obtained from the area headquarters.

Purchasing Licenses

Licenses can be secured from retail license agents or online at A comprehensive list of license agents can be found at To ensure a smooth check-in process at hunt stations, hunters are strongly recommended to purchase all required licenses before their reserved hunt date.

Allowed Harvest During Reserved Hunt

During a reserved waterfowl hunt, participants can harvest any species of waterfowl that have an open season at that time, adhering to the set bag limits and species-specific regulations.

Limited-License Hunt Application Process

Identification Requirements for Hunt Drawing

To apply for a limited-license hunt drawing, prospective hunters must have the following forms of valid identification:

  • A state-issued driver's license
  • A State of Michigan ID card
  • A DNR Sportcard

Eligibility for Youth Hunters

Youth who are 9 years old and licensed under the Mentored Youth Hunting Program are permitted to apply for a reserved waterfowl hunt.

Steps to Apply for a Reserved Waterfowl Hunt

  1. Review the "2023 reserved waterfowl hunt choices" section to select your preferred hunting dates and times.
  2. Record the number corresponding to your selected hunt unit.
  3. Purchase an application for your chosen hunt number(s) — you may select a first and a second choice.
  4. Applications can be acquired through a license agent, at, or via the DNR Hunt Fish mobile app.
  5. Upon purchase, verify that your receipt accurately details your customer ID and hunt choices, and keep it as proof of application.

Application Limits and Receipt Validation

Applicants are allowed a single application. Submitting multiple applications is prohibited and illegal. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the receipt is legible and error-free, with any discrepancies corrected before the deadline. Holding an invalid application renders one ineligible for the draw.

Application Assistance and Drawing Results

For those experiencing issues during the application process, assistance is available by calling 517-284-9453 (WILD).

Confirmation of Drawing Success

Applicants must individually check their drawing results, which will be posted on September 20 at It is the hunter's duty to access these results online to determine if they have been successfully drawn for the hunt.

2023 Reserved Waterfowl Hunt Choices Overview

Harsens Island Hunt Options

  • Oct. 14 AM: Hunt Number 0001, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 14 PM, Youth: Hunt Number 0002, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 AM: Hunt Number 0003, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 PM: Hunt Number 0004, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 21 AM: Hunt Number 0005, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 21 PM: Hunt Number 0006, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 22 AM: Hunt Number 0007, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 22 PM: Hunt Number 0008, 35 Hunts Available

Shiawassee River Hunt Selections

  • Oct. 14 AM: Hunt Number 0009, 40 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 14 PM, Youth: Hunt Number 0010, 40 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 AM: Hunt Number 0011, 40 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 PM: Hunt Number 0012, 40 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 21 AM: Hunt Number 0013, 40 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 21 PM: Hunt Number 0014, 40 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 22 AM: Hunt Number 0015, 40 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 22 PM: Hunt Number 0016, 40 Hunts Available

Fish Point Hunt Opportunities

  • Oct. 7 AM: Hunt Number 0017, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 7 PM, Youth: Hunt Number 0018, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 8 AM: Hunt Number 0019, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 8 PM: Hunt Number 0020, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 14 AM: Hunt Number 0021, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 14 PM: Hunt Number 0022, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 AM: Hunt Number 0023, 35 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 PM: Hunt Number 0024, 35 Hunts Available

These detailed options for waterfowl hunts provide potential applicants with specific hunt dates, times, and available slots for popular hunting locations in Michigan. Hunters can use these hunt numbers when applying for the 2023 reserved waterfowl hunt drawing to select their preferred hunting sessions.

2023 Reserved Waterfowl Hunt Choices at Nayanquing Point and Pointe Mouillee

Nayanquing Point Hunting Sessions

  • Oct. 7 AM: Hunt Number 0025, 30 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 7 PM, Youth: Hunt Number 0026, 30 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 8 AM: Hunt Number 0027, 30 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 8 PM: Hunt Number 0028, 30 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 14 AM: Hunt Number 0029, 30 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 14 PM: Hunt Number 0030, 30 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 AM: Hunt Number 0031, 30 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 PM: Hunt Number 0032, 30 Hunts Available

Pointe Mouillee Hunting Sessions

  • Oct. 14 AM: Hunt Number 0033, 21 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 14 PM, Youth: Hunt Number 0034, 21 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 AM: Hunt Number 0035, 21 Hunts Available
  • Oct. 15 PM: Hunt Number 0036, 21 Hunts Available

Additional Details for Reserved Hunts

a. Each successful applicant can bring one to three additional licensed hunters; total party size must not exceed four.

  • During youth hunts, no more than two adults are allowed per party.

b. Selections are final; no alterations or refunds are permitted after the drawing has been made.

c. The number of hunts available in 2023 may be subject to changes.

d. Reservations for reserved PM youth hunts are open to anyone; however, the actual hunt party must include at least one youth hunter aged 16 or younger. Moreover, a licensed adult must accompany youth hunters aged 10-16, in accordance with the reserved hunt requirements. For hunters younger than 10, a qualified adult from the Mentored Youth Hunting Program should supervise.

These specific hunt options provide hunters interested in the Nayanquing Point and Pointe Mouillee areas with all necessary details to make informed choices when applying for the 2023 reserved waterfowl hunts. Each hunt number corresponds to a specific date, time, and the number of available hunts, assisting applicants in selecting their preferred hunting opportunities.

2023 Reserved Waterfowl Hunt Choices for Multiple Locations

Harsens Island Hunting Options

  • Oct. 15 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0001
  • Oct. 15 PM, Youth: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0002
  • Oct. 16 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0003
  • Oct. 16 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0004
  • Oct. 22 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0005
  • Oct. 22 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0006
  • Oct. 23 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0007
  • Oct. 23 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0008

Shiawassee River Hunt Selections

  • Oct. 15 AM: 40 Hunts, Hunt Number 0009
  • Oct. 15 PM, Youth: 40 Hunts, Hunt Number 0010
  • Oct. 16 AM: 40 Hunts, Hunt Number 0011
  • Oct. 16 PM: 40 Hunts, Hunt Number 0012
  • Oct. 22 AM: 55 Hunts, Hunt Number 0013
  • Oct. 22 PM: 55 Hunts, Hunt Number 0014
  • Oct. 23 AM: 55 Hunts, Hunt Number 0015
  • Oct. 23 PM: 55 Hunts, Hunt Number 0016

Fish Point Hunt Opportunities

  • Oct. 8 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0017
  • Oct. 8 PM, Youth: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0018
  • Oct. 9 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0019
  • Oct. 9 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0020
  • Oct. 15 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0021
  • Oct. 15 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0022
  • Oct. 16 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0023
  • Oct. 16 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0024

Nayanquing Point Hunting Sessions

  • Oct. 8 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0025
  • Oct. 8 PM, Youth: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0026
  • Oct. 9 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0027
  • Oct. 9 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0028
  • Oct. 15 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0029
  • Oct. 15 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0030
  • Oct. 16 AM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0031
  • Oct. 16 PM: 35 Hunts, Hunt Number 0032

Pointe Mouillee Hunting Sessions

  • Oct. 15 AM: 21 Hunts, Hunt Number 0033
  • Oct. 15 PM, Youth: 21 Hunts, Hunt Number 0034
  • Oct. 16 AM: 21 Hunts, Hunt Number 0035
  • Oct. 16 PM: 21 Hunts, Hunt Number 0036

General Guidelines for Reserved Hunts

  • Successful applicants can include 1-3 additional licensed hunters, but the total party size must not exceed four.
  • No changes or refunds for the hunt choices are allowed once made.
  • The total number of available hunts is subject to change.
  • For reserved PM youth hunts, any applicant can apply with a maximum of two adults per party, and at least one youth aged 16 or under must be part of the hunting party on the day of the hunt.
  • Youth hunters aged 10-16 must be accompanied by a licensed adult, and those under 10 require a qualified mentor from the Mentored Youth Hunting Program.

These outlined hunt options provide potential applicants with the necessary information to apply for preferred hunt dates and times at various locations. Each hunt number is designated for a specific date and time slot, guiding hunters through the application process for the 2023 reserved waterfowl hunts.

Base License Requirements

All hunters are obligated to obtain a base license before pursuing additional licenses. This essential license plays a crucial role in funding habitat and conservation initiatives on both public and private lands. It also supports the efforts of conservation officers and field staff in ensuring adherence to safe and legal hunting practices. The base license specifically authorizes hunting of small game.

2023 Base License Purchase

The 2023 base license is currently available for purchase at authorized license agents or online at

Identification for License Purchase

To secure your base and other licenses, you must present a valid driver’s license from your state of residence, a State of Michigan ID card issued by the Secretary of State, or a DNR Sportcard available at license agents or For hunters born after January 1, 1960, a hunter safety certificate or a previous hunting license (excluding apprentice licenses) must also be presented.

Resident Hunting License Eligibility

To qualify for a resident hunting license, you must meet specific criteria:

  • Reside in a settled or permanent home within Michigan with the intention of remaining in the state (ownership of land alone is not sufficient).
  • Be a full-time student at a Michigan college or university, residing in the state during the school year.
  • Serve full-time in the U.S. military with official stationing in Michigan.
  • Serve full-time in the U.S. military while maintaining residency in Michigan.

Nonresident Waterfowl Hunting

Nonresidents can hunt waterfowl with a three-day or seven-day small game license, eliminating the need to purchase a base license.

License Carrying Requirements

Hunters must carry their base and waterfowl license, HIP endorsement, federal duck stamp, and the identification used for the license purchase. These documents must be presented upon request by Michigan conservation officers, tribal conservation officers, or any law enforcement officer during hunting activities. Unauthorized use of another person's hunting license is illegal.

U.S. Military Personnel Benefits

Full-time, active-duty U.S. military personnel with maintained resident status enjoy waived hunting license fees. This exemption excludes licenses obtained through a drawing. To avail of this benefit, individuals must present military ID, leave papers, duty papers, military orders, or other evidence of military membership, along with a valid Michigan driver’s license or voter registration card.

Michigan Waterfowl Hunting License

Waterfowl License Requirement

All waterfowl hunters aged 16 and above must acquire a Michigan waterfowl hunting license in addition to a valid base license. This includes those hunting on enclosed farmland. Purchasing a waterfowl license automatically registers hunters with the federal Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program.

Harvest Information Program (HIP)

HIP Endorsement

A HIP endorsement is mandatory for hunting migratory birds. This includes ducks, geese, woodcock, snipe, rails, etc. Registration with the federal Migratory Bird HIP is free and is automatically included with the purchase of a Michigan waterfowl license or woodcock stamp. The HIP endorsement, labeled "Migratory Bird Hunter," is printed on the license or stamp. Hunters under 16 must obtain the free "Migratory Bird Youth" product to register with HIP.

Federal Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp

Duck Stamp Requirement

Federal migratory bird hunting stamps, commonly known as "duck stamps," are obligatory for all waterfowl hunters aged 16 and above. This stamp is not required for rail, snipe, or woodcock hunting.

Obtaining a Federal Duck Stamp

Federal duck stamps can be acquired at post offices, retail license agents, or online at A $3.00 service fee applies to retail agent and online purchases. Buyers receive a "temporary duck stamp," valid for 45 days or until the official stamp arrives by mail. The federal stamp must be signed across its face with the hunter's name in ink.

Apprentice Hunting License Guidelines

Apprentice License Eligibility and Duration

  • You may purchase an apprentice hunting license for two consecutive license years before it's mandatory to complete a hunter safety course.

Non-Resident Apprentice License Purchases

  • Nonresidents are fully eligible to obtain a base apprentice hunting license in Michigan, similar to residents.

Accompaniment Requirements for Apprentice Hunters

  • Apprentices are required to be accompanied by a licensed adult hunter (21 or older) with a current, regular hunting license for the game being pursued.
  • Youth apprentices (ages 10-16) need to be joined by a parent, guardian, or a designated adult (21 or older).

Proximity During the Hunt

  • The accompanying licensed hunter must be in close proximity—maintaining continuous, direct visual and verbal contact without the aid of electronic devices.

Licensing for Waterfowl Hunting Companions

  • The accompanying hunter must have a current-year waterfowl license if hunting waterfowl.

Limitations for Accompanying Hunters

  • An accompanying hunter is restricted to supervising no more than two apprentice hunters at a time.

Mentored Youth Hunting Program Details

Overview of Program

  • The Mentored Youth Hunting Program is designed for youth hunters under the age of 10 and requires them to be supervised by an experienced mentor who is at least 21 and holds a valid Michigan hunting license.
  • The mentor must have no more than two hunting devices while mentoring and must stay within arm's reach of the youth at all times.
  • Mentors carry full responsibility for the mentored youth's actions during the hunt.

Permitted Activities with Mentored Youth License

  • The "package" license permits small game, waterfowl, turkey (spring and fall), and deer hunting, trapping furbearers, and fishing for all species.
  • Hunting devices given to youth must be proportionate to their size and handling capacity.
  • Full program details with additional restrictions are available in the Michigan Hunting Digest or at

This concise overview provides clear instructions to both apprentice and mentored youth hunters about the requirements and limitations associated with their respective hunting licenses in Michigan, ensuring a safe and legal hunting experience.

Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Laws and Regulations

Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Zones and State Park Regulations

Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Zones

Michigan is divided into three waterfowl hunting zones:

  • North Zone: Encompasses the entire Upper Peninsula.
  • Middle Zone: Stretches from the Wisconsin border in Lake Michigan, eastward along specific roads and highways, to a point near Huron City, and then follows specific landmarks to Lake Huron.
  • South Zone: Comprises the remaining portion of the Lower Peninsula below the Middle Zone boundary.

A detailed map shows the precise division lines for North, Middle, and South Zones.

Time Zones and Hunting Hours

  • Hunting Hours: Legally permitted from one half-hour before sunrise to sunset, adjusted for daylight saving time.
  • Time Adjustments: Additional adjustments are necessary for zones B, C, and D, details outlined in a map. Time Zone A's specific hours are accessible in a dedicated table.
  • Early Teal Season Hours: Differ from the regular seasons and are available on the referenced page.

Waterfowl Hunting in State Parks and Recreation Areas

  • General Rule: Most state parks are not open for waterfowl hunting, while state recreation areas typically are, unless otherwise stated or posted.
  • Specific Parks Open for Hunting: A list enumerates state parks and scenic sites open to waterfowl hunting during established seasons.
  • Closed Periods: Certain parks and recreation areas prohibit waterfowl hunting from Sept. 1-4, with openings after Labor Day or Sept. 16, while others are closed to waterfowl hunting throughout specific periods or entirely.

Hunters are encouraged to reach out to local DNR Parks and Recreation or Wildlife offices for comprehensive information regarding waterfowl hunting regulations and the status of hunting permissions within state parks and recreation areas.

Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

Equipment for Migratory Bird Hunting

Permitted Equipment

Hunters may use a bow and arrow, a crossbow, or a shotgun of 10-gauge or smaller with a three-shell capacity. Shotguns with a higher shell capacity must be plugged to meet the three-shell limit.

Prohibited Equipment

The use of traps, snares, nets, swivel guns, punt guns, battery guns, machine guns, fishhooks, poison, drugs, explosives, stupefying substances, and single-projectile shotshells is strictly prohibited.

Hunting Methods and Conveyances

Use of Vehicles and Aircraft

Hunting from or with the aid of a car, motor-driven conveyance, or aircraft is not allowed, with the exception of hunters with disabilities holding a DNR permit to hunt from a stationary vehicle.

Motorboat and Sailboat Restrictions

Hunting from a motorboat, power boat, sailboat, or any floating craft is prohibited unless the motor is turned off, sails furled, and forward progress has ceased. Powerboats can be used to retrieve dead or crippled birds, but shooting is restricted until the boat is stationary.

No Rallying or Chasing with Boats

Driving, rallying, or chasing birds with any motorized conveyance or sailboat to bring them within range of hunters is strictly prohibited.

Sinkbox and Live Decoys

Hunting from a sinkbox (a low, floating device with a concealment depression) and using live decoys are both prohibited.

Calls and Baiting

Bird Calls

The use of recorded or electronically amplified bird calls, imitations, or sounds is not allowed. However, mechanically operated decoys without sound production are permissible.


Hunting by baiting, placing feed as lure or enticement, is prohibited. Baited areas remain off-limits for 10 days after bait removal. Nonfood imitations like plastic corncobs are exempt from this rule.

Transporting and Tagging Birds

Possession Limits

The possession or transport of migratory birds exceeding the daily limit is prohibited. This applies to transportation to your vehicle, personal abode, commercial preservation facility, or post office/common carrier facility.

Tagging Requirements

If leaving birds in another's possession, hunters must tag them with the hunter's signature, address, bird count by species, kill dates, and current base or Sportcard license number. Additionally, one fully feathered wing must remain attached for transport.

Shipping Migratory Birds

Shipping migratory game birds is allowed, requiring external package markings with sender and recipient details, including species count.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

Hours Open to Hunting

Migratory game birds can only be taken during specified hunting hours. Possession of firearms or bows during closed hours is prohibited.

Daily Limit Adherence

Hunters may not exceed the daily limit in a single day. Wounded birds must be promptly killed and included in the daily bag limit.

Retrieving Wounded Birds

Hunters must make a reasonable attempt to retrieve wounded birds and include them in their daily bag limit.

Blinds, Platforms, and Public Lands

Decoys and Blinds on Public Lands

Decoys cannot be left out between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. in Great Lakes waters. Properly marked blinds are required on public waters.

Hunting Platforms

Hunting waterfowl with a firearm from a raised platform is restricted to submerged bottomlands. Blinds or platforms on public waters must adhere to marking and removal regulations.

National Wildlife Refuges

Restrictions on Federal Refuges

Hunting, possessing firearms or bows, or killing game during the open season for migratory game birds is prohibited on national wildlife refuges unless authorized. Specific regulations apply to Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge and Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

Additional Resources

For more information on importing migratory birds from other countries, consult 50 CFR 20.61 - 20.66 or contact the Senior Resident Law Enforcement Agent at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Ann Arbor, MI. Guidelines for possessing or transporting migratory birds and federal regulations can be found in Title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 20.

Falconry Season Regulations for Migratory Game Birds

Falconry Season Dates and Permissible Species

  • Falconry is recognized as a legal method for hunting various migratory game birds.
  • Allowed species during firearm seasons as per zone/geese management units: Rails, Wilson’s snipe, woodcock, geese, ducks, mergansers, coots, and common gallinules.
  • Statewide season for ducks, mergansers, coots, and common gallinules using falconry:
    • January 1-14, 2024
    • February 24-March 10, 2024

Falconry Bag and Possession Limits

  • Daily Bag Limit: A maximum of three birds can be taken per day, which may be composed of a single species or a combination of species.
  • Possession Limit: Nine birds total, considering all species combined.

Non-Toxic Shot Requirements for Waterfowl Hunting in Michigan

Mandatory Use of Non-Toxic Shot

  • Statewide Requirement: All hunters pursuing waterfowl in Michigan, including ducks, geese, mergansers, coots, moorhens, rails, or snipe, must use nontoxic shot.
  • Prohibited Materials: Possession of shotshells loaded with lead or other toxic materials is strictly forbidden while hunting any of the mentioned waterfowl species.

Approved Non-Toxic Shot Types

  • Acceptable Options: Hunters must use shotshells filled with nontoxic steel, bismuth, tungsten-iron, tungsten-polymer, tungsten matrix, or other types approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
  • Muzzleloaders: Waterfowl hunters employing muzzleloaders are also obligated to use FWS-approved nontoxic shot.

Recommendations and Additional Regulations

  • Recommend for Other Small Game: While lead shot may be legally used for species like woodcock, the use of nontoxic shot is endorsed for all small game hunting due to environmental considerations.
  • Managed Waterfowl Areas: Specific non-waterfowl hunting nontoxic shot regulations may apply in managed waterfowl areas. Hunters should review local rules and the DNR website for pertinent information.

Safety Zones for Waterfowl Hunting

Minimum Distance from Occupied Dwellings

Waterfowl hunters must maintain a minimum distance of 450 feet from any occupied building, dwelling, house, residence, cabin, or any barn or structure associated with a farm operation.

Hunt Within Safety Zones

To engage in waterfowl hunting within this safety zone, hunters are required to obtain written permission from the property's owner, renter, or occupant. This written consent is necessary for compliance with safety regulations and ensures acknowledgment and approval from those directly affected by the hunting activity.

Float Hunting and Private Property Access Rules

Entering Private Property During Float Hunting

  • Landowner Permission Required: Hunters must acquire explicit permission to hunt or trap on any lands bordering a waterway, as these rights are reserved for the landowners and their personal guests.
  • Recreational Trespass Act Compliance: Permission is necessary to access any private lands governed by the Recreational Trespass Act while float hunting.
  • Public Land Float Hunting: Public lands that are lawfully open to hunting may be utilized for float hunting without the need for additional permission.

Waterfowl Hunting Closures

Grand Traverse County

In Grand Traverse County, specific areas are off-limits to waterfowl hunting and are marked with posted signage. The restricted zones include Boardman Lake and the waters of the Boardman River situated north of Airport Road and south of the 8th Street Bridge.

Roscommon County

Similarly, in Roscommon County, certain locations are designated as closed to public waterfowl hunting. These areas comprise Mud Lake, Lake St. Helen, and the South Branch of the Au Sable River, forming a connection between these two lakes.

Statewide Closed Areas

In addition to the mentioned closures, there are other areas throughout the state that are closed to waterfowl hunting. Hunters are advised to stay informed about these off-limits zones to ensure compliance with regulations and preserve the integrity of restricted areas. Be attentive to posted signs indicating closed areas for a safe and lawful hunting experience.

Reporting Leg-Band Information

To contribute to effective waterfowl management, it is crucial to report any banded ducks or geese harvested. Follow these steps for reporting:

  1. Prompt Reporting:

    • Report all banded waterfowl promptly after harvesting.
    • Include the date and location where the bird was taken.
  2. Online Reporting:

    • Utilize the online reporting platform at
    • Note that reporting can only be done through this online portal, even if the band contains a 1-800 telephone number.
  3. Information Utilization:

    • The data collected aids in determining annual survival rates, migration routes, and the contribution of harvested birds from various breeding grounds.

Resources for Duck Identification Skills

Importance of Accurate Duck Identification

  • Becoming proficient in identifying ducks, especially in flight, is essential due to daily limit restrictions on certain species, as detailed on pages 6 and 7.
  • During early teal season, hunters are restricted to harvesting only teal, emphasizing the need for accurate species recognition.

Enhancing Duck Identification Knowledge

  • Hunters should actively practice and refine waterfowl identification prior to the start of the hunting season.
  • To assist in skill development, visit for various duck identification resources and tools.

Commercial Waterfowl Guiding on Public Lands

State-Owned Lands

If you intend to guide waterfowl hunters on state-owned lands, it is mandatory to obtain written authorization. Follow these steps to ensure compliance:

  1. Written Authorization:

    • All commercial hunting guides must secure written authorization to operate on state-owned lands.
    • Adhere to the conditions outlined in the written authorization.
  2. Information Resource:

National Forest Lands

For commercial guiding on national forest (NF) lands, a special use permit is required. Follow these steps to obtain the necessary permit:

  1. Special Use Permit:

    • Commercial guides must apply for a special use permit to operate on national forest lands.
  2. Application Process:

    • Obtain the permit application from any U.S. Forest Service office or by contacting the respective NF office:
      • Hiawatha NF: 906-428-5800
      • Huron-Manistee NF: 231-775-5023
      • Ottawa NF: 906-932-1330

Participation in Hunter Surveys for Waterfowl Management

Providing Feedback and Information

  • If selected, hunters have the opportunity to contribute to state and federal survey efforts designed to gather data on hunting activities and harvests.
  • Participation in these surveys, which could include providing wings, tails, or other body parts of harvested birds, is essential for developing an accurate understanding of annual harvest numbers and the impact of hunting on waterfowl populations.

Importance of Hunter Survey Response

  • Your thorough and precise reporting significantly aids biologists in estimating the waterfowl harvest and assessing the effects of hunting.
  • Engaging with these surveys helps ensure that waterfowl management practices are informed and effective, guaranteeing sustainable hunting opportunities and preserving waterfowl populations for future generations.

By responding to hunter surveys, you play a critical role in the management and conservation of waterfowl resources.

Dioxin Advisory for Wild Game Consumption

Advisory Overview

  • Contamination Identified: Elevated dioxin levels in wild game from Tittabawassee and Saginaw River floodplains.
  • Species Tested: Deer, turkey, cottontail rabbit, squirrel, wood duck, Canada goose.

Recommendations for Waterfowl

  • Skin Removal: Discard waterfowl skin before cooking.
  • Organ Disposal: Dispose of liver and internal organs.
  • Consumption Limits:
    • Duck: Maximum of two servings per month.
    • Goose: Maximum of four servings per month.
  • Serving Size Guidance:
    • Example: 8 ounces for a 180-pound individual.


Avian Influenza Information and Precautions

Overview of Avian Influenza

  • Avian influenza, commonly known as "bird flu," is a viral infection affecting both wild and domestic birds.
  • The highly pathogenic form of the virus is present among wild bird populations in North America.

Impact on Waterfowl Species

  • Dabbling ducks are among the most susceptible and commonly infected waterfowl.
  • In addition to ducks, species such as geese, swans, shorebirds, and others can also contract the virus.

Status of Michigan Waterfowl Populations

  • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) currently does not foresee any significant consequences for the state's waterfowl populations due to avian influenza.

Additional Information and Resources

Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention

Preventing the spread of invasive aquatic species protects wildlife, hunting, and equipment. Species like phragmites, European frog-bit, and zebra mussels are notorious for their negative impacts.

Steps to Halt Invasive Species Spread:

  • Clean Your Equipment:
    • Ensure waders, decoys, anchors, boats, and trailers are free of plant fragments, seeds, or microorganisms.
  • Drain After Use:
    • Empty all water from every part of your boats, trailers, and other equipment.
  • Dry Before Transport:
    • Let boats and gear dry for at least five days where possible, before moving to a different water body.
  • Select Better Anchors:
    • Opt for anchor designs less likely to harbor and spread aquatic plants.
  • Inspect Gear Thoroughly:
    • Before and after use, check decoys, lines, blinds, waders, and clothing for invasive plants, animals, or soil.
    • Remove any contaminants found.
  • Avoid Illegal Invasive Plants:
    • Do not use phragmites for blind construction; possession without a permit is illegal in Michigan.
  • Educate Yourself:
    • Learn to identify common invasive species.
    • Report any sightings to the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN).

Additional Resources:

For more detailed information on combating invasive species, visit Michigan's Invasive Species website.

Precautions for Processing Waterfowl

  • Health Assessment:

    • Harvest waterfowl that exhibit normal behavior and healthy appearance.
  • Personal Hygiene:

    • Refrain from consuming food or beverages.
    • Avoid smoking during the handling process.
  • Safety Gear:

    • Utilize protective gloves when processing the birds.
  • Post-Harvest Procedure:

    • Swiftly remove and dispose of the intestines after harvest.
    • Prevent any contact with the contents of the intestines.
  • Sanitation:

    • Thoroughly clean your hands, all used utensils, and work areas both before and after dealing with the meat.
  • Temperature Control:

    • Maintain a cool environment for the waterfowl carcasses using ice or refrigeration methods, ensuring the temperature doesn't exceed 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cooking Requirements:

    • When cooking, reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure safe consumption.

Commercial Processor Registration Process

  • Mandatory Registration:

    • Commercial processors handling wild game must register with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
  • No Cost:

    • The registration process is provided at no charge.
  • Registration Method:

Poaching Consequences & Reporting

Poaching Penalties:

  • Violating waterfowl hunting rules is considered a misdemeanor.
  • Consequences may include:
    • Up to 90 days in jail.
    • Fines up to $500 per animal involved in the violation.

To Report Poaching:

  • Immediate Action:
    • Report as soon as you witness a violation.
  • Contact Methods:
  • Availability:
    • Hotline operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Anonymity:
    • You have the option to remain anonymous when reporting.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.