Fresh duck hunting season takes flight

Photo+courtesy+of+State+of+Michigan+DNR%0ANOT+WABBIT+SEASON%2C+IT%E2%80%99S+DUCK+SEASON%E2%80%94Duck+season+has+begun+in+the+U.P.+as+of+Saturday%2C+Sept.+26%2C+and+will+run+through+late+November.%0A

MI Dept. of Natural Resources

Photo courtesy of State of Michigan DNR NOT WABBIT SEASON, IT’S DUCK SEASON—Duck season has begun in the U.P. as of Saturday, Sept. 26, and will run through late November.

Sadie Brink

In Michigan, there are many different duck hunting seasons. In the U.P., the duck season is Sept. 26 to Nov. 22 along with Nov. 28 and 29. Downstate, there are different dates for the two different zones; the South zone (southern lower) season runs Oct. 10 through Dec. 6 plus Dec. 26 and 27. Middle zone (Northern lower) runs Oct. 3 through Nov. 29 and Nov. 28 and 29. 

There are also some new regulations this year: hunting hours run from a half hour before sunrise to sunset, there are non-toxic shocks only and guns can’t be capable of holding more than three shells. 

Some of the tips that the Department of Natural Resources officers gave for hunters this year are to make sure to wear life jackets if hunting in water; don’t forget marine safety in the fall. Additional tips include using your phones for help identifying different species. A good app recommended by the DNR is Ducks Unlimited, which is free to download. Also, make sure to bring binoculars to help identify what you are seeing before shooting.

Some of the public land opportunities for hunting around Northern are Sturgeon River Sloughs, Portage Marsh and Manuscong state wildfire management areas, Forest lake Basin in Alger and Dollarville Flooding near Newberry. 

“Some good areas for NMU college kids would be Lake Levasseur, the Sand River flooding and Deer Lake, among other locations,” said Cody Smith, DNR conservation officer and NMU Alumni.

You can learn more about Wetland Wonders opportunities at: https://midnr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html?appid=9ec8a32bf192400bb2c43487ec7963b4

Holly Vaughn, manager of Public Outreach and Engagement Unit, commented on how busy she believes the season will be.

“It’s tough to say exactly how busy waterfowl seasons will be, but we’ve seen that as people have more free time this year due to other events being canceled, they are looking for more to do outdoors,” Vaughn said. “Our spring hunting seasons were well attended, and our parks and other facilities have had excellent visitor numbers this summer. Outdoor recreation, while social distancing, is a great way to enjoy Michigan’s natural resources and maybe discover a new outdoor tradition.”

There are some COVID-19 regulations that the DNR would like to have hunters follow, including staying socially distant. You can go to Michigan.gov/Coronavirus to see more regulations that the DNR want hunters to follow this year.