Michigan Waterfowlers: We Need Your Input!
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) establishes frameworks for migratory bird hunting seasons, and states must choose seasons within those frameworks. In Michigan, the DNR has been working with hunters serving on the Citizen’s Waterfowl Advisory Committee (CWAC), to come up with the annual proposal for waterfowl regulations for more than 30 years.
What is CWAC?
CWAC is comprised of 12 members-at-large and representatives from 8 waterfowl hunting and conservation organizations. The length of each term on CWAC is limited to three years. Members of CWAC are representatives from organizations directly interested in waterfowl hunting and representatives every part of the state. The distribution of CWAC members is based upon geographic representation of where waterfowl hunters live, based upon duck stamp sales. Recently, efforts have been made to include regional members who more closely resemble the average hunter or occasional hunter, rather than only avid waterfowl hunters. Anyone interested in becoming a CWAC member should work with their local DNR Wildlife Biologist or fill out an application to be added to the list of potential members.
Whether you serve on the CWAC or not, MUCC also encourages hunters to get to know your local DNR Wildlife Biologist. They can be a wealth of information on changes they are seeing in the wildlife populations, habitat management projects coming up in your area, and areas where volunteers could help. By developing this relationship, you can also share your hunting experiences and habitat priorities for the area.
Discussion to Set Waterfowl Seasons Coming Up
The next CWAC meeting will be August 3rd, 9am-3pm, at the Linwood Marina in Linwood. The agenda will be available at the meeting, but this is the meeting each year where CWAC members will discuss with the DNR season dates and bag limits for Michigan’s waterfowl hunting seasons.
Do you have any thoughts to share with MUCC’s CWAC representative, Steve Wyckoff? Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email Steve directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Specifically, consider these two items:
- Is there interest or support for a consistent opening day by Waterfowl Zone (e.g. the Second Saturday in October for Zone 2) during a trial period of 3-5 years? This may aid in hunting trip planning purposes, but it also may give Michigan less flexibility year to year.
- Is there support for allowing a hunter to possess an additional day’s bag limit? Currently, you are only allowed to possess at any given time 2 days worth of ducks (12 ducks), so this would allow hunters to have 18 ducks in the fridge or freezer. This would be consistent with the possession limits for most fish in Michigan and may help hunters on extended hunting trips bring back more of their take.
If you are an MUCC member who would like an opportunity to get more involved in waterfowl hunting regulations, we are also looking for a waterfowl hunter to join MUCC’s Wildlife Committee! Please contact MUCC’s Resource Policy Manager Amy Trotter for more details at 517-346-6484.