For the hunters out there carrying on tradition, passing it on to a new family member or friend, or starting a new tradition, I hope all have been having a safe and successful season both in harvest and experience. Firearm season has gone well for me; for the first time in a few years, I got to spend a week hunting with my Dad in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After all, he taught me everything I know about hunting today!

UP_Buck.jpgThis season, I harvested my first UP buck (second buck in my hunting experience) off of my family’s property near Republic, MI. This buck is 2.5 years old; meaning it survived 2.5 years of eluding several predators that share the same property. With wolves, coyotes, bears, and at least one known cougar on the property, the deer don’t last long! Thankfully, the past two winters have been more mild than others and allowed the deer population in the area to start making a small comeback. After 3 years of seeing only one or two unhealthy looking does on the trail cameras, there are now several healthy looking does and four different bucks frequently visiting the area. After seeing that all of the bucks were spikes, I had a big debate with myself about whether or not I wanted to harvest a spike, but it became clear that several of them were not actually last seasons offspring.

My siblings and I started hunting with my dad at a very young age. He brought us out to the Pigeon River Country with him when we were all 6 and 7 years old to “walk and stalk” hunting for deer. It may have been the “swish, swish, swish” of our snow suits that attributed to us him never seeing a deer when he took us, but each hunt was a new lesson. As I’ve grown up and moved away from home, I don’t always get the opportunity to hunt with my dad. Each hunt on my own or teaching a new hunter is still a lesson. I learn from the things I may have done wrong when I’m unsuccessful and the things I did right when I am (rarely) successful.

I’ve also learned from the many people I’ve encountered through friendships, work, or out on public lands. As much as I would like to believe so, not everybody was raised to be courteous and ethical hunters. I am proud to be an ethical hunter and set that standard for those who may learn from me. Fortunately, more often than not, I have encountered hunters that strictly follow the updated hunting laws and regulations. Their existence is important to conserve and sustain healthy wildlife populations.

September_27_2016_(5).JPGAs the Wildlife Volunteer Coordinator with MUCC, I collaborate with the DNR Wildlife Division to host wildlife habitat improvement events on public lands throughout the state of Michigan. Many of the volunteers that have dedicated their time to complete 20 projects per year understand the importance of conservation to promote sustainable and healthy wildlife populations. Listed below are two upcoming events for this winter. See the full list of this year’s upcoming projects here.



On Saturday, December 10th at 10AM we will be meeting in the Allegan State Game Area to improve aspen regeneration. We will be cutting over-mature aspen trees and stacking large brush piles for rabbitat. This project has been completed the past two years and is showing great regrowth of young aspen sprouts in the area.

Safety equipment and hand tools will be available for volunteers. There will be two extra chainsaws with full PPE available for volunteers with adequate experience. Lunch, water, and a free T-shirt will be provided by MUCC- Please RSVP here to volunteer for wildlife.

  • December_6_2015_(10).jpgDecember 10, 2016 at 10am – 2pm
  • Allegan State Game Area
    6013 118th Ave
    Fennville, MI 49408 
  • Contact: Sarah Topp –MUCC Wildlife Volunteer Coordinator



On Saturday, January 7th, MUCC will be hosting Chuck Oslund to teach a Chainsaw Safety Course at our office in Lansing, MI. This course is free and will cover topics on why each saw operator must have a safety system, the elements of a good safety system, mental aspects of safety, safer chainsaw handling techniques, and the state-of-the-art safest way to fall a large diameter tree.

This year, we will also be offering an optional hands-on training on Sunday, January 8th. This will include tree-felling demonstrations by experienced sawyers and the option to practice bucking techniques as well as felling cuts on stumps. This portion will be hosted at a location in the Rose Lake State Game Area- time TBA, please RSVP here for updates on the event details.

*Note: If you’ve attended Chuck’s course with us previously, you are welcome to attend the optional hands on training. Others must attend the lecture portion before attending the optional hands on training day.

A majority of our on the ground wildlife habitat projects involve sawyer techniques and it is highly recommended that our volunteers utilize this safety training to keep up with our safety system. The seminar provides a great amount of detailed techniques and is updated each year. Lunch will be provided by MUCC for the lecture-training portion.

  • MUCC_Saw_Safety6.jpegJanuary 07, 2017 at 9am – 4pm
  • January 08, 2017 at 9am–TBA
  • Michigan United Conservation Clubs
    2101 Wood St
    Lansing, MI 48912 
  • Contact: Sarah Topp –MUCC Wildlife Volunteer Coordinator




MUCC’s On The Ground Program is supported by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division

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