The 61st annual Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival is set for Saturday and Sunday at Pointe Mouillee State Game Area east of I-75 at Rockwood, Mich., northeast of Monroe.
Events will kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday and run through 5 p.m. Sunday, including the 61st Michigan Duck Hunters Tournament, sponsored by Cabela s. Tournament skills competition include sneak-boat shooting, layout-boat shooting, and marsh shooting competition, and punt-boat and rowboat races in the Huron River.
Pointe Mouillee is at the mouth of the Huron on Lake Erie and represents the largest freshwater marsh restoration project in North America. Festival proceeds benefit wetland restoration and wildlife habitat improvements at Pointe Mouillee. The event annually draws more than 10,000 visitors and participants.
Also included in the festival are the Midwest Decoy Contest and the Wildlife Art Show. They feature some of North America s finest decoys, bird carvers, and wildlife artists. An Outdoor Trading Post at the festival is a place to buy, sell, or swap all manner of outdoor gear and fields more than 200 vendors.
Youth activities include a BB-gun shoot, archery shoot, face painting, clowns, and water-related games. Chainsaw carving, fly-tying, and small-boat building are among daily demonstrations, as are retriever trials.
The Midwest goose calling championship is set for noon Saturday, sponsored by Cabela s and Avery, Inc. The Midwest duck calling championship is set for noon Sunday, sponsored by Cabela s, which also is sponsoring duck and goose hunting seminars both days. A decoy auction is set for Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the decoy tent.
For other details call festival executive director Dick Whitwam at 734-379-4292, or visit online at www.miwaterfowlfest.org.
The festival is sponsored by the festival committee and Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Last year it attracted more than 12,000 visitors.
In related news, the Maumee Bay Carvers have announced the winners of the decoy competition in the recent 26th annual Lake Erie Waterfowlers Festival.
Best of show for Lake Erie/three-bird rig, eight rigs entered, was by Gary Hanson, of Eastpointe, Mich. Best of marsh was a green-winged teal rig by Rick Johanssen, Port Clinton, and best diver rig was a redhead/scaup by Mark Costilow, of Amherst, Ohio. Best confidence rig was common mergansers by Hanson.
In Lake Erie singles competition, 47 entries, Hanson again won best of show. Best marsh bird was a black duck by Derek Fife, of Oak Harbor, with best diver, a bufflehead, by Costilow. Best confidence bird/goose, was a red-breasted merganser by Hanson.
Among shorebirds, 10 entries, best of show went to Gary Joe Bryan, of Nashport, Ohio. Best of show for working decoy/novice, 13 entries, went to Derek Fick, Oak Harbor. Fick also took best of marsh in working decoys with a mallard, and Harold Braggs, of Detroit, took best diver with a red-breasted merganser.
Bryan also won best of show in working decoys/ open, 20 entries. He also took best of marsh in the class with a shoveler. Best diver in the class went to Bud Shell, of East China, Mich., with a long-tailed duck. Best confidence bird in the class was a red-necked grebe by Bryan.
In the calling contests, Kyle Tipton, of Shelbyville, N.Y., and Kile Jones, of Grand Ledge, Mich., won the two-man goose calling/Kings of Crane Creek event.
The Kings of Crane Creek for ducks calling were Jimmy Wren, of Port Clinton, and Jeff Shelby, of Concord, Ohio.
In the Ohio regional duck calling, Tony Workman, of Fort Wayne, Ind., was crowned champion. Matt Hougan, of Springboro, Ohio, was named Ohio state resident duck calling champion.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources plans to station refrigerated trucks at deer-check stations this week in a nine-township zone in Kent County in the southwest Lower Peninsula to store deer carcasses while hunters await test results on chronic wasting disease.
A special antlerless private land firearms deer season is set for Thursday through Monday in the southern lower and northeast Lower Peninsula.
The hunt includes Kent County, where deadly CWD was confirmed last month in a culled game-farm doe. For other CWD details visit on-line michigan.gov/chronicwastingdisease.
In related news, the MDNR has planned a day-long seminar on the science of white-tailed deer management for Sept. 29 at the Comfort Inn and Suites, hotel and conference center, 2424 South Mission St. in Mount Pleasant.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. Deer authorities from Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New York, and Michigan are on the agenda.
Topics include deer registration, antlerless deer harvest issues, CWD, deer-wolf relationships, urban deer issues, and mandatory antler restrictions.
Dr. Michael Miller, a national CWD authority from the Colorado Division of Wildlife also is to be present.
The symposium is cosponsored with the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. To register call Evan Peterson at 517-346-6488 or visit on-line at mucc.org.