As part of the new Explore Michigan’s Wetland Wonders campaign, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) introduces a contest for waterfowl hunters, beginning this fall. The contest will focus on the seven premier Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas (MWHA) and waterfowl hunters throughout Michigan.

The Wetland Wonders Challenge will take place at the seven MWHAs throughout southern Michigan. These areas include Allegan State Game Area’s Fennville Farm Unit, Fish Point, Harsens Island, Muskegon County Wastewater Facility, Nayanquing Point, Pointe Mouillee and Shiawassee River.

Offering first-class waterfowl hunting opportunities to the public, these areas are intensively managed for wetland and upland habitat to attract waterfowl and provide high-quality waterfowl hunting experiences. The MWHAs have exclusive zones where hunting occurs. Drawings are conducted throughout the hunting season to assign hunters to the zones, and permits are issued for hunting.

“Our MWHAs offer hunters access to some of the best waterfowl hunting areas in the state,” said Barb Avers, DNR waterfowl and wetlands specialist. “If you haven’t visited an MWHA before, we invite you to come experience these unique hunting areas and see what they’re all about.”

The Wetland Wonders Challenge will begin on Sept. 15, with the opening of the youth waterfowl hunt (only at MWHAs that are open and conducting drawings) and continue through the close of the Allegan County Goose Management Unit season on Jan. 22, 2013. During the opening weekend (Oct. 6-7) of the regular duck season in the South Zone, hunting at Fish Point, Harsens Island, Nayanquing Point and Shiawassee River is by reservation only.

When hunters register at any one of the MWHAs, they will receive an individual commemorative duck leg band for that MWHA and a validation of their Wetland Wonders Challenge punch card (available at all MWHAs). If hunters visit at least four of the seven MWHAs, they will be entered into a drawing to win one of several ultimate waterfowl hunting prize packages. Hunters that visit at least one MWHA can enter to win several consolation prizes. Winners will be selected on Feb. 15, 2013.

For more information on the MWHAs (including location, drawing times, dates, and rules and regulations) and the Wetland Wonders Challenge contest (including the contest terms and conditions), please visit www.michigan.gov/wetlandwonders.

This promotion also connects to the new Michigan Waterfowl Legacy (MWL), which kicked off on Sept. 8 and celebrates the “Year of the Duck.” The MWL is a 10-year, cooperative partnership to restore, conserve and celebrate Michigan’s waterfowl, wetlands and waterfowl hunting community. Throughout the year numerous waterfowl- and wetland-related events will be held. For more information about MWL, please visit www.michigan.gov/mwl.

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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