A gentle rain fell Thursday evening, June 6, as family, friends and fellow sportsmen gathered to remember Dr. George (“Andy”) Ammann, former grouse and woodcock biologist for the Michigan DNR, and to dedicate the newly created Andy Ammann Memorial Woodcock Viewing Area at the DNR Rose Lake Wildlife Research Area in Clinton and Shiawassee counties.
Ammann, who passed away in 2008 at 98 years of age, was a well-respected member of the DNR family and an avid outdoorsman.
“Dad never met a stranger.” said his youngest son, Tom Ammann.
Dr. Ammann pioneered the modern method of woodcock banding using pointing dogs to locate nests where the chicks are then banded.
“I remember going out with Dad in the early days of woodcock banding with a smelt-dipping net trying to catch the birds. It didn’t work. Dad knew there had to be a better way,” said Andy’s middle son, Larry Ammann.
In 1981, Dr. Ammann’s book, “A Guide to Capturing and Banding American Woodcock Using Pointing Dogs,” was published by the Ruffed Grouse Society. This book continues to be the top reference for woodcock banders.
Several family members were in attendance and shared their stories of Ammann’s passion for hunting and the out-of-doors.
“Dad had every detail of every hunt written in pocket-sized notebooks. There are hundreds of these notebooks”, said Tom Ammann.
The Andy Ammann Memorial Woodcock Viewing Area is a cooperative habitat improvement project between the DNR, the Andy Ammann Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society, the Bath Fire Department, Kesler Construction Company, the Lansing Chapter of Safari Club International, Sharecropper, Steve Wiswasser and the Michigan Woodcock Banders. This work was done to maintain young forest habitats and provide a singing/display area and brood-rearing site for nesting woodcock.
“We’re really happy we could put Andy’s name on this site. It is a dream come true,” said Chuck Riley, board member of the Andy Ammann Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society.
Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources