(Provided by Michigan DNR)

Michigan Marks Progress in 10-year Pheasant Restoration Initiative

A few years ago, when the Michigan DNR announced it was putting together a coalition to rehabilitate pheasant hunting in Michigan, it assembled an impressive array of partners to address many of the problems that led to the declining fortunes of "ringnecks."

(Provided by Michigan DNR)

Pheasant season offers growing opportunities for hunters.With pheasant hunting under way, the Michigan DNR reminds hunters that there are a growing number of opportunities to take part in this treasured Michigan tradition.

Pheasant hunting season runs Oct. 10-31 in the Upper Peninsula in Menominee County and portions of Iron, Marquette, Dickinson and Delta counties; Oct. 20-Nov. 14 in the Lower Peninsula; and Dec. 1-Jan. 1 in selected areas of Zone 3 in the southern Lower Peninsula. The bag limit is two male pheasants daily, with four in possession. A base license is required to hunt pheasants.

"A few years ago Outdoor Life magazine rated Michigan's Thumb among the top 10 places in the country to go pheasant hunting, which points to the fact that pheasant hunting is still alive and well in our state," said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist. "The DNR and our partners are making progress toward creating more quality pheasant hunting opportunities with the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative, a collaborative effort to revitalize Michigan pheasants."

(Provided by Michigan DNR)

Grouse Enhanced Management Sites (GEMS)September brings many things, but for bird hunters, itís the month they've been waiting for since last year. Sept. 15 marks the opening day of ruffed grouse season in Michigan, the time when trucks hit public land two-tracks in search of prime hunting spots.

"Opening day of grouse season is a real treat - the woods are just coming alive with color, and you can smell fall in the air," said Department of Natural Resources upland game bird specialist Al Stewart. "With woodcock season opening on Sept. 19 this year, we have two openers only a few days apart! This is going to be a really exciting fall!"

The DNR and various partners have worked together to develop and maintain Grouse Enhanced Management Sites (GEMS) to give bird hunters places to target their hunt, help other hunters give bird hunting a try, and give seasoned hunters new locations to explore. GEMS are normally remote areas and vary in size from several hundred to several thousand acres. An intensive timber harvest schedule, closely monitored by DNR staff, helps to provide great wildlife habitat, and old logging roads are converted to walking trails that offer minimal terrain challenges and provide comfort to hunters who may not be familiar with the area.

"GEMS provide a unique experience for many people, including seniors and those with mobility challenges," said Eric Ellis, regional wildlife biologist with Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society. "This year, we are providing financial support for the installation of kiosks at six GEMS locations.We also have successfully acquired grant funding and allocated Drummer Funds to further improve wildlife habitat at numerous GEMS locations."