04-12-18 Outdoors

Hunting With longer daylight hours and warming temperatures causing wildlife to start to move, the DNR advises property owners that now is the time to look around and see if they have items that soon may be attracting bears. The best way to live with bears and not encourage conflict, DNR wildlife communication coordinator Katie Keen said, is to have the ideal situation where a bear walks past your property, not finding a food reward. The easiest thing people can do to avoid problems with bears is to remove bird feeders during the spring and summer months. The seed and especially the suet are attractive to a bear as they are high-calorie and reliable compared to other plentiful and natural food sources. For your safety, never intentionally feed or try to tame bears – it is in your, and the bear’s best interest. Learn more about Michigan’s Black Bears and how to prevent potential problems by visiting www.michigan.gov/bear. Coyotes can be found everywhere – forests, fields, farmlands, backyards, neighborhoods and cities. The may be more visible during breeding season (January through March) and when they are caring for their pups during the spring and summer months. Smaller mammals, like mice and rabbits, are a coyote’s main source of food. They can become comfortable living near people, particularly if there are food sources available like trash-bins, bird feeders and pet food. Never intentionally feed or try to tame coyotes. Take advantage of a coyote’s natural fear of humans and scare them off if you see them. Letters of interest are now being accepted by the DNR for those interested in representing the tourism industry on the Equine Trails Subcommittee. The appointment is for a four-year term. If interested contact the DNR state trail coordinator at DNR-PRD-TRAILS, P.O. Box 30257, Lansing, MI 48909. Coloma Rod & Gun Club The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW Class on Saturday, April 14, 2018. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $100. For more information or to be put on the list, please call (269) 621-3370. Watervliet Rod & Gun Club The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on April 12 and April 15, 2018. They will have a lawyer explaining the law pertaining to concealed carry during class.

Spring means the arrival of many migratory birds and one species that can be seen while driving around or hiking locally is the eastern meadowlark. The robin-sized species can commonly be found singing from fence posts and power lines in pastures, grasslands and agricultural areas from mid-March to mid-November. Eastern meadowlarks have yellow under parts and brown mottled upper parts that help them blend in to vegetation from above. White outer tail feathers help the birds distract predators. If one comes too close to the nest, the female will burst out of the grass with a flash of color distracting the predator. Once lured far away from the nest, the female will fold her white feathers in and disappear back into the grass. These birds mainly eat arthropods like insects and spiders but will also eat grubs, worms and seeds. Western meadowlarks can also be found in southwest Michigan but are rare. They can be easily distinguished from eastern meadowlarks by their song, since their appearance is so similar. The eastern meadowlark flute-like song is more varied than the western’s. Learn about and look for the American woodcock, a bird with an interesting mating display with a Sarett Naturalist this Saturday at 8:30 p.m. for $3/adult. Please call to register at 269-927-4832. Join a Sarett Naturalist for a walk through Sarett’s trails to see and learn about early wildflowers for $3 on Saturday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m.