12-05-2019 Outdoors

Fishing

Cold, wind, rain and snow have not been the angler’s friend the last few weeks. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR, did not put out a fishing report this week and local reports are saying not much action in the local lakes and rivers. There are fish out there, but the anglers are not impressed. The end of this week and the beginning of next week look like there might be some nice weather coming our way and may be your last chance to fish open water till next spring. Winter will catch up with us sooner or later. Under an agreement announced in November with federal, state and tribal governments, the Dow Chemical Company will settle an environmental complaint for an estimated $77 million in projects and funding that will restore fish, wildlife, and habitats injured when hazardous substances were released in past decades from Dow’s manufacturing facility in Midland, Michigan. Contaminants released from Dow’s Midland facility injured fish and wildlife and natural areas in and around the Tittabawassee River, Saginaw River, and Saginaw Bay. Under the settlement, Dow will carry out or fund restoration projects identified in Midland, Bay, Saginaw, and nearby counties. These projects include fish spawning and fish passage improvements, restoration of thousands of acres of wetlands and other habitats, creation of multiple public nature areas with nature tails, fishing platforms, and one bike trail segment, protection of a green corridor along the Tittabawassee River and expansion of boating access at the mouth of the Saginaw River. The public may comment on the Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment as well as on the proposed Consent Decree that outlines the settlement provisions. For more information and to view the first two documents, visit the trustees’ Tittabawassee River Natural Resource Damage Assessment webpage.

Hunting

Michigan has plenty of hunting opportunities through the remainder of the year, whether you are an avid small game hunter or plan to head out for the late archery or firearm deer season. Make sure you are up to date with the 2019 regulations for deer hunting. The 2019 Hunting Digest has all deer hunting regulations, season dates and bag limits. Archery season is open until January 1. The archery season is extended through January 31, 2020 for Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Muzzleloader season is open December 6-15 for Zones 1 and 2. Zone 3 is open December 6-22. Late antlerless season is open in select deer management units from December 31- January 1, 2020. Important changes: Deer baiting and feeding is banned in the entire Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula core chronic wasting disease surveillance area; new regulations in the Upper Peninsula core CWD surveillance area; and new antler point restrictions. Visit Michigan.gov/Deer for more hunting details. Take advantage of your base license and get out for some small game hunting this winter. Cottontail rabbit and snowshoe hare season is open statewide through March 31, 2020. Squirrel, fox and gray, season is open statewide through March 31, 2020. Ruffed grouse season opened statewide December 1 and is open to January 1. Pheasant (male only) season opened December 1 and ends January 1 in select areas of Zone 3. Don’t forget to get your free pheasant/ sharp-tailed grouse endorsement if you plan to hunt pheasants. December’s pheasant hunting is open only in select portions of Zone 3 (see map on page 54 of the 2019 Hunting Digest). Please be aware that Cornish, Crane Pond and Pinconning state game areas and the Fennville Farm Unit within Allegan State Game Area are not within the December Pheasant Management Unit and are not open to pheasant hunting in December. Pheasant releases through the Michigan Pheasant Hunting Initiative will not take place on these four game areas during the December season. People interested in helping to shape and support Michigan’s snowmobile program and trail opportunities are encouraged to apply for vacancies on Michigan’s Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup. The DNR will accept resumes through Monday, December 16, 2019. Resumes may be sent to: Annalisa Centofanti, Trails Section Administrative Assistant, DNR Parks and Recreation Division, 525 W. Allegan St., P.O. Box 30257, Lansing, MI 48909.

Last month for Pure MI Hunt applications

December is the last month to get your hands on Pure Michigan Hunt applications before the January drawing! Don’t miss your shot at the hunt of a lifetime. You could take home: Hunting equipment valued at over $4,000; licenses for elk, bear, spring and fall turkey, and antlerless deer; first pick at a managed waterfowl area for a reserved hunt. Get as many applications as you like – for yourself or as holiday presents and stocking stuffers for your favorite hunters! Visit Michigan.gov/PMH for more details. Each $5 Pure Michigan Hunt application helps fund Michigan’s wildlife habitat restoration and management.

Watervliet Rod & Gun Club

The Watervliet Rod and Gun Club will hold their monthly CCW classes on December 5 and 7, 2019. The cost of the class is $100. They will have a lawyer explaining the law pertaining to concealed carry during class. Please call (269) 468-3837 or (269) 470-9191 for more information.

Coloma Rod & Gun Club

The Coloma Rod & Gun Club will hold their monthly CPL Class on Saturday, December 14. Class registration is held on Sunday, December 8, 2019 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The class is taught by a certified NRA and RSO instructor and the cost of the class is $105. For more information on the CPL class or Hunter Safety Class, email inquiry@colomarodandgunclub.com.

ReLeaf Michigan announces winners in Big Tree Hunt

ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree planting and education org