Pointe Mouillee Managed Waterfowl Hunt Area Manager's Update

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Review for week ending

  • 10/16/2021

Weather

  • Warm temperatures and sun early in the week. Slight cool down and showers towards end of week into the weekend.

Waterfowl abundance

  • As expected, a significant drop-off of waterfowl using the area occurred after opening weekend. Harvest reports and a refuge count indicated there are some ducks are using the area during daylight hours, but many are returning just prior to or after nightfall. The cooldown over the weekend appears to have pushed some new birds through, but still waiting on an appearance from migrators. Mallards are the most abundant, while teal and wood ducks are present numbers as well. Other species (pintail and wigeon) were harvested also.
  • Running data:
    • 363 hunters
    • 436 ducks
    • 34 geese
    • 1.29 ducks per hunter taken

Hunting conditions

  • Managed ZonesOpen Hunting
    • Zones 2-10Zones 11-14Zones 15, 16, 19, 21Zones 17, 18, 20, 22
      • Long Pond Unit - Managed Cattail Marsh - A second year of optimal hunting conditions for this unit has made a great home for many ducks and geese that are not in the refuge. Most of the unit will be ankle to thigh deep with great potholes and cattail cover.
      • Nelson Unit - Flooded Ag Fields - Good corn cover and food production. Corn is 6' tall, produced good ears for food. Buckwheat and millet production very good. Noticeably less corn than in previous years due to flooding from heavy rainfall shortly after planting, but still plenty for cover. Smartweed and other grass production was very good in low spots where ground was flooded. Expect ankle-thigh deep water.
      • Walpatich Unit - Flooded Ag fields - Similar to Nelson Unit, there is good corn for cover (6' tall) and food production. Corn is missing in some spots due to flooding from heavy rainfall shortly after planting. Buckwheat was filled into spots where corn did not come up and in the other strips. Zone 15 now has better flooding than in previous years. Zone 16 has openings mowed at the east end of the zone. Zone 19 and 21 grass fields have been mowed to increase open water. Flooding is near completion for the unit.
      • Walpatich Unit - Cattail Marsh - Similar to Nelson Unit, there is good corn for cover (6' tall) and food production. Corn is missing in some spots due to flooding from heavy rainfall shortly after planting. Buckwheat was filled into spots where corn did not come up and in the other strips. Zone 15 now has better flooding than in previous years. Zone 16 has openings mowed at the east end of the zone. Zone 19 and 21 grass fields have been mowed to increase open water. Flooding is near completion for the unit.
    • Zones 23, 25
      • Brancheau Unit - Managed by USFWS. Per their request, the Brancheau Unit has been left out of the draw process for this year. Habitat work is continuing and will provide good moist soil opportunity in coming years.
    • Humphries Unit
      • Humphries Unit is again deeper than historical levels. Like last year, the east end of the unit is very deep. The west end, however, provides new cattail growth and depths that range from 1-4', providing good habitat for dabbling ducks and walk-in hunting opportunity.
    • Vermet Unit
      • Throughout most of the unit, depth will be 2-4'. Cattail growth is sparse because of limited ability to control water in this unit. However, water from this unit was used to fill managed units and refuges, decreasing its depth from the high levels seen throughout the summer
    • ​​Bad Creek
      • Bad Creek has desired water depths and is entirely cattails and moist soil. Cattails are thick, but potholes throughout the unit are present and provide walk-in hunting opportunity.​
    • Cripple Point
      • This is a new unit that was completed earlier this year. It lies adjacent to Bad Creek to the south. Phragmites management was completed in August and flooding has yielded 6 inch-2 feet water depth for moist soil/cattail habitat. Another good walk-in hunting opportunity.

What to expect this week

  • After a brief cooldown, warm weather will return for the beginning of the week, then another slight cooldown beginning on Thursday. Showers are expected mid-late week. Early season flooding is complete, all units are at hunting depth for the season.

  • All draws are now non-reserved (see note below for youth/veterans preferred draw dates).

Upcoming events

  • November 7th Youth preference hunt (non-reserved)*

  • November 11th Veteran preference hunt (non-reserved)*

    *Subsequent draws will take place for parties without a youth or veteran

Additional Information

  • The main office is closed until further notice. Draws will be held at:

    10998 US Turnpike
    S Rockwood, MI 48179