Shiawassee River State Game Area 2021 Managed Waterfowl Hunt Operations

*Specific operations listed below can be subject to immediate change under direction of Office of the State Employer (OSE) at any point prior to or during the 2021 waterfowl season. If operational restrictions are implemented, managed hunt drawings will revert to procedures similar to 2020 operations, pending OSE approval.

Early Waterfowl Season

  • Teal season: Sept 1-16
    • Early teal season will be conducted via self-registered permits available at the kiosk at the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office. One (1) permit is valid for the duration of the season (Sept. 1-16). Hunters are required to fill out a permit completely and place the top copy of the permit into the drop box at the kiosk prior to hunting; the carbon copy of the permit is required to be on the person while hunting. At the close of the season, hunters are required to fill out the carbon copy of the permit with the entire teal season's harvest and return the permit to a drop box either at the office kiosk or in one of the main parking lots.
  • Early goose season: Sept. 1-30
    • Early goose season will be conducted via self-registered permits available at the kiosk at the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office. One (1) permit is valid for the duration of the season (Sept. 1-30). Hunters are required to fill out a permit completely and place the top copy of the permit into the drop box at the kiosk prior to hunting; the carbon copy of the permit is required to be on the person while hunting. At the close of the season, hunters are required to fill out the carbon copy of the permit with the entire early goose season's harvest and return the permit to a drop box either at the office kiosk or in one of the main parking lots.

Youth waterfowl and/or veteran's hunt weekend: Sept. 18-19

There will be no drawings held for the youth waterfowl or veteran's hunt weekend. These hunts will be operated via self-registered permits available at the kiosk at the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office. One (1) permit is valid for the duration of the season (Sept. 18-19). Hunters are required to fill out a permit completely and place the top copy of the permit into the drop box at the kiosk prior to hunting; the carbon copy of the permit is required to be on the person while hunting. At the close of the season, hunters are required to fill out the carbon copy of the permit with the entire youth and/or veteran's season harvest and return the permit to a drop box either at the office kiosk or in one of the main parking lots.

Veteran's Day: Thursday, Nov. 11

Veteran's preference drawings will be held on Veteran's Day, Thursday, November 11th for both the AM and PM hunt periods. To be eligible for this hunt, in addition to required standard waterfowl licenses, veteran or active duty hunters will be required to provide documents to show their veteran or active-duty status; documentation requirements can be reviewed on page 15 of the 2021 Waterfowl Digest. Standby drawings will be held for each hunt period for parties without veteran's or active-duty personnel.

Regular waterfowl season: Oct. 9 - Dec. 5

Opening weekend reserved hunts: Oct. 9-10

The opening weekend of the regular waterfowl season is a reserved hunt with 40 available spots for each of the weekend's draws; draws will be held at 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM, respectively. A standby drawing will be held for each hunt period in the event that less than 40 reserved hunters partake in the draw; the standby drawings will only fill up to the 40 available spots.

The opening day afternoon hunt is a youth reserved hunt. Hunters that were successful in the reserved drawing must have at least one youth in their party to be eligible for this hunt; no more than two adults per party. A standby drawing will be held in the event that less than 40 reserved hunters partake in the draw; standby hunters must have at least one youth in their party (and no more than two adults) to be eligible for the standby draw; the standby drawing will only fill to the available 40 spots. There will be no standby drawing for parties without youth.

Second weekend reserved hunts: Oct. 16-17

The second weekend of the regular waterfowl season is a reserved hunt with 55 available spots for each of the weekend's draws; draws will be held at 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM, respectively. A standby drawing will be held for each hunt period in the event that less than 55 reserved hunters partake in the draw; standby drawings will only fill up to the 55 available spots.

*The check station will be closing after the 11:00 AM draws and standby draws for all reserved hunt drawings. No leftovers will be issued after the standby drawings are complete, if they occur.

Non-reserved hunts/remainder of regular waterfowl season:

Managed hunt drawings will occur twice daily seven days per week throughout the season- one drawing at 5:00 AM for a morning hunt period (check station opens at 4:00 AM) and one drawing at 11:00 AM for an afternoon hunt period. Leftover permits will be issued until 10:00 AM for the morning hunt period; the waterfowl check station will remain open and issue leftover permits until 4:00 PM for the afternoon hunt each day of the season outside of the reserved hunt weekends and early holiday closures.

Managed hunting operations at Shiawassee River SGA will take place via a drive-through registration process at the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office. The lane leading up to the drive-through will be marked with cones- this area will be required to be kept clear of parked vehicles.

Only the party leader will be required at the drive-through to pick up a permit (unless the entire party is in one vehicle). Party leaders are able to register up to three additional hunters on their permit. The top copy of the permit card must be turned in to staff prior to the drawing. If a party fails to turn in the top copy of their permit they forfeit partaking in the draw and will be relegated to choosing a leftover spot.

The draw process will be conducted through an electronic random drawing and will be broadcast over FM radio station 106.1. Once the draw starts and a party's number is called, the party leader will drive back through to pick their zone (unless the entire party is in one vehicle). Zone selections will be broadcast over the FM radio so other hunters can follow along.

All daily draw result and zone selections will be posted at the kiosk in front of the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office.

* With the approval of the Regional Supervisor, normal managed area drawings may be cancelled late in the season if extreme weather results in low hunter participation.  Area managers will post amended check station hunting operations a minimum of two days prior to any changes and waterfowl hunting will be conducted via self-registered permits available at the kiosk at the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office.

Late split waterfowl season: Jan. 1-2

The late split waterfowl season will be conducted via self-registered permits available at the kiosk at the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office. One (1) permit is valid for the duration of the season (Jan. 1 - 2). Hunters are required to fill out a permit completely and place the top copy of the permit into the drop box at the kiosk prior to hunting; the carbon copy of the permit is required to be on the person while hunting. At the close of the season, hunters are required to fill out the carbon copy of the permit with the entire late season's harvest and return the permit to a drop box either at the office kiosk or in one of the main parking lots.

Early holiday check station closures

The St. Charles Wildlife Field Office will be closing after the 11:00 AM drawing on the following State of Michigan holidays and not issuing leftover permits:

  • Thursday, November 11th (Veteran's Day)
  • Thursday, November 25th (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Friday, November 26th (Day After Thanksgiving)

Frequently asked questions/quick reference:

*Some of these FAQs have been answered above

  • When will drawings be held?
    • 7 day per week, twice per day
      • Morning draw: 5:00 AM (drive-through opens ~ 4:00 AM)
      • Afternoon draw: 11:00AM
  • How late will the check station be open?
    • The check station will be open and issuing leftover permits until 4:00 PM
  • Are you going to check licenses?
    • No, DNR staff will not be checking hunting licenses
  • Will you be selling licenses?
    • No, licenses will not be sold at the check station
  • Are you still providing the self-registered zones or are those going away? 
    • Yes for early seasons (teal, goose, and youth/veteran's) and the late split (see information provided above)
    • No for the regular season- leftover zones will be issued on a first come, first served basis until 4:00 PM
  • Are you allowing zone switching after the draw?
    • No, once a zone is picked it is dead for that draw
  • Are you allowing hunters to add to a party after the draw?
    • No, all hunters must be on the permit prior to the drawing.
    • Party leaders are able to register up to three absentee hunters.
  • Are there single and/or party preference zones?
    • No, hunters may choose any zone as they are called in the drawing regardless of whether they are single hunters or part of a party.
  • Will the DNR be holding the Wetland Wonders Challenge contest this year?
    • No, the Wetland Wonders Challenge will not occur this year.
  • Is Shiawassee River SGA holding an open house prior to the waterfowl season?
    • Yes, the open house will be held outdoors on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 6:00 PM, starting at the St. Charles Wildlife Field Office:

225 E. Spruce St.
St. Charles, MI 48655

Weekly refuge counts will begin on Sept. 1, count data can be reviewed on our website