Winter B.O.W. Weekend Set for Upper Peninsula
Ann Wilson 906-228-6561
November 17, 2005
Women seeking an opportunity to develop their outdoor skills are
invited to register for the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources’ 4th annual Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Winter
Weekend, Feb. 24-26, at the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, which
is about 30 miles north of Marquette.
Participants can select instruction from a list of nearly a dozen
outdoor-related activities, including cross-country skiing, dog
sledding, skijoring, snowmobiling, ice fishing, winter-shelter
building and reading the winter woods. Some indoor activities also
are offered, including journaling and fly tying. Professional
instructors offer basic and advanced instruction tailored to the
participants’ individual abilities.
The $160 registration fee includes all food and lodging, as well
as most equipment and supplies (except as noted in the registration
materials). Participants are housed in comfortable, dorm-style
facilities. The fee also includes many extra activities and evening
access to the camp’s group sauna.
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshops are for women 18 and older
who wish to learn outdoor skills in a relaxed atmosphere. Those
interested in participating are urged to register soon.
Registration materials and course descriptions are posted on the
DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.
For more information, contact Ann Wilson or Sharon Pitz at the
DNR Marquette Operations Service Center, (906) 228-6561, or e-mail
DNR Seeks Help Finding Denned Bears
Mark Boersen 989-275-5151
November 14, 2005
The Department of Natural Resources is seeking help from hunters
and trappers through the fall and winter who encounter denned black
bears while in the field. This effort is part of an ongoing DNR
program to annually radio-collar a sample of female bears.
"Information gathered from bears will assist biologists in
managing the Lower Peninsula black bear population," said DNR
Wildlife Biologist Mark Boersen.
Bear den locations are being sought primarily in Presque Isle,
Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Crawford, Oscoda and Alcona counties in
northeastern Lower Michigan.
After locating a denned bear, DNR biologists will determine if
the animal is a good candidate for radio collaring. Bears that are
selected will be sedated by a biologist and fitted with a
radio-tracking collar and ear tags. Hair samples will be taken for
DNA analysis and a small non-functional tooth will be collected to
determine the bear's age. Upon completion of the short procedure,
biologists will carefully return the bear to her den where she will
sleep through the remainder of the winter months.
People who encounter bear dens are asked to record the location,
with a GPS unit if possible, and contact Mark Boersen at the DNR
Roscommon Operations Center at (989) 275-5151. The public is
reminded that it is illegal to disturb or molest bears at any time.
Deer hunters encouraged to share meat with less fortunate
Deer hunters in Michigan
can help feed thousands of people in need this fall and winter by
donating all or part of their harvest to the Michigan Sportsmen Against
Since 1991, this all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has been
working to help hunters join forces with a network of meat processors
and charities that feed needy individuals throughout Michigan.
“Hunters in Michigan donated more than 50,000 pounds of venison to
the program last year, providing help to families in need in all parts
of the state,” said Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director
Rebecca Humphries. “We are grateful for the support of hunters who
donate venison, whether it’s as little as a few pounds or the whole
deer. It’s a very satisfying feeling to help someone who is less
Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger is a grassroots effort, operated
entirely by sportsmen and sportswomen who are concerned about making a
positive difference in the community. Their efforts are generously
supported by Safari Club International, the Michigan United Conservation
Clubs, Michigan Bow Hunters Association, Ted Nugent World Bowhunters and
the United Methodist Men’s Club.
“Wild game is good, nutritious food, and the liberal hunting
regulations in Michigan make it possible for most hunters to shoot more
than they can use,” said MSAH President Louis Krick. “Sharing the bounty
of the hunt is as old as humankind, and last year’s deer season provided
hunters with more than 26 million pounds of venison. Just a fraction of
that could put nearly 500,000 meals into the hands of those in need.”
And the food is desperately needed. According to the Food Bank
Council of Michigan, nearly 44 percent of family members in households
that receive emergency food assistance are children. Six percent are
elderly and nearly 70 percent have incomes below the official federal
“Half of those who receive food are the very young or the very old;
the most vulnerable members of our state,” said FBCM Executive Director
Jane Marshall. “And nearly 40 percent of the families needing help are
the working poor; families who cannot afford groceries despite having
someone in the household who works.
Marshall also said one of the myths about hunger is that it is only a
big city problem. “Hunger strikes people in rural, suburban and urban
communities. Forty percent of Michigan’s hungry people live in rural or
suburban areas,” she said.
Hunters, who wish to donate venison to the program, should take their
deer to the nearest participating MSAH meat processor. Although
processing costs are the responsibility of the donor, many processors
will offer a substantial discount or even free processing to hunters
participating in the program.
Let the processor know how much meat you wish to donate and they will
set it aside for pickup by a MSAH volunteer who will distribute the meat
to a local food bank or soup kitchen.
If you already have packaged meat in your freezer, it can be dropped
off at one of these locations. To comply with state and federal game
laws, keep your kill tag for verification and take it with you to the
For the list of drop-off stations, call the Michigan Sportsmen
Against Hunger Hotline: 313-278-FOOD (3663), or visit their Web site:
If there is no drop-off station near you, contact the Food Bank
Council of Michigan at 800-552-4483, and they will direct you to the
nearest charitable organization in your area, where you can deliver a
processed donation yourself. After making the delivery, contact the MSAH
to let them know how much meat you delivered.
Individuals who don’t hunt, still can help. Tax-deductible financial
contributions to Sportsmen Against Hunter will help defray the cost of
processing the meat and distributing it to food banks, food pantries and
soup kitchens throughout the state. Send donations to Michigan Sportsmen
Against Hunger, P.O. Box 30235, Lansing, MI 48909.
Help Needed to Track Ospreys
The Department of Natural Resources requests help from wildlife
observers to report any sightings of osprey in southern Michigan. The
DNR specifically is interested in observations in the Maple River area,
which is north of St. Johns, and in southeast Michigan – Oakland, Wayne,
Macomb and Livingston counties.
Osprey once lived throughout Michigan, using their keen eyesight, superb
flying skills and sharp talons to catch fish. Loss of habitat and the
use of DDT and other pesticides are two major factors that led to their
decline in the southern region of the Lower Peninsula. They currently
are listed as threatened in Michigan.
Osprey currently nests in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper
Peninsula, with a few nests in southwestern Michigan. For the past seven
years, the Nongame Wildlife Fund has supported the transfer of osprey
chicks from the northern Lower Peninsula to south-central Michigan.
Chicks are reared in “hacking” towers until they are ready to fly and
feed on their own. After fledging, the young ospreys migrate to South
America to winter. In early April of their second or third year, osprey
often returns to nest in the area where they learned to fly.
Last year, four chicks were released at Stoney Creek Metropark in
Macomb County and one was released from a site near Barry State Game
Area in Barry County.
"Osprey hacking has been extremely successful in Minnesota and other
states," said Lori Sargent, the DNR wildlife biologist coordinating the
program. "It is hoped the birds reared in 2001 and 2002 will return to
southern Michigan to nest this year."
It is anticipated that these released birds will form the core of a
successful population in southern Michigan, eventually expanding their
range along rivers and other floodings. To date, 50 osprey have been
released through this program. The program achieved success when two of
the hacked birds returned to Kensington Metropark and raised chicks with
Ospreys from the program will be marked with a silver metal band on
one leg and a green metal band with an alpha-numeric code on the other
leg. The public is asked to look for these bands.
If any of these birds are seen in southern Michigan, the sighting can
be reported to the DNR at (248) 328-8113, e-mail:
OAKESJ@michigan.gov; the Metropark office at (800) 477-2757, e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org; Lori Sargent at (517) 373-9418, e-mail:
SargenL2@michigan.gov; or online at the
DNR Web site.
Please report only those osprey observed in the southern part of
Lower Michigan. Any information will be useful including location,
time, activity (flying, fishing, etc.), and markings. It is especially
important to note if the bird is banded and, if possible, the number on
the band. The Osprey Project is one of many projects being supported by
the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund and the State Wildlife Grants
program. Citizens can support these efforts by purchasing a Critical
Wildlife Habitat vehicle registration plate through any Secretary of
State office or by making a donation to the Nongame Wildlife Fund, P.O.
Box 30180, Lansing, MI 48909.
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