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Winter B.O.W. Weekend Set for Upper Peninsula

Contact:  Ann Wilson 906-228-6561
Agency: Natural Resources
 


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 wilsoann@michigan.gov or pitzs@michigan.gov.

 

DNR Seeks Help Finding Denned Bears
Contact: 
Mark Boersen 989-275-5151
Agency: Natural Resources

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 Hunger program.

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 fortunate.”

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 poverty level.

“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 drop-off station.

For the list of drop-off stations, call the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger Hotline: 313-278-FOOD (3663), or visit their Web site: www.sportsmenagainsthunger.org.

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
Contact: 
Lori Sargent 517-373-1263
Agency: Natural Resources

June 21, 2005

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 their mates.

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: moilanen@metroparks.com; 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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