Pointe Mouillee Managed Waterfowl Hunt Area Manager's Update

Important: See updated 2020 draw procedures here

DRAW RADIO BROADCAST FREQUENCY: 96.5 FM - Please observe signs posted for the broadcast frequency. This is how rules, important information, the draw, and call-up for zone choosing will be communicated.

Review for week ending

  • 12/06/2020

Weather

  • Winter weather made itself known early in the week with a snowstorm that rolled in Monday night and persisted through Tuesday. A slight warm-up melted the snow mid-week, but cold temperatures came back and froze most of the game area late in the week.

Waterfowl abundance

  • As of the morning of November 30th, numbers were very high for dabblers, specifically mallards and black ducks. Divers stayed relatively similar in numbers to the previous week. Scaup and bufflehead were the most abundant, while other various species were also seen. However, when the cold weather at the end of the week showed up, the marsh froze, driving out most of the dabblers and many divers.
  • Harvest has still been relatively slow. Given the amount of birds that showed up for this week’s refuge count, it seems as though there are still many birds that have yet to move south.
  • Final 2020 data:
    • 1019 hunters
    • 425 zones hunted
    • 1354 ducks
    • 61 geese
    • 3.19 ducks per zone taken
    • 1.33 ducks per hunter taken
    • 1.39 birds per hunter taken

Hunting conditions

  • Managed Zones
    • Zones 2-10
      • Long Pond Unit – Managed Cattail Marsh – Great cover, good potholes, and great marsh hunting opportunity. Water levels are back to desired depth, contrary to last year’s high level. Potholes in the cattails are in much better condition than in recent years as well. Every zone has a good opportunity to harvest ducks. Yielded second highest harvest for the past week.

      Zones 11-14
      • Nelson Unit – Flooded Ag Fields – Good corn cover and food production, great opportunity for feeding ducks. There is great crop production in the entire unit. Corn, buckwheat, and millet yield was near perfect. Corn is 6-7’ tall, produced good ears for food, and will provide great cover for hunters. Shooting was also abundant in these zones with each zone getting opportunity to harvest ducks. Yielded highest harvest for the past week.

      Zones 15-22
      • Walpatich Unit – Ag fields and cattail marsh – Walpatich corn was unfortunately planted a tad later than desired (week after Fourth of July). Ears were produced but are pushing the limit to reach full maturity before flooding is completed. Zones 15, 16, 19, & 21 have good corn cover with a height 5-6’ tall. Zones 17 & 18 had water left on them all year to enhance cattail growth for a marsh hunting opportunity. A large pothole was created on the west end of Zone 20 to increase opportunity for easier hunting. Water levels in Walpatich are now at the desired level. Flooding was delayed allowing corn an opportunity to reach full maturity. Yielded lowest harvest for the past week.
      Zones 23-25
      • Brancheau Unit – Managed by USFWS. Due to Covid-19 and limited ability to properly manage the area for hunting opportunity, the USFWS has asked to remove the Brancheau Unit from the draw for this year.
         
    Open Hunting
    • Humphries Unit Vermet Unit Bad Creek
      • Humphries Unit is again deeper than desired. High lake levels poured over the “spillway” that borders Mouillee Creek (a portion that is purposely there so that private residences upstream do not flood). 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. Water from this unit is being released to Lake Erie when strong west winds lower lake levels enough to let water flow out.

      • Vermet Unit is back to desired depth for the 2020 season. Throughout most of the unit, depth will be 2-4’. Cattail growth is best in the south and west portions of the unit.

      • Bad Creek has desired water depths and is almost entirely cattail marsh. Cattails are thick, but some potholes throughout the unit are present.

      • Cripple Point is a new unit that is still under construction. It lies adjacent to Bad Creek to the south. Please exercise caution when hunting near this unit, as the contractor is still working on building the dike surrounding the unit. It will be dry until construction is completed, so hunting will likely yield poor results.

      • Open hunting units seem to provide good opportunities for hunters who do not enter the draw or are unsuccessful in the draw.

What to expect this week

  • N/A 

Upcoming events

  • No draw for the “split” hunt on Dec 26-27.

Additional Information

  • The main office is closed until further notice.

  • The equipment yard is only open for the duration of the draw. Entrance prior to or after is prohibited.

  • DRAW RADIO BROADCAST FREQUENCY: 96.5 FM - Please observe signs posted for the broadcast frequency. This is how rules, important information, the draw, and call-up for zone choosing will be communicated.