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Maple River State Game Area

Hours of Operation

Open at no charge to the public.

Open waterfowl hunting at this location during the regular season. No daily draws.

Description of the area

Maple River State Game Area East Unit is nestled along both sides of US-127 in southern Gratiot County. The game area incorporates farm fields, woodlands, grasslands and cattail marshes. Maple River is a popular birding and wildlife viewing destination in the spring and summer and hunting and trapping destination in the fall and winter. Visit flooded ag fields and moist soil areas for dabbling ducks like Northern shovelers, Northern pintails and green-winged teal. Check out the larger ponds and marshes for diving ducks like ring-necked, redhead and ruddy ducks. Herons and egrets are common marsh visitors as well as bald eagles, ospreys, grebes, coots, muskrats and moorhens. Prothonotary warblers may be found nesting in wooded swamps. Extensive construction projects at Maple River including new pumping stations, improved water control structures and dike repairs were recently completed to improve wetland habitat and waterfowl hunting/viewing opportunities.

PDF map of area 


  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Canoeing and Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Nature Trail Hiking
  • Hunting and Trapping

Weekly waterfowl count dashboards

Weekly waterfowl counts are conducted annually, September through January. Use these interactive dashboards to view waterfowl counts across the Wetland Wonders for current and previous years. When the dashboard loads, you will have a total count of the Michigan DNR's Managed Waterfowl Hunt Areas (MWHA) for which counts are provided. The pie charts will show distribution across the areas during the currently selected week (week ending date can be changed using the date selector). Select a specific managed area at the top by clicking/tapping on it to see the numbers for that area. Use the navigation at the bottom of the dashboard to view further breakdowns of area waterfowl numbers.

2023 waterfowl counts

2022 waterfowl counts

2021 waterfowl counts

2020 waterfowl counts

2019 waterfowl counts

2018 waterfowl counts

2017 waterfowl counts

2016 waterfowl counts

  • No events scheduled at this time.