DNR Events: Civil War camp, outdoor skills classes, waterfowl festival & more

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DNR Events - September 2018

black duck swimming

Here are a few ways to get out and enjoy Michigan’s natural resources in September. For a full list of events, see the Department of Natural Resources calendar at michigan.gov/dnrcalendar.

Celebrate 100 years of elk in Michigan Sept. 8

elk in forest

The DNR will celebrate 100 years of elk in Michigan with a special event Saturday, Sept. 8. The fun begins at 5 p.m. at the downtown pavilion in Gaylord. Enjoy snacks from Gourmet Gone Wild while conservation leaders talk about the importance of wildlife management.

In 1918, seven elk from the Western United States were released near Wolverine to re-establish Michigan's elk population. Join us in celebrating the success of this conservation effort over the last century.

Brush up on deer and waterfowl hunting, archery skills

man shooting bow and arrow

Whether you’re looking to get started in a new outdoor activity or get some pointers from the pros, the DNR Outdoor Skills Academy can help. Upcoming classes include:

  • Hunting Whitetails Naturally (Sept. 8 in Cadillac). Learn the “A to Z” of trail hunting, from scouting to stand placement.
  • Becoming an Expert Archer (Sept. 15 in Ludington). An introduction to archery as a healthy and fun outdoor/indoor activity.
  • Waterfowl Hunting Clinic (Sept. 29 in Cadillac). This class will cover everything you need to know to get started, including how to find a location, scouting, calling and gear.

Learn more about the Outdoor Skills Academy and see other upcoming classes at michigan.gov/outdoorskills

Belle Isle birding walk Sept. 14

chestnut-sided warbler

Join us on a guided birding walk at Belle Isle Park Friday, Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. to approximately noon.

The Detroit River, in which Belle Isle is situated, is a globally recognized Important Bird Area and acts as a fall migration stopover site for tens of thousands of birds. This includes up to 10 percent of the world’s canvasbacks, as well as thousands of tundra swans, redheads and other ducks. Many species of warblers and other migrating songbirds also use the island as a stopover site in both spring and fall. In fact, last spring a Kirtland’s Warbler was seen on the island as it headed north to Grayling, Michigan!

DNR staff members will be on hand to answer questions about the ecology, wildlife management and recreation opportunities on the island. 

Annual waterfowl festival returns to Pointe Mouillee Sept. 15-16

dog jumping into water to retrieve duck decoy

The annual Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival, a tradition since 1947, is set for Sept. 15-16 at Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Brownstown Township. This family-friendly event offers activities – such as dog-jumping competitions, archery challenges, an arts and crafts show, kids’ games and much more – for nature lovers and waterfowlers alike.

Located at the mouth of the Huron River at Lake Erie, Pointe Mouillee State Game Area is one of the largest freshwater marsh restoration projects in North America and one of Michigan’s premier waterfowl hunting and viewing destinations. All proceeds from the annual festival benefit wetland restoration and wildlife habitat improvement at the state game area.

Cannons will roar at Michigan Iron Industry Museum Civil War encampment Sept. 29

kids watch costumed Civil War re-enactors fire canon

Did you know that Michigan’s Upper Peninsula played an important role in the Civil War? While no battles were fought in the state, the U.P.’s iron ore was critically important to wartime manufacturing. Tools, equipment and other supplies made from U.P. iron helped meet the needs of the Union Army.

You can learn all about “Iron Ore and the Civil War” at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum’s annual Civil War encampment Sept. 29. The free, family-friendly event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include a recreated Civil War camp, live historical music, live cannon and artillery demonstrations, and popular 19th-century children’s games. 

Recreation safety classes

Many outdoor activities require certification through a safety education course for some, or all, participants. Find upcoming hunting, ORV, snowmobile, bowhunter and trapping classes in your area, and learn about online course options, at michigan.gov/receationalsafety. 

Harvests and Haunts 

More than 30 Michigan state parks host fall harvest festivals in September and October. Hay rides, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating, costume contests and haunted trails are just some of the fun activities taking place. Learn more at michigan.gov/harvestsandhaunts