DNR Events: bats, Wetland Wonders, archaeology, hiking, hunts and more

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DNR Events - October 2018

close-up of trees with colorful fall leaves

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

Celebrate bats at the 2018 Michigan Bat Festival Oct. 6

close-up photo of a bat hanging upside down

The Michigan Bat Festival – at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing Saturday, Oct. 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. – offers a chance to see live bats and find out why bats are important to Michigan. You also can explore what makes bats unique with hands-on games and activities and discover ways to help bats in your own backyard.

Admission to the Potter Park Zoo is free for Ingham County residents Oct. 6. Parking fees still apply. Hope to see you at the zoo!

Learn more about bats.     

Explore Michigan's Wetland Wonders with fall open houses

sunrise in a wetland area

Have you wanted to try hunting at one of Michigan’s managed waterfowl hunt areas, also known as Michigan’s Wetland Wonders? Take some time this fall to get to know the areas!  Open houses will be held at southeast Michigan’s Wetland Wonders in October. 

Open houses will include guided tours, with a focus on waterfowl habitat improvements and other wildlife management techniques that make these areas attractive to a host of wildlife. Waterfowl hunters will learn about how each area is run and what to expect when they come in for a hunt drawing, along with other areas nearby that are open to hunting.

See a schedule of managed waterfowl area open houses.

Michigan Archaeology Day Oct. 13

boy and girl work to put together puzzle of historic pot

Don’t miss the most popular annual event at the Michigan History Museum in Lansing – Michigan Archaeology Day Saturday, Oct. 13.

Here's your chance to chat with archaeologists, learn about exciting investigations and see one-day-only exhibits from excavations and underwater explorations. You'll also enjoy watching skillful demonstrations and joining in on fun, hands-on activities.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – free admission and free parking all day!

Ladies’ guided pheasant hunt in Belding Oct. 21

ring-necked pheasant

The DNR, Pine Hill Kennels and Sportsman's Club, and the Grand Valley chapter of Pheasants Forever will host the fifth annual ladies’ guided pheasant hunt Sunday, Oct. 21, at 3329 Johnson Road in Belding.

Registration and coffee begin at 9 a.m. Participants will warm up by shooting clay pigeons on the skeet range, hunt with a guide for three pheasants, learn to clean their birds and enjoy a gourmet lunch. 

Beginners are welcome, and guns are available for those who need them. Registration is limited, and participants must be 18 or older. Cost is $45 per person.

Preregistration is required – call Scott Brosier at 616-874-8459.

Hiking 101 class in the Porkies Oct. 27

group of hikers at the Porkies

The DNR Outdoor Skills Academy will offer Hiking 101 – for those who want to begin hiking but don’t know where to start – Saturday, Oct. 27 at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon.

The class will cover hiking gear, clothing, nutrition, map and compass use, and minimal-impact techniques. The instructor will also spend a little time on backpacking equipment, camp stoves, shelters and other backpacking-related techniques.

The last half of the day will be a 4-mile guided hike in the Porkies that will be moderately difficult, with terrain that will include muddy trails, elevation and uneven surfaces. This will be trail hiking!

Cost is $45, which includes lunch and a Porkies trail map and orienteering compass.

Register for Hiking 101.

Free youth pheasant hunt in Augusta Oct. 27

man and boy in hunting clothes, boy holding hunting rifle

Hunters ages 10-16 who have a hunter safety certificate and have some hunting experience are invited to join the free Joe Johnson Memorial Youth Pheasant Hunt at the Gordon Guyer Augusta Creek State Wildlife Area, located at C Avenue East and 43rd Street North in Augusta, Saturday, Oct. 27.

Mandatory orientation and safety training will begin at 7:45 a.m., with the hunt beginning at 8 a.m. Groups of two youth hunters will hunt in increments of 30 minutes. Pheasants will be planted for each group.

Preregistration is required, and registration is limited. To register, contact Cindy McQueer at 269-685-9074.

Find fall color in state forests

Michigan’s state forests offer unique spots to catch fall color, with opportunities to walk, hike, bike or drive through some of the state’s most beautiful scenery. A new interactive state forest map can help find spots to visit, with 77 sites in the northern Lower Peninsula and across the Upper Peninsula.

Fantastic fall fishing awaits

Did you know that – if you buy a fishing license now – there are still six months left in the 2018 license year for you to enjoy? Fall fishing in Michigan is fantastic, and our ice fishing season is just around the corner! Plan a fishing trip and enjoy cooler temperatures and beautiful fall colors while casting a line.