Michigan Waterfowl Hunting 2020
By Ed H. Edwards, SCI Lansing Chapter Member and avid hunter
I am often asked, “what is your favorite type of hunting?” “What I’m going to do next!” is my answer. However deep in my soul I know waterfowl is the truth!
Waterfowl hunting done properly is hard work and requires diverse skills, knowledge, and considerable equipment.
Guidelines of serious waterfowl hunters:
Cost is not considered. Serious waterfowl hunters do not fret about the price of licenses & stamps, non-toxic shot loads, and keeping a spread of decoys, calls, boats, blinds, shotguns, clothing, and other equipment in good working order.
No effort is too great. Getting stuck in the mud while either wading or rowing can be the ultimate full-body workout! Breaking ice to allow access to row or wade is sometimes necessary and needs to be done carefully. Waterfowl hunting is maximum effort hunting all day any day. Sometimes it is almost as if the serious waterfowler believe no pain no gain!
No detail is too small. A good waterfowler is not out just to shoot a bird. He or she wants to call and decoy it in as if it is on a kite string and results in a chip shot. A realistic decoy spread, proper calling (normally very minimal), and hiding like a marine sniper is the most important detail for success. Nothing can be suspect to incoming birds or they will flair and seek company elsewhere. Everything needs to be camo, or flat non-sheen marsh green or brown finishes. Details to the decoy spread can make or break a hunt. Every setup should be unique based on species of waterfowl in the area, wind direction, and weather forecast.
No weather is too bad. (well if lightning is in the forecast stay home.) Like US Postal Carriers rain, snow, or sleet will not keep a serious waterfowler home. Ice can be broken, boats can be bailed, and equipment will eventually dry out. Probably the most pain I ever endured was an 80-degree early season goose hunt. I managed to get stung by two wasps and bitten by a horse fly within two hours. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!
Covid-19 has resulted in many canceled plans in 2020 but my yearly Michigan waterfowl season has successfully started and looks promising. The season is liberal starting September 1 and some species are open through February 8, 2021.
Waterfowl hunting is not a sport for everyone, but for some, it is an extreme passion. Be safe and carefully review the waterfowl regulations. Zones, bag limits, and shooting times can be confusing. Further to the point make sure your shotgun can only hold three rounds, and your ammo is legal!
Shoot Straight. Happy Hunting.
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Safari Club International is the leading voice in the fight to protect the freedom to hunt, both in the United States and internationally. The SCI Departments of Legal Advocacy Resources and International Affairs and Government Relations is headquartered in Washington, D.C., advocating on behalf of SCI members and non-members alike. From staff dedicated to legislation and policy to a team of litigators, SCI hunter advocacy is at the forefront of protecting the hunting heritage. SCI and the SCI Foundation provide the voice of the hunter in treaties that affect hunting and wildlife conservation worldwide. This is where SCI and SCI Foundation go beyond what other hunter organizations do and why their work in this arena is critical to preserving the right to hunt. Plus, we have lots of fun and events like this one!
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