West Michigan Waterfowl

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West Michigan Waterfowl

Postby IntlScout » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:24 pm

Hey folks, I'm looking at maybe taking a job over around Holland. I'm on the east coast now. Naturally, if I'm thinking about taking a job in a new state, I've got to check out the waterfowl opportunities in my potential new home. Of course, I'm not asking for secret honey holes or gps coordinates. :lol3: Just trying to get a feel for what the hunting is like in the area, what public lands are available, if they're worth the trouble, is the whole place sewn up with licensed blinds, etc. Thanks for the help . . .
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Re: West Michigan Waterfowl

Postby carsonr2 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:16 pm

IntlScout wrote:Hey folks, I'm looking at maybe taking a job over around Holland.

I'm from Holland, and spent the better part of 27 years there. You couldn't ask for a nicer town, with a ton of beautiful sandy beaches.

I'm on the east coast now. Naturally, if I'm thinking about taking a job in a new state, I've got to check out the waterfowl opportunities in my potential new home. Of course, I'm not asking for secret honey holes or gps coordinates. :lol3: Just trying to get a feel for what the hunting is like in the area, what public lands are available,

There are plenty of public lands available to the South, North and East of Holland. You can be on several different marshes or river systems within an hour drive, and many spots are within a half hour.

if they're worth the trouble,

The West side of MI doesn't seem to get as heavy of a migration as the East side, but there are birds....if you hit it right it can be quite good also. The thing is, living in Holland you can get up North to some choice areas in a couple of hours, or you can head East and be on the bay in about 2.5 hours. But there is plenty to keep someone busy on the West side.

is the whole place sewn up with licensed blinds,

This is a bit of gray area. The blind laws in MI don't follow a licensing by the State. Basically any water of the great lakes is open to hunting. This would constitute all of the Great Lakes and connected bays. Blinds that are secured to the ground or lake bed in these areas are first come first serve. Inland lakes that are open to hunting, (which you either need to stick to lakes that have public land along them or you should contact the local CO for the area to ask his determination) individuals are allowed to construct blinds that may only be placed for a portion of the year ( I think this is also true of blinds located on waters of the great lakes, but maybe one of the guys that hunts the bay can comment on this aspect). These blinds are only supposed to be hunted by the owner of the blind. Putting a lot of time into a permanent blind that can only be set out for a period of time can be a waste, so in my experience I didn't see many newly constructed blinds. You will see a ton of old blinds that are falling apart. Blinds also need to have the name and phone number I believe of the person who built it easily legible on the outside of the blind, there are some regs that you would need to look up if you wanted to construct one. Even if someone constructs a blind though, the laws don't dictate that the piece of water it is located on cannot be hunted by anyone else. Obviously it's common courtesy to give other hunters there space, but you could set up within 50 yards of someones blind and still be legally hunting....if it is public water.

etc. Thanks for the help . . .
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Re: West Michigan Waterfowl

Postby Adventurer79 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 6:40 pm

True, West Michigan doesnt have the #'s that the east side of the state does, but with fewer ducks comes fewer hunters. As stated above, you can get just about anywhere in 3 hours or less. With that being said, Michigan, in general is without question a great place to be. The sheer number of different opportunities overcome any downfalls I can think of. None of the BS involved with blind leases etc. Pretty much 100% access for everyone, Managed areas, Public land, Floodings, Thousands of huntable lakes and rivers, access on which has never been a problem for me. Permission on private farmland can be tricky in some places depending on the hunting pressure, but the biggest problem for me is deciding where to be on a given day. I'll take problems like that anytime.

Hope it works out and if so,

:welcome: to Michigan

Your one of a very few moving here FOR work.
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