The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters that applications for fall turkey hunting licenses are on sale now through August 1, 2009. A total of 59,050 licenses are available through a lottery for the units open to hunting-12,350 general licenses that may be used on public or private land and 46,700 licenses for private land only. Twelve wild turkey management units totaling 34,976 square miles are open to fall turkey hunting during the October 5 to November 14 season, including most of southern Michigan, five counties in the northern Lower Peninsula, and the entire wild turkey management area in the Upper Peninsula. Regulations are virtually identical to last year. “We are in the third year of a three-year period of stabilized regulations that were developed by working with turkey-hunting groups,” explained Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist. “After this season, we intend to fully evaluate the regulations and make changes where appropriate.” Hunters may apply for a turkey hunting license at any authorized license dealer, at DNR Operations Service Centers, or online at www.michigan.gov/dnr using the E-License system. The application fee is $4. Drawing results will be posted online beginning Aug. 17. If any licenses remain after the drawing, unsuccessful applicants may purchase one leftover license in person at any license dealer on a first-come, first-served basis for a one-week period beginning Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. Any licenses that remain as of Aug. 31 at 10 a.m. will be available for purchase over the counter by any hunter. The licenses will be sold until the quotas are met. The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources for current and future generations.
With mother bears leaving their yearling cubs in preparation for the breeding season, encounters with young bears attracted to backyard food sources are increasing across northern Michigan, according to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). As the young bears leave their mothers, they must look for food on their own for the first time. These young, inexperienced bears are often attracted to bird feeders, trash cans, pet food, grills and other items that smell like food as they learn to fend for themselves. To reduce the potential for attracting bears and habituating them to humans, DNR wildlife biologists recommend that any potential attractants be removed until the bear has moved on. “These young bears were recently driven away from their mothers and are looking for handouts. Yearling bears just don’t know any better than to come into a backyard with a bird feeder,” said DNR wildlife biologist Terry McFadden. “Anyone with a young bear in the backyard should demonstrate that their yard is a hostile environment by banging pots and pans together and even throwing rocks in the bear’s direction. It won’t take long to scare the bear off.” It is very rare for a bear to hang around without the lure of food sources, McFadden added, so be sure that all food sources, not just bird feeders, are subsequently removed from the area. With the cold start to summer, a late berry crop may also encourage bears of all ages to seek out food sources much closer to human populations than they would under normal conditions. “Trapping of bears will only be authorized by the DNR when there is significant damage to property, or a threat to human safety,” McFadden said. “A bear coming into a bird feeder, or even destroying a bird feeder, does not meet those requirements. We do not have the manpower to respond to every bear complaint, and we need everyone to do their part to reduce these interactions before the bears become truly habituated and are then considered a nuisance.” Anyone experiencing problems with backyard bears, and has taken the appropriate action to remove food sources for a period of one to two weeks but has not seen results, should contact the nearest DNR office and speak with a […]
Forest tent caterpillar outbreak heavy this year Michigan is experiencing a heavy outbreak of forest tent caterpillars (FTC) this year, particularly in areas around Gaylord, Cadillac, Traverse City and Petoskey in the northern Lower Peninsula, according to the Department of Natural Resources, (DNR). Widespread outbreaks of FTC occur at intervals of 10 to 15 years. These outbreaks last for two to five years, with most running their course in two to three years. FTC epidemics commonly begin over large areas simultaneously. This is caused by favorable weather conditions preceding an outbreak. Population buildups often follow periods of unusually warm, dry springs. Fortunately, FTC outbreaks eventually subside as caterpillars succumb to parasites and other insect natural enemies. Defoliation begins in early May in the northern Lower Peninsula and late May in the Upper Peninsula. Defoliation can be dramatic and becomes noticeable by early to mid-June. However, cool weather slows development and feeding, extending the duration of outbreaks. “Defoliation from FTC normally does little damage to the tree,” said Roger Mech, forest health specialist with the DNR. “FTC infestation will reduce the vigor of the tree, but the tree usually recovers within a few years, after FTC infestation dies down.” Mech noted that most trees will develop a second set of smaller leaves around mid-summer, after the initial loss of leaves from FTC. He added that trees rarely die from FTC infestation alone. Native flies play an important role in natural control of FTC, but fly populations tend to increase as a result, and can create another nuisance for the public. The DNR can provide technical advice to landowners and landowner groups experiencing FTC infestation. Landowners interested in technical advice should contact their nearest DNR office. Aerial applications of pesticides may help reduce caterpillar nuisance during an FTC outbreak. Applications must be made at the appropriate time and by licensed experienced applicators. Once caterpillars are full grown and defoliation is nearly complete, pesticides are not effective. The DNR can help homeowners determine whether aerial spraying will be effective. When spraying is warranted, the DNR recommends the use of a biological insecticide called Bacillus thuringiensis (also known as Bt). The DNR recommends the use of Bt because of its environmental safety. Bt is a naturally occurring bacterium that […]
The Department of Natural Resources reminds everyone that Summer Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for June 13-14. On that weekend, everyone -residents and non-residents alike-can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations apply. Michigan has celebrated Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1986 as a way to promote natural resources awareness. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of river and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match. “Fishing is a great way to connect with our natural resources,” said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. “It’s a perfect way for families to spend time together while celebrating the bounty of Michigan’s wonderfully diverse outdoor heritage.” Dozens of activities at state parks and state fish hatcheries have been scheduled to coincide with the weekend, while clubs and conservation organizations stage events, too. Free Fishing Weekend offers experienced anglers an excellent opportunity to introduce novices to the joys of fishing. For a list of Free Fishing Events scheduled across the state, visit www.michigan.gov/dnrfishing. The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources for current and future generations.