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Annual waterfowl festival returns to Pointe Mouillee Sept. 16-17

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival committee will host the 70th-anniversary Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival Sept. 16-17 at the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area in Brownstown Township, Michigan.

Activities begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and run through 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the festival is free, so bring the entire family. Donations for parking are greatly appreciated, but not required.

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.

The weekend’s festivities include the Michigan Duck Hunters Tournament, sponsored by Cabela’s and RJ & J Enterprise Inc., with hunters competing in shooting and boat-racing events, and the Wildlife Art and Craft Show, featuring artists and suppliers from all corners of the U.S. and Canada.

There will be a live auction at 1:30 p.m. Sunday for items including a hunt for two on Fighting Island with all licenses and accommodations, a duck-hunting day trip with the “Legend on the Lake” Dick Whitwam from Lake Erie Adventures, an eagle birding tour at DTE Monroe, a 3.5 Mercury motor and much more.

The Lake Erie Championship Layout Shoot will occur Saturday at 10 a.m. Hip-boot races for men, women and youth will be at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Hunters can buy, sell or swap goods with outdoorsmen from around the Midwest at the “Greatest Outdoor Trading Post,” featuring more than 100 exhibitor booths selling and trading equipment and supplies. Interested vendors can contact Joe Marra 734-384-3915. Festival T-shirts and hats will be available for purchase, as well as raffle tickets for a La-Z-Boy chair, a gun hand-carved by Jim Canterbury, gift cards, a wildlife print and more.

New this year, an archery money shoot will be held for bow enthusiasts to show off their accuracy. Duck decoys and fly-tying are among the daily demonstrations. Bring your retriever to participate in the “new and improved” Huron River dock dog-jumping contest. Learn tips on dog handling from trainers or find a new hunting buddy in “Puppy Alley.” Kids’ games and activities include a BB gun shoot, an archery shoot, the Great Lakes Sling Shot Contest, face painting and waterfowl-related games.

The Midwest Goose Calling Championship, co-chaired by the Gibraltar Duck Hunters Association, will be held Saturday at 3 p.m., with various prizes to be awarded. The Midwest Duck Calling Championships, run by Ducks Unlimited, will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. All four winners are eligible for the World Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

Visit DNR wildlife division staff in the Headquarters Check Station to ask questions about hunting and trapping at local southeast Michigan state game areas and to pick up maps and information. Animal skulls and furs also will be on display. Hunting, trapping and fishing licenses will be available for purchase along with Pure Michigan Hunt applications and Pointe Mouillee Vermet Unit access permits. Federal duck stamps also will be available.

“This festival is known for its 70 years of rich history,” said Joe Robison, supervisor of the DNR Wildlife Division’s Southeast Region. “This is a great opportunity for adults and kids to experience the great outdoors and the rich waterfowl hunting traditions of western Lake Erie and the lower Detroit River.”

For more information, visit www.ptemouilleewaterfowlfestival.org, email pte.mouilleewaterfowlfestival@gmail.com or contact the Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival Executive Director Bob Whitwam at 734-587-3221, community affairs representative Dick Whitwam at 734-379-4292 or marketing director Shauna Nietubicz at 734-558-5980.