Hunting is a long time tradition for sportsmen and their families. The first frost begins another change of seasons, leaves that have been in a green vegetative stage start to change into a brilliant spectacle of autumn colors. This annual event triggers an excitement, for the hunting fraternity. Drummond Island has always been a favorite hunting destination, as each fall folks travel long distances, and descend on a place that offers something for everyone whether its big and small game or waterfowl. Drummond Island is the sportsman’s paradise.
The whitetail deer is the most popular big game animal Drummond Island has to offer, with thousands of acres of state owned land available to access for everyone. The deer herd has been under a QDM (Quality Deer Management) program since 1997, starting with antler restrictions and habitat management through logging programs controlled by state and private individuals including the local Drummond Island Sportsmen’s Club, who sponsor a voluntary registration program to keep harvest records current. Deer densities vary from year to year, because even though we are committed to the “Health of the Herd” other factors like W.S.I. (Winter Severity Index) or winterkills can lower deer numbers in bad years. Contact the state biologist for annual forecasts.
Photo by R. Dorman
The bear hunting has also been under strict management and is lottery draw for tags or licenses, so this is a very limited hunt; expect to apply for years to obtain this highly prized trophy. Success rates hold at about 50%. Application periods are posted on the State of Michigan website at www.michigan.gov/dnr.
Small game hunting includes Squirrel – black and gray (color phases). Hunt hardwood and beechnut groves for best success, with daily limits of 5 per day. Season is September 15 thru March 1.
Ruffed grouse – also known as partridge or pats, favor new growth aspen and timber edges as their habitat. Populations vary depending on winters and predators – coyote, hawks, owls, etc.
Hares – snowshoe - called by the size of the rear feet - are unique in that they change color phases, going from a reddish hue in the summer to a pure white in the winter. Best areas are dense cedar and tag alder swamps. Season is September 15 through March 31 with daily limits of 5. Snowshoes are hunted with dogs usually “beagles” and can go long distances as they don’t hole or den-up like the cottontail rabbit.
The waters around Drummond Island offer the waterfowl (ducks and geese) hunter a variety of opportunity. Due to the complexity of the Point System and yearly bag limit changes that occur depending on population levels – check the current Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Guide at www.michigan.gov/dnr. Listed are some of the more common waterfowl harvested each year.