Michigan Conservation Officer: Waterfowl Training

Michigan Conservation Officer: Waterfowl Training

this week during waterfowl training
we’ve learned tons and tons of information coming into the school
didn’t really know too much about waterfowl at all and over the past
couple days I mean the level of improvement and myself and my classmates
it’s been tremendous waterfowl enforcement is is very difficult so our
goal is to get officers interested to live it and to breathe it waterfowl
hunting is great fun when you can look at birds listen to birds take some birds
home you might have a dog you know you’ve got your dog working I mean
waterfowl hunting is great waterfowl enforcement is a priority for our
division species ID is being able to tell what species you’re dealing with
whether you have you know if you only have a wing available you should be able
to tell what the species is and what sex you’re looking at from day one until now
it’s night and day you know you can you can memorize rules and regulations out
of out of the guide but to ID the species is you got to be able to do that
if you’re gonna go out there and work them so our scenarios in our waterfowl
school are all based on things that have actually occurred in the field with
different officers the particular scenario I was working was some breasted
out ducks the duck breasts that were hidden in different compartments in a
boat gas cans lunch boxes battery boxes one of those gas cans scenarios actually
happen here on the Muskegon River at the Mill Iron access site years ago by a
long retired conservation officer but he found several wood ducks stuffed into a
hollowed gas tank so it’s a way that people use to hide their over-limits
waterfowl hunters we’re you know checking everything all their equipment do they
have the proper number of shells are they using you know I’m the using steel
shot or non-toxic shot you know they they have the correct count of birds you
know and even if they’re you know on a boat we’re also checking marine safety
equipment so there’s lots of things we’re looking at
so it’s a unique sport both enforcement wise regulation wise the biology that
surrounds it as well as the hunting participation because those birds
migrate from Canada through the U.S. into Mexico so that’s the goal to get
officers comfortable with waterfowl identification enforcement so they go
out and of course the laws of the state

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