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E-M:/ 2005 MDHA Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival Slated for August 6-7 at Bay City State Rec Area

Enviro-Mich message from "Richard Morscheck" <morscher@michigan.gov>

Contacts: Valerie Blaschka 989-667-0717 or Mary Dettloff 517-335-3014
2005 MDHA Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival
Slated for August 6-7 at Bay City State Rec Area

The Michigan Duck Hunters Association and Bay City State Recreation Area will be hosting the 10th annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival on Aug. 6-7 at Bay City State Recreation Area, with activities beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday and running through 5 p.m. Sunday.

Festival activities focus on the ducks and geese, which depend upon the wetlands of the Saginaw Bay Watershed for staging, nesting, and breeding habitat. Visitors will be able to participate in a wide range of activities and programs, designed to increase awareness of Michigan's waterfowl resources, the sport of waterfowl hunting and conservation programs, which need volunteers to succeed. The event is co-sponsored by the Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area, SC Johnson, the Bay Area Community Foundation, Franks Great Outdoors and Gander Mountain. Last year over 10,000 visitors attended this popular event.

The festival's main events include the Michigan championship duck calling contest, the Michigan goose calling competition and the 2006 Michigan Waterfowl Stamp competition. The waterfowl calling competitions, which occur on both days, are "open contests" to any callers, with master, novice and junior divisions. The festival will also host a team duck calling contest. This event is designed for teams of two hunters, using working field calls. Gander Mountain will be sponsoring youth and adult calling classes to improve your calling skills. 
The event also features over 170 exhibitors in the Duck Hunter & Outdoor Recreation Expo, providing waterfowl enthusiasts with hunting, archery, camping, boating, wildlife watching and habitat enhancement products and wares. The festival includes a special wildlife art and craft show along the park's Lagoon Trail with fine art originals, prints, photos, carvings and crafts. Vendors or artists interested in participating should contact the park at 989-667-0717. 
Visitors will also be able to enjoy special exhibits by DNR Wildlife Division, DNR Law Division, Shiawassee National Wildlife Area, the Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and many others.

Bring your retriever to participate in the dog fun hunt trial, learn tips from trainers on dog handling or find a new hunting buddy in "Puppy Alley." Other events include a youth/adult canoe race, live animal wildlife conservation programs, waterfowl identification trail, decorative decoy carving contest and waterfowl photography contest (professional, amateur and junior divisions). There will be special displays by featured wildlife artist, Chris Smith; featured photographer, Al Martinez; featured taxidermist, Ralph Bolda; and featured carver, Mike Ford inside the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center. A new event this year is designed to offer an opportunity for adults to mentor young hunters in a three-person team (one adult, two youth) competition. The "Quack-Athalon" is a unique contest of skill and timing in three events: canoeing, air rifle marksmanship and duck identification.

Admission is free to festival events, but a state park motor vehicle permit is required for all vehicles entering the park. Permits are $6 for a daily or $24 ($6 for senior citizens) for annual permit good in all 97 state parks. For advance registration information, a complete schedule of festival activities or more information on the event, please stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located within Bay City State Recreation Area at 3582 State Park Drive in Bay City or call (989) 667-0717.

The DNR is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.


NOTE: A complete schedule of events will be posted Monday, August 1, on the DNR web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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