Hullett Marsh Youth Waterfowl Introduction Clinic

Project by the Friends of Hullett.

Location: Hullett Marsh, Municipality of Central Huron, ON.

For more information on this project, please contact Scott Austin, Manager, Clinton, ON.

Purpose

The Friends of Hullett (FOH) are a registered non-profit organization responsible for the on-site management of the 5400 acre Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area (HPWA) that is owned by the Province of Ontario. The Friends of Hullett operate in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF) as well as Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC). The HPWA is composed of a variety of habitats including 1800 acres of wetlands.

Our goal with this project is to increase the use of the marsh by waterfowl hunters and introduce youth to waterfowl hunting. We have 50 hunting locations within the marsh in Zone A (controlled migratory bird hunting only). Each location is marked by a stake with a number. These stakes are in very poor condition and need replacing as well has some directional stakes to aid in navigation. We feel that better signage within the marsh will attract more waterfowl hunters and especially those new to waterfowl hunting.

Our property has hosted many successful “Youth Pheasant Hunts” in the upland habitats over the past 8 years. This new youth waterfowl clinic weekend event will embrace “Waterfowl Heritage Day” and will address hunter education, species identification, habitat education and waterfowl hunting techniques. The last day of the event will involve the youth participants spending a half day helping FOH maintain some of our 170 Wood Duck nesting boxes.

FOH staff will organize and plan the hunting stake replacement prior to the event in late summer 2016 with the volunteer help of the Hullett Marsh Waterfowl Association (HMWA). The HMWA is a fledgling group with an interest in providing in quality waterfowl opportunities at the marsh.

Contribution to Goal #3 of the 2012 NAWMP Revision: “Growing numbers of waterfowl hunters, other conservationists, and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.

Improved hunt stake signage at the HPWA will encourage more novice and youth waterfowl hunters to use the property. The navigation signage will attract increased canoe and kayak use.

Long-term conservation impacts and benefits

Long term benefits of this project include youth involvement in waterfowl hunting and recruitment of conservation minded volunteers in future years. The signage will attract more hunters who are intimidated at the current condition of signage within our wetlands.

Stewardship

Duck nesting box cleaning, repairs and data collection. At the HPWA we have over 170 nesting boxes that are maintained annually between September and March each year.