Calling duck hunters: Waterfowl festival returns

The Detroit News

A duck hunters tournament, a day trip with the “legend of the lake,” a goose calling contest and an auction item for a “hunt for two.”

What outdoors person wouldn’t flock to the Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival, now in its 70th year, at the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area this weekend?

Activities for all things outdoors begin at 8 a.m. Saturday and run through 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, donations “greatly appreciated,” the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says.

Festivities include the Michigan Duck Hunters Tournament, sponsored by Cabela’s and RJ&J Enterprise Inc.. Hunters can compete in shooting and boat racing. There’s also a Wildlife Art and Craft show featuring artists and suppliers from the United States and Canada.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, the Lake Erie Championship Layout Shoot starts. Later, the Midwest Duck Calling Championships will be held at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. The Midwest Goose Calling Championships begin at 3 p.m. All four winners are eligible for the World Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

A live auction begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Items include a hunt for two on Fighting Island, complete with licenses and accommodations, a duck hunting day trip with the “legend of the Lake” Dick Whitwam from Lake Erie Adventures and an eagle birding tour at DTE Monroe. Hip-boat races begin at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

At the Greatest Outdoor Trading Post, hunters can buy, sell or swap goods with outdoors people from around the Midwest.

New to the festival: an archery money shoot. Duck decoys and fly-tying are featured in daily demonstrations. Retrievers are welcome in the “new and improved” Huron River dock dog-jumping contest.

The festival is sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the Pointe Mouillee Waterfowl Festival Committee. For information on activities, visit

At the mouth of the Huron River at Lake Erie in Wayne and Monroe counties, Pointe Mouillee State Game Area is one of the largest freshwater marsh restoration projects in North America, the DNR says.

“This festival is known for its 70 years of rich history,” said Joe Robison, supervisor of the DNR Wildlife Division’s Southeast Region, in a statement. “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.”