Hunting on Drummond Island has been a long time tradition for sportsmen and their families. It 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 it is big or small game or waterfowl, Drummond Island is the sportsman’s paradise. The first frost heralds another turn of seasons as leaves start to change to a brilliant palate of autumnal colors, excitement is triggered for the hunting fraternity.
Whitetail Deer The whitetail deer is the most popular big game animal that Drummond Island has to offer, with thousands of acres of state owned land accessible for everyone. The deer herd has been under a Quality Deer Management program since 1997. The program includes antler restrictions as well as habitat management through logging programs controlled by state and private individuals. The local Drummond Island Sportsmen’s Club sponsors a voluntary registration program to keep harvest records current. Deer densities can also vary from year to year. Even though we are committed to the “Health of the Herd,” other factors like Winter Severity Index or winter kills can lower deer numbers in bad years. Contact the state biologist for annual forecasts.
Waterfowl The waters around Drummond Island offer the waterfowl (duck and goose) hunter a variety of opportunities. The point system and yearly bag limits change depending on population levels. Therefore, be sure to check the current Michigan Waterfowl Hunting Guide at www.michigan.gov/dnr for current hunting information. Listed are some of the more common ducks that are harvested each year: blue- and greenwinged teal, mallard, long tailed, black, bluebill (scaup) and goldeneye.
Black Bear Bear hunting on Drummond is under strict management with a lottery draw for tags or licenses. This is a very limited hunt, so expect to apply for many 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 Drummond Island has a variety of small game to hunt. There is an abundance of squirrels – black and gray (color phases). Hunt in hardwood and beechnut groves for best success, with daily limits of 5 per day. Season is September 15 thru March 1.
Ruffed grouse – favor new growth aspen and timber edges as their habitat. Populations vary depending on winters and predators – coyotes, hawks, owls, etc. Drummond is home to the first GEMS (Grouse Enhanced Management System) open to the public in Michigan. These sites provide unique opportunities for both hunters and birders. The GEMS sites can be found across the state, and are managed to enhance habitat for Ruffed Grouse as well providing trails for a variety of hiking experiences. (Map). Directions: From the intersection of Maxton and Damit roads, head north on Maxton Road. In 1 mile the entrance to the GEMS is on the right (east) side of the road. A parking area and informational sign is located here.
Snowshoe hares – whose name refers to the size of their rear feet, are unique in their change of color phase, going from a reddish hue in the summer to a pure white in the winter. The best areas in which to find the snowshoe hare are dense cedar and tag alder swamps. Snowshoes are hunted with dogs, usually beagles. They don’t hole-up or den-up like the cottontail rabbit and can go long distances.
Season is September 15 through March 31, with daily limits of 5.
So whether you desire the true Northwoods deer camp experience, the excitement of the chase with snowshoe hares or getting out on the water to hunt a variety of duck, Drummond Island offers hunters a wonderful adventure.