Allegan State Game Area Report

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Allegan State Game Area
Useful Information:
Maps: General Area, Bravo Unit, Fennville Farm Unit, High Banks Unit, Ottawa Marsh Unit. Area Fennville Farm Unit Headquarters Location,
Click for Allegan, Michigan Forecast
Allegan Area Reporter: Travis Sabyan
Aug-10th -2014 - This mornings trip finds the crops on the Fennville farm unit in excellent condition. The Corn is at least 8 foot tall in most zones and the wheat has been harvested. All the other crops such as beans also look to be doing well. The only wildlife viewed was a flock of about 30 sandhill cranes.
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Aug-3rd-2013 - What a difference a year makes, last year at this time the midwest was in one of most sever droughts in decades and the crops on the Fennville Farm unit were pretty much dried up
( See last Years Picures ).

This year, the crops are back to what I will call normal with corn in the 6 to 8 foot range, with all the other crops, beans and differnet types of grains, doing well . I sure hope this translates into more action this upcoming hunting season.

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Fennville Farm Crop Report August 2013
Fennville Farm Crop Report August 2013
Fennville Farm Crop Report August 2013

Mar -13th -2013 - Travis's Area Update -

It's time to visit the farm, the spring migration is in full swing. There are thousands of geese on the refuge. A few ducks, but mostly Canada's.

Oct -16th -2012 - Travis's Area Update - As everyone knows water is the issue! Very low corn is equaling no cover in a lot of zones at the farm. Geese are starting to come in and ducks are on the light side, but that's normal for this early in the season. We are planning on a few evening hunts at the farm in the next few weeks, we'll see how that works out. All the holes/marshes in the area are very low or dried up. My favorite spot is usually 8-9ft deep in the middle is now about 3ft, with the shore line 50-60ft back. Hope everyone has some luck this year, will let you know how the hunting on the farm is soon.

Sept 16 2012 - Just after my last report southwest Michigan did get some rain and it has rained on and off since and it sure didn't help the crops that needed help. The corn in the refuge area is good but the quality falls off fast after that. With a lot of it being only maybe 3 foot high. In one hunting zone the soy beans were about as high as the corn, this should give you an idea of how bad some of the crops are.

On a good note I spotted 2 groups of Sand Hill Cranes and heard another but I could not see them through the corn. Also seen a few flocks of geese flying and another feeding in a worked up field.

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Short Corn

Refuge Corn Looks Good

Sand Hill Cranes

Really Short Corn
July 16 2012 - If you live on the west side of Michigan you already know of the drought (Wood TV 8 article ) that has hit this part of state this summer. On a drive around the Fennville Farm Unit this past Saturday I seen that about 60 to 70 pecent of the crops in the area need rain now and the rest will need rain with in the next couple of weeks or there will be nothing left for the migration or the upcoming 2012 waterfowl season.
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Nov -18th -2011 - Travis's Area Update - Hunting continues to be slow. We hunted the farm yesterday and there was very few birds in the air and we had no shot opportunities. Hopefully the cooler weather will give us a push.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:

2500 ducks and 6500 geese.

2011 Hunter Bird Take Stands at:
7 Ducks and 67 Geese
Nov -12th -2011 - Travis's Area Update - Bird numbers are starting to build.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:

2050 ducks and 6407 geese.
Oct -31th -2011 - Travis's Area Update - Not much going on here. The farm has very few ducks, surrounding lakes and marshes have a few woodies and a local mallard here and there. Hunted all weekend with only one woodie to show for it. Hopefully we get some migratory birds soon!

Current DNR Bird Numbers:

167 ducks and 1975 geese.
Oct -16th -2011 - Travis's Area Update - Hunting has been slow because of the warm weather.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
167 ducks and 1975 geese.
9-2-11 - On our scouting trip around the Fennville Farm Unit this morning we spotted a number of Sand Hill Cranes, a duck or two but no geese.

For the most part corn is the main crop in most areas, we did see two areas that had Sorghum as the main crop. The cover crops between the areas has been planted and has started to spout.
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6-27-11 Travis's Area Update: The farm is looking a lot better than last year at this time. Crops are alternated between corn,soybeans, and winter wheat. Corn is between 4-6in and 2ft depending on when they planted it. Soybeans are 8-10in and winter wheat is at least waist high. Much better than last year when we had all the flooding. Hope everyone enjoys their summer, fall is coming!  
Dec 23th 2010 - Area update from Ted Schrader

Area Stats: 371 geese taken & 10,500 birds on the refuge.
This year they have combined the zones such as AB, CD, EF etc... this gives you more room to work birds but cuts down on the number of zones available on the refuge boarders.

We hunted the evening hunt they are having on TUES/THURS this season. All the birds moved in the last 15mins of shooting time.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
5040 ducks and
10,500 geese.

Nov 20th 2010 Travis's Area Update - Hunted the farm for the first time this year today. LOTS of birds!!! Thousands of geese, they are everywhere. We easily saw 2-3 thousand mallards, unfortunately they seem to know exactly where the refuge boundary is and we didn't get any shooting. We also had a flock of 50+ snow geese fly over which was good to see but also frustrating since we couldn't shoot them either! Woodies seeem to be sticking around longer this year with the mild weather. Going to try out some ponds tomorrow afternoon, hopefully that will turn out better!

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
4510 ducks and 5140 geese.


Nov 1st 2010 Travis's Area Update - Hunting is VERY slow! The teal are all gone after the weather last week. On Saturday's hunt we only seen four mallards , and that was it. Saw quite a few woodies, but they seemed to have their minds made up where they were going. Lots of geese showing up on the farm, but mallard action was been slow. Hopefully this week more will be coming down with the weather. Right now we are planning a couple evening field hunts.  
Oct 17th 2010 Travis's Area Update - Opening day was crazy, got to our spot @ 4:30 and there were already guys that had been setup since 3:30! Didn't see as many birds as last year and it shut down completly by 8:00. We did get 4 woodies and 1 teal, and my one year old lab retrieved his first bird. Yesterday was very slow, no birds at all until 7:50 last year it was 400-500 birds by then. But I did take my first widgeon! The farm has very little activity, need some migratories to come in. All in all less birds than last year.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
1695 ducks and 4563 geese.
Oct 3rd 2010 Travis's Area Update - All the crops are being removed this week. Local ponds and marshes are at good levels, and woodies and teal can be found everywhere. I CAN'T WAIT!! Good luck to all!
Sept 19 10 - The crops in all the areas are still looking good, the winter wheat has been planted and the corn is right on schedule for harvest.

On our scouting trip around the Fennville Farm Unit this morning we spotted a number of Sand Hill Cranes, a few deer and a lone Bob White Quail and of couse geese.
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July 20 10 - Travis's Area Update - Crops are looking even better this week! Corn is 5-6ft high and the soybeans look to be about full height. The hay in all retrieval zones has been cut and bailed. Here are a few pictures for you to review.
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July-2-10 - Travis's Area Update -Everything on and near the Farm is looking great! Corn, beans, wheat and milo are growing well. All of the ponds and rivers in the area are full to overflowing. We have seen lots of young wood ducks and geese in the area.  
Mar-22-10 - Travis's Area Update -Thousands of geese on the farm. Ducks and geese in every puddle in the area!  
Nov - 26 - 09 - Travis's Area Update - As of Sat there have been 175 geese taken. Not much to report geese came in late had lots of ducks fly over including a flock of 250-300, we called 50-60 back around but our skybusting neighbors ruined it to take a 80 yard shot at one lone duck. That was how it went all morning, and after the 7th time we gave up. I think it's time for me to put away the decoys and release the hounds!

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
2400 ducks and
7100 geese.
Nov - 26 - 09 - Travis's Area Update - 12 geese taken on Saturday during the youth hunt, and 76 Taken on Sunday's opener. My party drew 105 out of 147 parties. We stuck the selection out and enough people went home that we still got a good blind. Early we had 2 decoy in beautifully and dropped them. Saw lots of birds, and turned 5 flocks calling, but the next blind took 80-100 yard shots at them and sent them on their way. Fog and rain slowed everything down in the afternoon. Hopefully the cold weather this week will step things up a bit.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
2300 ducks and 4800 geese.
Nov - 26 - 09 - Lots of geese here this week. Looking good for the opener. Seeing bufflehead on small lakes too.

Nov - 16 - 09 - Travis's Area Update - Hunting remains slow with all the nice weather.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
No DNR Update as of today

Nov - 9 - 09 - Travis's Area Update - Hunting has been very slow because of the weather. In the mornings we have had 100 plus ducks decoying before shooting time, but very few birds after. We did get two nice groups to come in yesterday and shot a few. Best hunting has been in the south and southwest part of the farm. Very little shooting this weekend though. LOTS of birds on the refuge, thousands of geese and mallards, and even some snows and blues. We could have had our limit of Canada's in twenty minutes, we had flocks flying twenty yards overhead all morning.The crops look to be all cut in the hunting zones, and they are finishing up on the refuge. Hopefully the upcoming cold weather will get the ducks moving.

Current DNR Bird Numbers:

3,080 ducks and 5,875 geese.

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Oct -23-09 - Travis Area Update - I've been watching or hunting on the farm this week. Unbelievably we've been seeing/shooting teal on small ponds! Can't believe they're still here with the weather we've had. Geese are here and more arrive everyday. Even seeing a few snows. Mallards are also increasing every day. The crops are cut in zone 8. A few other zones have some harvesting done, but the rain has put a stop to it for now. Happy hunting! Travis

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
2607 ducks and 5603 geese.


Oct -09-09 - As of right now all the crops are still up and what geese and ducks were around seem to have been pushed out with the front we just had. We drove around for an hour yesterday and today and didn't see any waterfowl! Good luck this season!

Current DNR Bird Numbers:
1980 ducks and 5440 geese.

Aug -02-09 - The summer crop report from the Fennvillle Farm Unit could not be any better all the fields are planted and the crops are in excellent condition. The corn in some of the areas already excedes 7 feet. The beans are also in great shape. Did not see a whole lot of wildlife this morning, of course getting here around 10:00am might have played a role in this. We did manage to spot a few Sand Hill Cranes in a bean field.
Click images for a larger view

Mar -22-09 - This was our first trip to the Fennville Farm Unit to view the spring migration and we left impressed with how large the area is and all the crop units that support the wildlife.

Not having any experience with the area we don't know if we were early or late for the peak of the spring waterfowl migration.

But today we seen plenty of geese on our scouting trip.

Stay tuned for more area reports as the year progresses.


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