The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced the winners of the 2017 Consumers Energy-sponsored Wetland Wonders Challenge.

To be entered in the drawing, participants had to hunt at three or more of the seven southern Michigan Wetland Wonders (the premier managed waterfowl hunt areas in southern Michigan). The winners of the 2017 Wetland Wonders Challenge are Steve Bartlett of Midland, Gene Tornow of Center Line, Ben Harris of Saginaw, Daniel Sabourin of Frankenmuth, Scott Irwin of Saint Clair, Jacob Stevens of Grand Rapids and John Bismack of Oakland Township.

Challenge grand-prize winner Steve Bartlett will take home a War Eagle boat, motor and trailer and a “golden ticket” good for one non-reserved, first-choice pick at a managed waterfowl hunt area for the 2018-19 season.

In addition to a “golden ticket,” Tornow, Stevens, Harris, Irwin, Bismack and Sabourin each won a prize package worth approximately $1,500, including a 12-gauge waterfowl camouflage shotgun, custom Zink duck and goose calls, premium Avian X duck and goose decoys, and other waterfowl hunting accessories. Prizes will be awarded at a winners’ reception March 16.

Michigan’s Wetland Wonders include Fennville Farm Unit at the Allegan State Game Area, Fish Point State Wildlife Area, St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area on Harsens Island, Muskegon County Wastewater Facility, Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area, Pointe Mouillee State Game Area and Shiawassee River State Game Area.

“These areas are known for some of the best waterfowl hunting in the state, and we invite hunters to come and see what they’re all about,” said Barbara Avers, DNR waterfowl and wetlands specialist. “This contest gives hunters great incentive to explore managed waterfowl areas they’ve never been to before.”

The DNR extended a special thank you to Consumers Energy for its generous sponsorship, which allowed for the promotion of the challenge and the purchase of prizes. The DNR also thanks Michigan United Conservation Clubs for handling the drawing of contest winners.

To learn more about the Wetland Wonders Challenge and the wildlife viewing and hunting opportunities at these managed waterfowl areas, visit

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