Thursday, May 16, 2024

Celebrating 10 Years of GEMS

In 2024, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Grouse Enhanced Management Sites program and its ten years of success in managing wildlife habitats, providing hunting opportunities and offering outdoor experiences for conservationists.

There are 19 GEMS across 73,000 acres in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, each offering a rich and unique bird hunting experience.

"Each site prioritizes young aspen forests to support successful woodcock and grouse production," explained Adam Bump, Michigan Department of Natural Resources upland game bird specialist. "Designed with hunters in mind, these areas offer premier hunting destinations for Michigan residents and nonresidents alike."

GEMS provide comfortable yet adventurous opportunities for recreationists, including youths, first-time public land users and those with mobility challenges. Equipped with walking paths, parking lots, trail maps and site information, these areas feature convenient access for an enjoyable experience.

During the spring bird migration, GEMS become a wonderland for birdwatchers, offering incredible sightings of golden warblers, American redstarts, chestnut-sided warblers and indigo buntings.

GEMS not only offer abundant opportunities to connect with nature but also serve as vital links to local communities. Bird hunting tourism draws visitors to local businesses, while habitat management days, in collaboration with local partners, foster community engagement and collaboration in wildlife conservation efforts.

To plan your GEMS trip, visit the DNR's Where to hunt page.