Tuttle marsh is not a sanctuary or refuge at all. It is open to hunting. Some years the water level is very low, even no water in some years. There was the best hatch of geese there I have ever seen this past spring.The birds trade back and forth between tawas lake when the shooting starts.On the opener expect lots of company.
In the late 80s/early 90s, I taught high school in Oscoda. While teaching there, I sponsored the Oscoda High School Conservation Club. We received grants from the Michigan Duck Hunters Association to construct wood duck nesting boxes and plant wild rice in the Oscoda/Tawas Area. We constructed three types of wood duck nesting boxes (single wooded, duplex wooden and single plastic). We placed about 30 or so in the Tuttle Marsh area, both in the Level Ditching Project on the east side of the road and the flooding on the west side. We also planted wild rice in the area. I hope that this did some good for the ducks. I doubt the wood duck nesting boxes still stand.
Then the water went and it became a dung hole. We have hunted it on and off for many years. Woodchucksniper and I camped on one of the islands last opener to get our spot.......laugh as you may, we werent alone! 15 mins after arriving the guys down from us plodded out and laid down for the night also.
We have taken a good many different types of ducks there, and geese. It is NOTHING like what it used to be when we could limit out in 5 minutes or less.....ah the good old days.
Now there is a lot of pressure the first few days, as evident from all the guys stopping all night inquiring if someone was on the island [we were]. The ducks used to run from Tawas lake back and forth providing a good shoot. Not so anymore. A few cycle back and forth.
If you plan on hunting there be sure to do your home work. The muck can be worse than Crow Island [if one can imagine that being possible].
For our opener we took down a couple woodies,mallards,and I think a teal and merg.....The shooting is nowhere what it was.
Next year we will spend the money and head west or down south for some sort of combo hunt [like it used to be].
Spent a lot of time up there with my wife working her clinical at the Hospital in East Tawas, scouted the marsh every time I was in the area...after opener there would maybe be a half dozen ducks visible on the whole marsh....hunted it one morning with my little girl and we saw a total of 7 birds that am......i could see it being awesome if the water levels were higher.
hunting is horrible but the duck raising is awesome!
drive around out there in may/jun(when theres lots of water) and you'll see ringnecks, bwt's, mallards, hollywoods, woodys, geese, occassional buffy, wigeon and grey duck. Good to see all those babies they have in tow.
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