Hunting on Power Island, Michigan in the Works

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Power Island is located in Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan. The deer had overgrazed the island, which then created weak, stunted, and starving deer. Due to the overgrazing, in 1976 all the deer on the island were eradicated. In an effort to avoid something of that nature again the Grand Traverse County Parks Board is considering opening the island to hunters. The Board voted to allow hunting, they would like bowhunting along with firearm hunting. Michigan's DNR believes a limited number of bowhunters would be the safest route. Similar to how they allow hunting in state parks. Also DNR does not believe the County Park Board should be able to sell hunting permits, but charging hunters to access the island is fine. The Park board was hoping to make some extra money to close a gap in the park department's budget.

Power Island is about 220 acres and home to 50 deer. "This would be a very attractive place to bow hunt, and the right to hunt would be a very attractive and saleable opportunity," said Peter Doren, a parks commissioner. Local hunter, Mike Ebach likes the ideas as well, saying, "You'd be able to hunt something that's not available to the rest of the public. A lot of people would be interested. It's an area that hasn't been hunted and ... a lot of people are interested in older deer." If all goes well there may be hunting on the island starting this fall. From The Chicago Tribune.


Retired2hunt's picture

  Power Island is about 2


Power Island is about 2 miles off of the Bowers Harbor by Grand Traverse Bay.  I used to visit the Traverse Bay area often - great place to have a boat and vacation.  It is a beautiful island and is 202 acres of park.  There are no residential homes but there are about 6 campsites and many hiking trails.  It would be like shooting fish in a bucket or deer on an island!  I would say the deer swam out to the island and populated and then repopulated after being eradicated.  I stayed on Big Munson Island down in the Florida Keys.  It is 5 miles off of the main road area and down by Key West.  Key West Deer swam the 5 miles and populated that small island with about 30 deer... so I believe they swam the 2 miles easily.  It would be a great bow hunt and great for a first timer or youth.  I say go!


hunter25's picture

Having been born in Michigan

Having been born in Michigan I always enjoy reading stories like this one on some of the situations up there. I was not familiar with this island itself but have an iddea on where it's located. I wonder how the island got repopulated witht the deer after they eradicated them back in the 70's? I would suppose a few just swam back out there and got re established but it makes you wonder. Obviously the hunts that they would like to have are the best method to keep them under control. I would have to agree with the bowhunting as it doesn't seem like nearly enough room for a rifle hunt especially if there are homes there as well. I tdoesn't say there is and since the Parks are involved maybe there are not. Sounds like a great opportunity for whoever gets to hunt these derr for the forst time ever though.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Wow, I am almost in shock.  A

Wow, I am almost in shock.  A town somewhere that actually decides to MAKE money off of one of these overcrowded places, versus actually PAYING money to have professional sharpshooters come in and shoot all the deer.  Or better yet, the birth control method.

This is a no brainer, and I wish other communities would take the same approach.  There are many, many families out there that would gladly give $50, $100, etc., for an opportunity to hunt a place like this.  It would both raise money for the local coffers, and also provide meat for familes that may really be in need of it.

Sounds like a great opportunity, and kudos for the board for approving this hunt.  Even with firearms allowed, I am sure with a little control, it can be a safe and successful undertaking.

codyac21's picture

Sounds like paradise to me

What an amazing opportunity it would be to bowhunt deer on your own island.  Were talking the stuff of dreams.  50 deer on 220 acres makes a clear case for why hunting is the right solution to lower the population.  I dont know exactly how many deer can thrive on a finite parsel such as this island but that seems way overcrowded to me.  I cant imagine how fun it would be to chase deer knowing they cant go farther than 1/3 of a mile.