This time of year, when trekking through the Pigeon River Country State Forest (PRC), you might be lucky enough to spot some bull elk as they spar and vie for mating rights. Reintroduced to Michigan in the early 1900’s, elk are highly adaptable animals that can thrive in a variety of habitats. Northern Michigan’s elk herd is now about 900 strong, and the best opportunity to view them is at dawn or dusk in September or October.
To improve the long-term habitat and recreation opportunities for the PRC, Huron Pines, DNR staff and other conservation partners are enhancing prairie and food plot complexes and treating aggressive invasive species surrounding “Inspiration Point” and a variety of oil and gas well sites. This work will benefit a wide array of wildlife, especially elk, deer and game birds. The Pigeon River Country State Forest is the heart of Michigan’s elk range and due to a range of factors the amount of open grasslands favored by elk has been decreasing, succeeding to forest over time. By improving and increasing open lands at the center of the PRC, this project will draw wildlife species away from the farmlands and major highways on the edges of the property, giving them food sources and providing viewing and hunting opportunities for people. Learn more about this project on our Wildlife Program Page.