HARSENS ISLAND WATERFOWL HUNTERS ASSOCIATION (H.I.W.H.A.)
H.I.W.H.A. is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the Harsens Island Refuge, its hunting areas, and the St Clair Flats Area. As a sharecropper partner, we provide equipment, equipment repairs and financial assistance for the cropping program. In addition we provide funding for smaller projects. We also provide volunteers for various projects throughout the Refuge area.
Harsen’s Island unit is part of the St Clair Flats Wildlife Area (SCFWA). SCFWA includes Harsen Island, St Johns Marsh and Dickinson Island. We currently (Jan 2020) have 111 members.
Since 1984 HIWHA has functioned as a sharecropper on the St Clair Flats Game Area. Our contract calls for us to plant up to 200 acres of the 700 acres of crops grown on the area each year. At the conclusion of the waterfowl season we are allowed to harvest and sell whatever corn remains on the area. The revenue from these sales permits us to purchase seed, fertilizer, herbicide and fuel for the following year’s planting. We also purchase many of these items in the varying amounts for the DNR depending on their needs and budget. Thus it can be said that we pay some of the costs involved in planting the 500 acres that we are not directly responsible for.
Listed below are some of the items we have purchased so far to help the DNR enhance our Refuge:
- $8,415 for the purchase of a new Gravity box and auger
- CaseIH Combine with corn head and Grain head.
- $4,260 for a soil finisher
- $50,029 for farming expenses, this includes all crops in and around the refuge (the crops the ducks eat and the corn you hide in!) and crop transportation in 2019
- In 2012, we assisted the DNR in the purchase of a new tractor with a contribution of $11,500. In addition HIWHA paid $5,894 for the construction of fertilizer bins and paid $2,805 in wages in connection with the dredging of the canal feeding the Eastern hunting zones.
- HIWHA also paid $6,000 in wages to keep the office open afternoons during the waterfowl season, for the last four seasons.
We are also active in supporting the phragmite control project that is ongoing in the St Clair Flats Area.
Total assets as of January, 2020 is $315,422.78
We also have an annual raffle to help support the St Clair Flats Area.
Other projects we have assisted in:
- Diking improvements
- Rental equipment
- Wood Duck boxes
- Crop planting
- Duck Banding
We are a 501(c)(3) organization!