Maple River Wildlife Management Area - Fitzsimmons (Tract 8)
In 2014, Minnesota Pheasants Inc. partnered with Pheasants Forever and Key Cities Conservation Club to acquire a 108.2-acre parcel southwest of the Maple River WMA complex. The Minnesota Deer Hunter Association later acquired additional acres that expand the area further.
In 2015, the acquisition was finalized. This parcel is located in Lyra Township Sections 21 & 22 T106N-R27W.
The new acquisition, currently known as Tract 8 (Fitzsimmons), an addition to the Maple River WMA complex – contains 2,738 feet of frontage on the Maple River West of the existing Maple River WMA. The property consisted of 18.9-acres of lowland and upland hardwood forest and 89.1 acres of cropland.
Restoration on this new WMA will entail habitat development of the cropland consisting of a food plot, direct hardwood seeding and native prairie restoration.
Future management and development will include forest stand improvement and grassland and forest development practices, prescribed burning and haying along with an annual crop food plot.
Images below are from late summer 2018 showing the new unit taking shape. MPI volunteers are shown in the western portion of the WMA.
In 2019, the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association acquired the 14.07-acre “Kaul Tract” on the southwest corner of the Maple River WMA – Fitzsimmons tract. This parcel was added to the existing WMA.
In 2021 Pheasants Forever acquired the “Wrucke Tract” on the southeast corner of the Maple River WMA – Fitzsimmons tract. The new 46.25-acre addition offers additional high-ground suitable for nesting habitat. Work on this addition, seeding of native grasses and forbs, was performed in the summer/fall of 2022. Minnesota Pheasants, Inc. applied previous grant funds towards this project.
The Maple River WMA – Fitsimmons Tract now consist of approximately 166.52-acres of diverse habitat. Additional habitat improvements and management will be on-going.