The Gladwin Field Trial Area (GFTA) consisting of 4,792 acres is located in the northwest corner of Gladwin County near the town of Meredith with it’s main entrance running off from the Meredith Grade Rd. on Joy Rd.. This area is managed extensively by the state of Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources and is subject to controlled timber harvest as necessary to maintain the area as a premier,grouse habitat dedicated for Field Trial events with a wild bird venue.and volunteers to keep this area a premier, wild bird, venue.
The area now referred to as the Gladwin Field Trial Area (GFTA) was purchased by the State of Michigan as a grouse field trial area in 1916 and was called the Gladwin Game Refuge. On September the 20th, 1957, the State of Michigan’s Conservation Commission, under the authority of Act 82, as amended, established the ‘Gladwin Field Trial Area’ Since that time, field trialing has remained the priority of of this area.
Activities allowed, or not, other than Field Trial Events:
The only hunting that is permitted is for deer between November the 15 and January the 1st, with beaver and otter trapping permitted from November the 15 to March the 15th. Horseback and Bicycle riding is only permitted within the marked boundaries of Section 3. There are three State Rustic Campgrounds within the GFTA that are available season permitting (roads are not maintained during the winter). To accommodate the deer hunting activities some off site camping is permitted but only between the dates of October the 31st and April the 1st. Off-road vehicles are not permitted at anytime within the boundaries of the GFTA. This includes the designated forest roads. And, dog training is not allowed. This has been a gentlemen’s agreement for some time but at the request of the local clubs it has been put into writing in the latest GFTA Management Plan as endorsed by the local Field Trial Clubs.
There are presently five local field trial clubs that utilize the area on an annual biases, The Michigan Amateur Field Trial Club, The Ruffed Grouse Field Trial Club, The Lake States Field Trial Club, The Beaverton Field Trial Club, and the National Brittany Open Grouse Championship. The club dates are set by the week number through the State of Michigan, and do not change year to year unless said club is so willing to give it up.. For example the Beaverton Club always has the weeks of 16 and 42 set aside to run their trials.