Wild Life at the Watson P. Davidson Wildlife Management Area

Last summer, we were invited to a bridal shower for my cousin in Vassar. This was the perfect excuse for me, my mom, my two sisters-in-law, and their three eldest daughters to pile into a van and go for a drive. As we were zipping along south on the Number 12, one of my sisters-in-law noticed we’d passed a cairn. Bless her heart, she said we should try to make a point of stopping at it on our way back to Steinbach! In that beautiful moment, I felt truly known and understood.

Thanks to our long Manitoba summers, it was still light out when we were returning home, and we were indeed able to explore a bit. The cairn in question turned out to be a marker for the Watson P. Davidson Wildlife Management Area.

Apparently this was Manitoba’s FIRST Wildlife Management Area. I learned more on this government page about where I might find other WMA’s. Turns out the Watson P. Davidson Wildlife Management Area is one of the larger ones, especially in our region of the province. I also learned these areas contain black bears and gray wolves. Ooooh. Hmmm. I’m considering making a return, to explore!

I read up about Watson P. Davidson on the Manitoba Historical Society website, and it sounds like he was a truly excellent gentleman. He was an American land developer who bought all this land and donated it to the Manitoba government, which in turn created this WMA. Coooool!

“Watson P. Davidson – Manitoba’s first wildlife management area. This cairn is placed to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Manitoba’s wildlife management area program. Since designation of Watson P. Davidson as Manitoba’s first W.M.A. in 1961, the program has expanded to include 7 million acres of crown lands set aside for wildlife and people. A testament to the conservation ethic that nurtures our wildlife heritage, wildlife management areas provide a place for all citizens to experience nature through close contact with our precious wildlife resource. Placed on behalf of the citizens of Manitoba, in the autumn of 1986, by the honourable Leonard E. Harapiak Minister of Natural Resources.”

It was a gorgeous day and my nieces were dressed up, so the little stop turned into a photo shoot. I think it looks like they like cairns just as much as I do!

You know, it’s rather fitting that we stopped at this wildlife management area… because they’re pretty wild themselves. (And obviously I wouldn’t have it any other way.)

So proud!