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Taking aim at safety

Hunter education programs announced via local schools

HANCOCK — The Portage Lake Sportsmen’s Club (PLSC) recently sent an annual request to several local schools, requesting them to send an email out on their parent lists. The email announces the club’s annual two-day Michigan Department of Natural Resources Hunter Education Course.

Ed Glowacki, club member and certified DNR hunters education instructor, said the local schools are not affiliated with the offered course.

“I just use the schools as a means of getting the word out,” he said. “I sent an email to, I think, six different schools. Then, they blast it out on their list and that’s how we get all our students.”

The course is offered to school students ages 10 years – high school. Glowacki said course participation is divided almost equally between male and female students.

“In the Portage Lake Sportsmen’s Club, here in Chassell,” he said, “we have run a hunters safety program since the DNR initiated it, more than 20 years ago, said Glowacki.

Since Glowacki has been leading the club’s program, approximately 10 years, participation has been at its 45 student capacity every year and fills up quickly, adding that the PLSC is not by any means the only club in the area to offer the course.

“Other sportsmens clubs in the area also offer the hunter education class,” he said. “They may not use the technique I use to get folks to attend (school email lists), but I know the Lake Linden-Hubbell Sportsmen’s Club puts on a program, and I know the Ottowa Sportsmen’s Club does, and I think the Keweenaw club has started one, too now.”

The Calumet Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club website states its hunter safety class is scheduled for Aug. 31 at its club house. It is not restricted to student youth, however, but to “anyone wishing to obtain their hunter safety certificate.” The class size is limited to 25 participants.

The website of the Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club (OSC) states:

“The OSC provides Hunter’s Safety training and certification for area youth and adults who wish to obtain hunting licenses through the Michigan DNR. Several club members are certified instructors who donate their time for this important training. The club provides it’s facilities, firearms, and underwrites the cost of ammunition and supplies. This is generally an annual event.”

Glowacki said that the clubs follow guidelines established by the DNR. The DNR supplies the clubs with books, materials and other pamphlets for the students.

Some clubs, such as the OSC, do not charge a fee. The PLSC charges a $10 fee, which covers the cost of ammunition, eye and ear protection, range fees and refreshments.

“That is the maximum amount the DNR allows clubs, or anyone, doing an event, can charge,” said Glowacki, “and the charge has to be associated with costs.”

It was only in the past five years that the PLSC began charging a fee. The costs involved, however, began to become prohibitive.

The DNR website states that to purchase a hunting license in Michigan, an individual born on or after January 1, 1960, is required to successfully complete an approved hunter education course.

During the Saturday part of the course, which is classroom education, Glowacki said usually three to four club members are present. On Sunday, which is field education, there are 12 members onsite.

Glowacki said the DNR does not require the extensive field training that his club includes, but he wants course participants to be thoroughly prepared for hunting. Field course training at the PLSC includes instructions in:

• Carrying a firearm in the field alone and with partners;

• .22 caliber firearms shooting;

• Muzzleoader shooting;

• Shotgun shooting;

• Entering and exiting a boat with a firearm, both alone and with a partner;

• Fence crossing;

• Proper handling of a firearm in and out of a vehicle;

• Shoot/no shoot scenarios using game silhouettes;

• Archery.

“There is a practical day the kids have to go through,” said Glowacki, “but not everything we do is not required. The shotgun shooting and muzzleloading are not required, nor is the archery.”

Glowacki said because of changes in how the DNR manages the program, registration is required online: https://michigan.storefront.kalkomey.com/em/events/2520

For additional information contact Ed @906-231-6004, eglowacki@up.net

For more information on the DNR Hunter Safety Certificate program and guidelines, pleas visit the DNR website at https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/things-to-do/hunting/education

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