Mentored Youth Hunting Licenses are Now Available

Hunting and fishing are great Michigan pastimes that help families bond while also fostering a passion for the outdoors in our children and teaching them the importance of preserving and respecting our natural resources.

The Mentored Youth Hunting program is designed to introduce youth under the age of 10 to hunting and fishing, and licenses are now available for the 2012 season.

Under the program, a package license for hunters less than 10 years old cost $7.50 and allow the youth to hunt turkey (spring and fall), deer and small game; trap furbearers; and fish for all species.

I supported creating this program because introducing youths to outdoor activities under the guidance of a mentor offers a unique learning experience. It will help children learn proper safety and ethics and also develop teamwork skills and self-confidence.

Youths must be accompanied by a mentor who must be at least 21 years old, have previous hunting experience and possess a current Michigan hunting license.

There is no limit on the number of children a mentor can have with him or her, but the mentor is responsible for the actions of the youth hunter in the field at all times.

For more information on the Mentored Youth Hunting program, visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s website at: http://www.michigan.gov/mentoredhunting.

I encourage local hunters and families to take advantage of this youth mentorship opportunity and safely share Michigan’s great traditions with the next generation of Southwest Michigan outdoor enthusiasts.

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Deer Populations High in Michigan’s Great Southwest

November 18, 2010

With the firearm deer hunting season upon us, a great Michigan tradition is underway.  The following are some things to keep in mind this fall.

This year, the Michigan DNRE is reporting that deer populations in the Upper Peninsula are below goal, at or below goal in the northern Lower Peninsula, but above goal all throughout the southern Lower Peninsula-including Michigan’s Great Southwest.

Another consideration for the 2010 hunting season is the Kalamazoo River area oil spill.  The Michigan DNRE urges hunters to avoid the portion of the Kalamazoo River affected by the spill, which is the area from Interstate 69 west to the west end of Morrow Lake in Kalamazoo County.  This is due to the large amount of workers in the area.

As the deer population starts to move over the next couple of weeks, here are a few tips for drivers to remember.  According to recent reports from Michigan auto insurers, Michigan is one of the top 10 states for car-deer collisions, with a 1:78 ratio of deer accidents to registered vehicles.

To help avoid collisions, here is what the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition recommends:

Watch for deer, especially at dawn and dusk, when they are most active;

If you see one deer, approach cautiously, as there may be more out of sight;

Be alert all year long, especially on two-lane roads;

Watch for deer warning signs; and

Slow down when traveling through heavily deer-populated areas.

Thank you to all the hunters, and happy hunting this season!