HANCOCK — The Portage Lake Sportsmen’s Club recently sent out an annual request to several local schools, asking them to email their parent lists. The email advertises the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ annual two-day hunter education club course.
Club member and DNR Certified Hunter Training Instructor Ed Glowacki said local schools are not affiliated with the course offered.
“I just use the schools as a way to spread the word,” he said. “I emailed, I think, six different schools. Then they put it on their list and that’s how we get all of our students.
The course is offered to students aged 10 years in secondary school. Glowacki said course attendance is split almost evenly between male and female students.
“At the Portage Lake Sportsmen’s Club, here in Chassell,” he says, “We’ve had a hunter safety program in place since MNR started it over 20 years ago,” Glowacki said.
Since Glowacki has run the club’s program for around 10 years, attendance has reached its capacity of 45 students each year and is filling up fast, adding that PLSC is by no means the only club in the area to offer the course.
“Other sports clubs in the area also offer the hunter education course,” he said. “They may not be using the technique that I use to get people to participate (school email lists), but I know the Lake Linden-Hubbell Athletes’ Club has a program, and I know the Ottowa Sports Club does it, and I think the Keweenaw Club has started one now as well.
The Calumet Keweenaw Sportsmen’s Club website says its Hunter Safety Course is scheduled for August 31 at its clubhouse. However, it is not limited to young students, but to “Anyone wishing to obtain their hunter’s safety certificate”. Class size is limited to 25 participants.
The Ottawa Sportsman’s Club website states:
“The OSC provides hunter safety training and certification to area youth and adults who wish to obtain hunting licenses through the Michigan DNR. Many club members are certified instructors who volunteer their time for this important training. The club provides its facilities, firearms, and bears the cost of ammunition and supplies. It is usually an annual event.
Glowacki said clubs are following the guidelines set out by the DNR. The DNR provides clubs with books, materials and other pamphlets for students.