Hunting is a valuable skill that connects people to the food we eat and the land we live on, while instilling the values of conservation and appreciation of our natural world.
Although the hunt has been passed down from generation to generation here in Michigan, not everyone has had the same opportunity to experience this tradition. Often this inconsistency is due to a variety of factors, such as gender, ethnicity, and living in more urban areas where access to hunting opportunities is significantly reduced. Sometimes it’s as simple as not having an experienced hunter in your life to show you the ropes.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is working to change that and ensure greater awareness of hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone, including blacks, natives, and people of color. One such effort is the upcoming Learn About Hunting event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, August 25 at Belle Isle Park in Detroit.
“We are committed to developing interesting and informative programs and experiences for anyone who wants to enjoy Michigan’s beautiful scenery and traditions,” said Kathy Garland, DNR Archery Education Coordinator, who oversees the event. “Often this means meeting people where they are, working closely with local communities and recognizing where we can do more to create a welcoming, inclusive and safe space for people to feel comfortable in. explore something new.”
Friendly and expert instruction
The Belle Isle event is open to all and will include:
- Live firearms and archery demonstrations – including how to shoot crossbow, compound and recurve bows.
- Expert instruction on setting up tree stands and shooting from a deer shade, plus equipment demonstrations.
- Opportunities to discuss with MNR staff (including conservation officers and a ranger) and seasoned hunters about archery and firearms practice, other types of hunting and the importance of conservation.
- A BB target shooting trailer, staffed by conservation officers and Pheasants Forever representatives.
- Gifts including backpacks with collapsible water bottles and summaries of important information, flyers and brochures with useful hunting information.
“Anyone can become a hunter,” Garland said. “We hope to reach communities that may not know much about hunting or may not have had much exposure to the sport. I’m excited about the opportunity to share this wonderful skill and sport with someone new, as well as reconnect with those who have been away from it for a while.
All demonstrations and instruction will take place at Shelter 8 West, located at 63 Riverbank Drive, Detroit Island Park. Although the event was created with hunters of color in mind, everyone is welcome.
The event is free, but a Leisure Passport is required for vehicle entry to Belle Isle. For more information, contact Kathy Garland at 517-243-4258.