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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

http://www.michiganyouthhuntprogram.com

Enter the Contest - michiganyouthhunt@yahoo.com

This years contest has many changes. We’re adding several more sponsors and youth opportunities, and adding a bear hunt to a youth hunter between the ages of 12-16. Our goal is to have all 83 counties in our state represented by an Organization, Sportsman’s or Gun Club.

The vision of the program is to help pass on our hunting heritage to the next generation. We hope to teach the youth in a hands-on program, the proper ethics of hunting, how to scout for deer and bear signs and explain the importance of their role to keep the sport alive by being a good sportsman or sportswomen.

We are in the process of contacting Sportsman’s Clubs and Gun Clubs and other Organizations to volunteer for the program and offer their expertise to take out a youth hunter in their county. We are also looking into contacting all the Hunter Safety Instructors in the state to help inform their students of the contest.

This program is a great outlet to get kids off the couch. To get parents more involved with their kids and most important, for role model hunters to properly pass on our hunting heritage.

At the bottom of this post will be the current sponsors to date, along with the county they are representing. If your Sportsman’s Club, Gun Club or Organization is not listed and would like to sponsor a youth hunt for the 2008 season, or if you would like to make a donation to the program. Please contact me at michiganyouthhunt@yahoo.com / attention John Ingersoll.

We have big visions of a statewide united youth hunting program to benefit our hunting sport. The program was started by two ordinary hunters with a great love of hunting, and a great desire to give something back. Please take the time to get involved and give our kids an opportunity to get started in the sport of hunting. I will update this website as new counties are represented and prizes and sponsorship are added.

The 2008 3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

This year is very exciting; with the vision of having every county represented for a youth hunt. This is a RIFLE HUNT ONLY for youth ages 12-16. This year we are offering several, Youth Firearm Deer Hunts and one Youth Bear Hunt to date.

We will update each counties representative and what type of hunt is available for that county, as we receive them. Each hunt may differ as to what you are responsible for! Last year all hunters were responsible for transportation, license, food and lodging. This year we have some generous sponsors and some hunts will include lodging and food.

Rules of the contest:

1. YOU MUST NOT HAVE PREVIOUSLY HARVESTED A DEER OR BEAR BEFORE.

2. You are between the ages of 12-16.

3. You must have taken and passed a Michigan Hunters Safety Course.

4. You must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

To enter this years contest, please send in a small essay stating why you think you should be picked for the Michigan Youth Deer Hunt or the Michigan Youth Bear Hunt

Send all entries to michiganyouthhunt@yahoo.com.
Please specify which hunt you are interested in. Good Luck!
Winners announced September 1, 2008

2008 SPONSORS

Ernie Brosseau / Daylight in the Swamp Taxidermy
231-347-9789 - CHARLEVOIX COUNTY

John Ingersoll / John’s Mobile Marine Service
231-330-0887 - EMMET COUNTY

Livingston Gun Club
517-404-1908 (Jeff LaFave) - LIVINGSTON COUNTY

Blue Road Bucks Outfitters
906-852-3650 (Hank) - ONTONAGON/HOUGHTON COUNTY

Availible Hunts

Hunt Number – 024YDH
County – CHARLEVOIX COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – Ernie Brosseau / Daylight in the Swamp Taxidermy 231-347-9789

Hunt Number – 015YDH
County – EMMET COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – John Ingersoll / John’s Mobile Marine Service 231-330-0887

Hunt Number – 047YDH
County – LIVINGSTON COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – Livingston Gun Club 517-404-1908 (Jeff LaFave)

Hunt Number – 066-131YDH1
County – ONTONAGON / HOUGHTON COUNTIES
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Supplied
Lodging – Supplied
Sponsor – Blue Road Bucks Outfitters 906-852-3650 (Hank)

Hunt Number – 066-131YDH2
County – ONTONAGON / HOUGHTON COUNTIES
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Supplied
Lodging – Supplied
Sponsor – Blue Road Bucks Outfitters 906-852-3650 (Hank)

Hunt Number – 066-131YBH
County – ONTONAGON / HOUGHTON COUNTIES
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Bear Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Supplied
Lodging – Supplied
Sponsor – Blue Road Bucks Outfitters 906-852-3650 (Hank)
******special notes*****
1) The license application dates are May 1 - June 1 thru the MDNR and is done on a point system.
2) Applicants must apply for Baraga or Amasa Units
3) Anyone who applies for this hunt number will be contacted to see if they obtained a license before the winner is announced.

Youth Firearm and 100% Disabled Veteran Firearm Deer Hunting Days, Sept. 27-28, 2008

There will be a youth and 100% disabled veteran firearm deer season Sept. 27-28, 2008, on all lands in Michigan. A youth 10-16 years of age with a combination license or a youth 12-16 years of age with a firearm license may taken antlered or antlerless deer during this special two-day season. An antlerless license or a Deer Management Assistance permit, if issued for the area/land upon which hunting, is valid for only antlerless deer. Archery and junior archery deer licenses are not valid for this hunt. The bag limit for this season is one deer. A firearm or combination license is valid for any deer in this season.

Youths 10 and 11 years of age are restricted to archery-only hunting. Youths 12 and 13 may hunt with a firearm on private land only, including lands enrolled in the Commercial Forest program. The youth must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age or older. An adult accompanying a youth firearm deer hunter cannot possess or carry a firearm or bow and arrow and does not need a deer hunting license. Hunters may not use bait during this season. All youth hunters are required to wear hunter orange.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7...1677--,00.html

Apprentice Hunting License
Apprentice Hunting License

A person who does not have a hunter safety certificate may purchase an apprentice hunting license. To purchase this license you must have, in your own name, a valid Michigan Driver License, state of Michigan ID card or DNR Sportcard. An apprentice hunter may purchase this license for two license years before he or she must successfully complete a hunter safety course. The apprentice hunting license is available to residents and nonresidents.

Apprentice hunters under age 17, when afield, must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone 21 or older designated by their parent or guardian. This individual must possess a valid, regular hunting license to hunt the same game as the apprentice hunter. "Accompanied by" requires the adult to be able to come to the immediate aid of the apprentice and stay within a distance from the apprentice that permits uninterrupted, unaided visual and verbal contact. Apprentice hunters 17 and older, when afield, must be accompanied by someone 21 or older, who possesses a valid, regular hunting license to hunt the same game as the apprentice hunter.

A person may accompany no more than two apprentice hunters while hunting.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7...tml#Apprentice

Special Rules for Young Hunters (10-16 Years of Age)
Hunters can be licensed at age 10. A hunter must be at least 12 years old to hunt deer, bear or elk with a firearm. Hunters age 12-13 may hunt deer, bear or elk with a firearm only on private land, including lands enrolled in the Commercial Forest program.

Exception: Everyone 10 or older is required to have a license to hunt when participating in a bear or bobcat hunt with dogs.

To obtain a regular hunting license, your parent or guardian must accompany you to a license agent. You must fill out an application and present your Michigan hunter safety certificate at this time. For information on hunter safety classes, contact the nearest DNR Operations Service Centeror search online.

Hunters under age 17, when afield, other than on land where their parent or guardian lives, must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone 18 or older designated by their parent or guardian. "Accompanied by" requires the adult to be able to come to the immediate aid of the other person and staying within a distance from the other person that permits uninterrupted, unaided visual and verbal contact.

The minimum age requirements for all licenses are listed with the License Fees. Nonresidents under the age of 17 may purchase resident and junior licenses.

Junior archery deer hunting, junior combination deer, junior small game, and junior fur harvester licenses are available to resident and nonresident hunters, ages 10-16, and grant the same privileges as the adult licenses.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7...2244--,00.html

2008 Entries (Updated August 6, 2008)

Dear John and Ernie,

Hi my name is Chace Davies. I am 13 years old. This year I just missed getting you my e-mail to be entered in the contest to win the youth deer hunt. So I wanted to e-mail you as quickly as I could to make sure I have a chance next year. I know it is a year away but I am so excited I had to send this right now. One time I went with some of my uncles while they deer hunted and I had the best time ever. Since then I knew that I wanted to hunt as soon as I was old enough. I always ask my dad to take me to Gander Mountain to look at the deer rifles and hunting clothes. I go home and dream about shooting my first buck. A guy at my dads work, his girl shot her first dear this year. I was really excited for her and I can’t wait for my first chance. I am a Boy Scout and I just passed off my rifle merit badge at Scout Camp so I know I am a good shot. I also passed my hunters safety class. My dad told me if I work hard this year and save up half the money for a rifle he will pay the other half for me. He even told me he would get me a safe to keep it in. I have already started saving I have $10. I would really like the chance to shoot a deer. I know it will be the funniest time ever if I win and get to hunt and shoot a deer. I hope you will choose me for your program. This would be one of the best times of my life. Thank you for being so nice and giving kids a chance to shoot their first deer.
Chace

I am sending this for my step son who wishes to hunt deer for his first time. Chris is 12 and has his hunters safety certificate already. Our preference would be charlevoix hunt 024ydh because it's close to friends I know, if choosen of course.
Thank you,
Mark

Hello my name is Christopher and I am twelve years old. Up to a year and a half ago I did not handle firearms. I have started shooting within last year and I am really good, and I have a lot of fun shooting different firearms. I have learned a lot about shooting different firearms. I have shot rifles and handguns.

I want to go deer hunting for a few reasons. Deer hunting is a tradition from my step Dad's family that I would like to be part of. The family has talked about deer hunting a lot and I would like to be part of their conversations. Another reason is I think it would be a very enjoyable experience is because I like to be outside a lot. I think it would be cool out in the woods or some other land looking for the deer, moving silently, and watching the deer. It makes me all excited.

I would also be able to spend time with my step dad Mark. Mark loves to go deer hunting and I wanted to be able to see what kind of things he does while he's away hunting the deer. He talks about it all the time and it would be cool if we could enjoy deer hunting together because it would make it so I know a little bit more about him.

I love the thought of deer hunting, I have dreamt of the time I could go deer hunting and I think that soon my dream might be realized.

Thank you, Christopher

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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

[b2007 Youth Hunt was full of action packed, no stop action![/b]

The kids arrived on Friday 9-21-07, prizes were passed out.

Then after sighting in the kids rifles, off to the river we went for some salmon fishing.

Sarah landing her fish.

Then it's Keith - FISH-ON

Keiths first salmon.................................
[[/b]

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Posts: 59
3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

My youth hunter was Keith and we had a great time fishing and hunting. Keith was lucky enough to harvest a nice 5 point buck.

Ernie took out sarah on her hunt. Sarah was very lucky and harvested a nice 8 point.

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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

From Sarah's DAD

My daughters first deer

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

First I want to thank John Ingersoll for putting on the 2nd annual michigan youth hunt.My daughter was picked for a free hunt in Petoskey.This was one of the best times we had .If you know of a youth that would like to hunt and has not gotten a deer plaese check out the other forum Michigan youngsters in the out-of-doors.2nd I would like to thank Ernie Brossau our guide owner of Daylight in the swamp taxidermy (in Petoskey ) who will be mounting my daughters deer head along with other gifts they received from the hunt.I can't say enough good about these people ( friends ) and how they treated my daughter and myself.Sarah my daughter got this 8 point 145lb field dressed buck saturday night.She was sitting on a hay bail looking south at 10 doe for about 1/2 hour and then from the east wood line came a small doe running right at here. It scared her for a minute then four bucks came in behind her 2 spikes 1 four and this 8 point buck.She moved all the way to the left shook for a few minutes ( that felt like hours ) and shot a 100 yards.This is what she found 50 yards away.Thanks again to John and Ernie for helping out the youth hunters.Please check out the other forum for information of the hunt and the gifts that we got plus the free hunt some other lucky youth hunter could win.

Sarah's Mount

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Posts: 59
3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

[b]2006 Youth Hunt[/b]

(From, Brittneys dad)

Well first of all I would like to thank John for a great time! He is a great guide and a very caring person. My daughter had a great time as well. John was a heck of a guide and even took us fishing, letting Brittney land about 15- 20 salmons. Best of all was the preparation, scouting and the time he took to help guide her in taking down a nice 6pt buck. The look on her face after shooting that buck was out of this world.

I must be honest here..... I was skeptical about taking Brittney on this trip as I myself wondered, "why would these guys do this for these kids." I thought that there had to be a catch, so I asked John and Ernie from Day in the Swamp, why, why would you do this for these kids? They pointed out about how the sport is dying and how they want to pass the sport on to the next generation. They also pointed out how there are so many young kids that are sitting and wasting their lives playing video games because they never had the opportunity to go hunting. Ernie also explained as he held back tears, about how his father taught him to hunt and how he would like to give the same gift to others. He worded it best when he told a story of a Grandfather and grandson that he took on a hunt. He said after the young boy harvested a deer, the grandfathers head swelled with pride and the grandfather cried tears of joy. Ernie said at that point his own wife looked at him and whispered, " now I think I understand why you do this."

Well I can tell you that these guys have two of the biggest hearts I have ever seen. These two guys put the word sport in sportsman! These guys care about this sport and go out of their way to pass the hunting tradition on to the next generation. I am overwhelmed in knowing that there are guys out there that take this much pride in this sport!

While watching John fish, I noticed that most of the kids at the fishing hole knew and respected him. I also noticed that out of all the people fishing, John and the kids that knew him were about the only ones catching fish. My guess is that he probably taught most of them how to do it. I also noticed that most of the kids would release the fish, "above the dam"..to help the salmons trip upsteam easier...just as John would.

John, I have always taking all my girls hunting and fishing with me, but you my friend showed me a whole other side of hunting in a way that I never seen it before.......You have showed me that its not all about me...its about them!

God Bless!

Brittney's Mount

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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

Entry #3

My name is Patrick . I am 12 years old and I live in Wyandotte, Michigan.
I passed my hunter safety class when I was 10 years old and have been hunting many times with my Dad. I got my first squirrel and my first pheasant in 2006. My dad took me black powder deer hunting last year but we didn’t get a shot, still had fun though. I am currently finishing up my Distinguished Expert classification at Trenton Sharpshooters an NRA sponsored B.B gun club.

My favorite kind of shooting is sporting clays at Island Lake. My Dad likes to shoot skeet there but I don’t, it’s too hard. The reason I feel I deserve a hunt is to spend time with my dad to show him how much I learned.

Thank you for considering me for the contest.
Patrick
Wyandotte, MI 48192

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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

5 guided deer hunts, free of charge other than your tag, travel expenses, food and lodging.

If the youth does not have a weapon, all 5 sponsors will provide a weapon to use.

4 entries - 5 deer hunts available, 2 of the hunts include food & lodging!

2 bear hunts available - no entries, both with free food and lodging.

WINNERS - announced September 7, 2008

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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

Due to the temperatures still in the 80's+, many individuals are not thinking about hunting. Therefore will are going to extend the contest entry date to September 13, 2008. This will give the contest winners 2 weeks to make arrangements.

Good luck and please get involved, if you know a youth and they qualify for this hunt, please have them enter.

Enter - michiganyouthhunt@yahoo.com

Deadline - September 13, 2008

Hunt - September 27 -28, 2008

Rules - Rules of the contest:
1. YOU MUST NOT HAVE PREVIOUSLY HARVESTED A DEER OR BEAR BEFORE.

2. You are between the ages of 12-16.

3. You must have taken and passed a Michigan Hunters Safety Course.

4. You must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

To enter this years contest, please send in a small essay stating why you think you should be picked for the Michigan Youth Deer Hunt or the Michigan Youth Bear Hunt.

Send all entries to michiganyouthhunt@yahoo.com.
Good Luck!

Available Hunts

Hunt Number – 024YDH
County – CHARLEVOIX COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – Ernie Brosseau / Daylight in the Swamp Taxidermy 231-347-9789

Hunt Number – 015YDH
County – EMMET COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – John Ingersoll / John’s Mobile Marine Service 231-330-0887

Hunt Number – 047YDH
County – LIVINGSTON COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – Livingston Gun Club 517-404-1908 (Jeff LaFave)

Hunt Number – 066-131YDH1
County – ONTONAGON / HOUGHTON COUNTIES
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Supplied
Lodging – Supplied
Sponsor – Blue Road Bucks Outfitters 906-852-3650 (Hank)

Hunt Number – 066-131YDH2
County – ONTONAGON / HOUGHTON COUNTIES
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Supplied
Lodging – Supplied
Sponsor – Blue Road Bucks Outfitters 906-852-3650 (Hank)

Hunt Number – 066-131YBH
County – ONTONAGON / HOUGHTON COUNTIES
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Bear Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Supplied
Lodging – Supplied
Sponsor – Blue Road Bucks Outfitters 906-852-3650 (Hank)
******special notes*****
1) The license application dates are May 1 - June 1 thru the MDNR and is done on a point system.
2) Applicants must apply for Baraga or Amasa Units
3) Anyone who applies for this hunt number will be contacted to see if they obtained a license before the winner is announced.

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Posts: 59
3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

2008 Michigan Youth Hunt Contest Winners

This year we did have 5 deer and 2 bear hunts available for the youth. We only had 3 entries for the entire contest. We will keep trying to expand the contest and get our youth involved. Congratulations to all the winners and a special thanks to all the sponsors.

Sponsors

Ernie Brosseau / Daylight in the Swamp Taxidermy
231-347-9789

John Ingersoll / John’s Mobile Marine Service
231-330-0887

Livingston Gun Club
517-404-1908 (Jeff LaFave) - LIVINGSTON COUNTY

Blue Road Bucks Outfitters
906-852-3650 (Hank) - ONTONAGON/HOUGHTON COUNTY

The Sportsman's Warehouse

JD's Watch Repair
586-731-3526

Michigan Gun Owners

Winner

My name is Patrick. I am 12 years old and I live in Wyandotte, Michigan. I passed my hunter safety class when I was 10 years old and have been hunting many times with my Dad. I got my first squirrel and my first pheasant in 2006. My dad took me black powder deer hunting last year but we didn’t get a shot, still had fun though. I am currently finishing up my Distinguished Expert classification at Trenton Sharpshooters an NRA sponsored B.B gun club.

My favorite kind of shooting is sporting clays at Island Lake. My Dad likes to shoot skeet there but I don’t, it’s too hard. The reason I feel I deserve a hunt is to spend time with my dad to show him how much I learned.

Thank you for considering me for the contest.

Patrick
Wyandotte, MI 48192

Hunt

Hunt Number – 047YDH
County – LIVINGSTON COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – Livingston Gun Club 517-404-1908 (Jeff LaFave)

Winner

Hi my name is Dakota and i am 14 years old and i would really like the oppertunity to hunt deer. i have been hunting with my dad for the past 2 years but have not been able to get a deer yet, we are planning to go bear hunting in the U.P. next year.

i was lucky enough to go turkey hunting for the first time this last year and i shot a real nice turkey, it is really funny because my dad has not even shot one yet so i am 1 up on him.

I passed my hunter safety class last year and my dad and i shoot guns and bows all the time so i am very safe with guns and bows.
thank you for the chance to get into your contest,
Dakota

Hunt

Hunt Number – 015YDH
County – EMMET COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – John Ingersoll / John’s Mobile Marine Service 231-330-0887

Winner

Hunting means alot to me. Not just because I want to show all theboys that just because i'm a girl I can do just as good as they can. Maybe someday I'll have my own hunting show! Ok you caught me...One reason is that I do want to show the boy's I am as good as they are.

Hunting has been a part of me for almost my whole life. I have been out hunting with my dad sinice I was four years old. My dad bought me my first gun when I was six.

The qulity time I spend with my dad hunting is a lot better than staying home or going out. Manly because it's peacfull out in the woods and it's not crowed and loud. We do go out to eat but carley. Hunting you could say is our family time together. It's not always just us though. Sometimes it's members and us. Well who ever we go with it's always fun.

This year will be extra special to me because it will be my first year rifle hunting. I will be using my actual grandfathers rifle. He past away when my Grandma Winnie was nine. The gun hasn't killed a deer since the year 1957.

In hunter safety we talked about traditions, using my great grandfathers gun will show that hunting is truley a tradition in our family. Most people today dont understand that and dont know what the are missing out on.

Many people dont understand dad when he says hunting is an addiction. When you get out doors and feel that addiction you will know what hunting is all about. I feel that addiction all the time, even at the supper table.

Shannon
BoyneFalls

Hunt

Hunt Number – 024YDH
County – CHARLEVOIX COUNTY
Type of Hunt – Youth Firearm Deer Hunt
Land Type – Private
Age of Hunter – 12-16
Weapon Available – YES
License - Hunters responsibility
Transportation - Hunters responsibility
Food - Hunters responsibility
Lodging – Hunters responsibility
Sponsor – Ernie Brosseau / Daylight in the Swamp Taxidermy 231-347-9789

http://www.michiganyouthhuntprogram.com/

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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

New to the hunt

Darren Warner • For the Enquirer • October 5, 2008

The woods were alive last weekend with sounds of crackling leaves underfoot, backs being patted and laughter.Another sound rang out for the first time in many areas of the state: the sound of gunfire.

Sept. 27-28 marked the eighth year of the Michigan Youth Hunt, which gives those 12-16 years old an opportunity to harvest a whitetail before the major deer hunting seasons open.

"It's a perfect time of year to take children afield and to have an opportunity to cultivate their interest in hunting," said Jeff Kunkel of Hillsdale. "The focus is completely on the kids, and each year we have a great time and create lasting memories, regardless of whether or not anyone bags a deer."

Veronica Hetke of Tekonsha was one of the youngsters Kunkel and his hunting partners took out on opening day of the Youth Hunt. Also sitting with them was Hetke's 10-year-old brother, Tanner, who came along to observe the hunt. All of them saw plenty of action as Hetke harvested her first deer, a doe.

"Just like every other first-year hunter who takes a deer, it was a dream come true for me," said Veronica Hetke.

Veronica and Tanner's father, Erich Hetke, was unable to participate in the hunt because he is a member of the Army Reserves currently serving in Iraq.
"Our dad comes home right before Thanksgiving," added Veronica. "But I can send him pictures of my first deer. I know he will be so proud of me."

Fourteen-year-old David Rutkowski of Hamtramck, who also hunted with the group in Lee Township, shares Hetke's enthusiasm. Although he didn't bag a deer, he remained positive and demonstrated solid hunting practices throughout the weekend.
"As we made our way to the stand, David looked at me and said, 'Dad, we're walking too fast - the deer might hear us!'" recounts his father Ted Rutkowski.

"By walking slower and more quietly, we managed to sneak up on a doe. Even though it was too dark to shoot, David experienced part of what it takes to be a successful hunter," added Rutkowski.

The season was the impetus for the formation of the Michigan Youth Hunt Program (http://www.michiganyouthhuntprogram.com), a grassroots effort to teach young people ethical hunting practices and promote hunting traditions throughout the state.

"We started the program because we feel it is important to pass on our hunting heritage to the next generation of hunters," said co-founder John Ingersoll of Indian River. "With so much technology out there for kids to experience, they're missing out on what this state has to offer in terms of our wildlife and natural resources."

The goal of the program is to have at least one hunter from every county in Michigan participating in the Youth Hunt. Eligible participants needed to have never taken a deer and were asked to write an essay, explaining why they wanted to go deer hunting.

One program participant was Dakota Stebbins of Interlochen. He and his father Terry Stebbins hunted with Ingersoll.

"Early in the morning, a buck came out about 150 yards away," explained Dakota Stebbins. "I was shaking so badly that I had trouble steadying my rifle. But Mr. Ingersoll helped me and I made a good shot."

Stebbins' reward was a nice 8-pointer.

"For me, the best thing about the Michigan Youth Hunt is just seeing the smile on their faces when they get out there and begin to learn what hunting's all about," said Ingersoll.

Dakota and Terry Stebbins of Interlochen show off their buck from the Michigan Youth Hunt last weekend.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources estimates that more than 30,000 juveniles, supervised by a parent or guardian, participated in the hunt.

It's too early to know how many youngsters were successful and harvested a deer during the 2008 hunt. In 2007, young hunters took more than 10,000 deer.

Regardless of whether or not they came home with a buck or doe, all youngsters who participated in the hunt, and the adults that went with them, were successful.

They promoted Michigan's hunting tradition and enjoyed time in the field that will be remembered - long after sounds of gunfire fade away.

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/a...12/1006/SPORTS

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3rd Annual Michigan Youth Hunt Contest

Youth Hunt Contest; Opportunities to Host

This is the eighth year for the youth-only hunt in Michigan, which will be held September 27 and 28, 2008. During the first youth hunt in 2000, an estimated 14,000 youths participated. In 2006, approximately 30,000 youngsters participated in the youth firearm deer season, harvesting over 9,500 deer, which isabout two percent of the total 2006 white-tailed deer harvest.

Youth-only hunts have been established across the U.S. in recent years in response to concerns abo ut the declining trend nationally in licensed hunters. Such hunts are an opportunity to provide beginning hunters with training and mentoring, helping them develop interest, skills and firearm safety awareness.

John Ingersoll and Ernie Brosseau have been active in promoting the Michigan Youth Hunt by gathering sponsors to find private land access and take youth into the woods (along with their parents) for their first hunt, as part of the Michigan Youth Hunt Contest. If your Sportsman's Club, Gun Club or Organization would like to sponsor a youth hunt for the 2008 season or beyond, or if you would like to make a donation to the program send an e-mail to michiganyouthhunt@yahoo.com

More information can be found on their website at: < http://www.michiganyouthhuntprogram.com

http://www.dwfonline.com/PDF%20Files/MUCC%20Policy%20Report%209-5-08.pdf

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