Three Chosen as 2012 Pure Michigan Hunt Winners

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Three southeastern Michigan hunters were selected at random from a pool of 10,864 applicants to participate in the 2012 Pure Michigan Hunt, the Department of Natural Resources announced today.

The Pure Michigan Hunt allows sportsmen to participate in every limited-access hunt available in a given year. Hunters may hunt elk, bear, antlerless deer, and spring and fall turkeys as well as choose the first hunting zone on a managed waterfowl area during any open hunting season in the state.

Brad L. Belcher of Howell, Dan A. Beaudoin of Waterford and Mark Schulz of southeast Michigan were the lucky winners. And though both Belcher and Schulz are lifelong hunters who have unsuccessfully applied for elk licenses for many years, Beaudoin called himself a "novice" hunter.

"I about flipped out," the 38-year-old wholesale bait dealer said, when he heard he'd been chosen. "I was ecstatic."

Beaudoin, who bought more than 20 applications for the Pure Michigan Hunt, said he never even considered winning the drawing.

"To tell you the truth, I was looking at it as a donation to the DNR," he said. "It was me doing my part."

Belcher is a 54-year-old police officer. Schulz is a 59-year-old retired automotive worker.

Hunters may purchase as many Pure Michigan Hunt applications as they like for $4 apiece. The 2012 lottery drew a total of 29,408 applications. Dollars generated from this opportunity fund wildlife habitat restoration and improvements, here in Michigan.

In addition to the hunting opportunities, winners receive a package of gifts donated by Michigan companies and organizations including:

An Ameristep Brickhouse ground blind; a Darton Archery Scorpion Crossbow package; membership, knife and duck decoy from the Michigan chapter of Ducks Unlimited; a 30.06 rifle from Michigan Gun Owners; youth and adult magazine subscriptions from Michigan United Conservation Clubs; a box call and hunting vest from the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation; a nine-square archery target system from MOR Archery; a Soroc sports sled from Northwoods Wholesale Outlet; and a Quality Deer Management starter package from the Michigan chapter of QDMA.

Applications for the 2013 Pure Michigan Hunt go on sale online at all retail license agents March 1.

"Wildlife management in Michigan is paid for by its users," said DNR Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. "This is a great way you can help fund conservation."

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.