The Department of Natural Resources wants to ensure that hunters have all the knowledge they need for a successful hunting season and is offering two classes suitable for both the novice and experienced hunter. Bear Hunting 101 and Coyote Hunting 101 are taking place starting at noon Saturday, Sept.10, at the Rifle River State Recreation Area, 2550 E. Rose City in Lupton in Ogemaw County.
Participants in the Bear Hunting class that begins at noon Saturday will hear a lecture on black bear hunting, with an emphasis on bow hunting, from Randy Raymond. Raymond has 50 years of hunting experience, is the Safari Club International Bowhunter of the Year and is president of Midland County Whitetails Unlimited. He also has guided elk, deer and bear hunts in New Mexico, Colorado, Canada and Michigan.
The Coyote Hunting 101 class will begin at approximately 1 p.m.,directly following the Bear Hunting 101 presentation. Blaine Bailer will lecture on coyote hunting and a wide range of game calls. Bailer, who has been hunting predators for 38 years, is the manager of game calls at Jay's Sporting Goods and is on the board of Midland County Whitetails Unlimited. He also teaches hunter safety.
The classes, which are free of charge, are part of the DNR's Recreation 101 Program. Recreation 101 offers year-round programs that recruit top instructors and sports equipment vendors to provide free or inexpensive hands-on lessons with the goal of giving the novice sportsman enough skill and knowledge to begin a new activity. For details or to register, call Rifle River Recreation Area at 989-473-2258.
The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan's outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.
Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Nonresident motor vehicles must still display a valid nonresident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore . To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport  or call 517-241-7275.
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 .