DNR bear hunting clinics teaches outdoor skills

As part of an effort to help people connect with the outdoors more by honing their hunting, fishing and other skills – known as the Outdoor Skills Academy – the DNR will run a series of bear hunting clinics over the next few weeks.

The clinics, at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac July 29, Aug. 5 and Aug. 11, offer an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of bear hunting with experienced hunters and DNR educators. The $30 class, which includes lunch and door prizes (donated by the Michigan Bear Hunters Association), will cover habitat, gear, stand placement, baiting, rules and regulations, carcass care and hide care.

In previous years, more than 150 students from around the state – many of them new to hunting for bears – have attended this series of bear hunting clinics.

Former student Eric Lardi called the class “an excellent introduction to hunting for my grandkids,” and said he used what he learned at the clinic during a later bear hunt in Canada, when he took a bear weighing over 300 pounds.

“The guides in Canada reinforced everything said,” he added. “The conservation officer’s experience was invaluable to us, as to bear behavior and what to expect.”

The Outdoor Skills Academy offers in-depth, expert instruction, gear and hands-on learning for a range of outdoor activities at locations around the state. Other upcoming classes will cover photographing birds, archery, hiking, downhill skiing and snowboarding.

“Whether you need some help getting started with a new outdoor activity or want to brush up on your skills and learn some tips and tricks, we can help,” said Jon Spieles, DNR field manager for educational services.

Learn more about the Outdoor Skills Academy at michigan.gov/outdoorskills.

For more information about the bear hunting clinics, contact Ed Shaw at 231-779-1321.