15th Hunter’s Rendezvous Jan. 28Published 10:48pm Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The 15th annual Hunter’s Rendezvous, a gathering of both experienced and youth hunters, is slated for Jan. 28, at Dowagiac Conservation Club, M-51 North.
Admission is free. The public is invited to attend. The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. Deer camp chili and hot dogs are available for a $4 donation.
Hunter’s Rendezvous provides an opportunity for young hunters to learn from more experienced hunters in a casual atmosphere
“Visitors to Hunter’s Rendezvous can expect to see a large display of deer, elk and other game that has been harvested from our area,” according to event coordinator Richard Atkinson. “Every year we have more deer on display. This part of the event is always a big attraction” for annual attendance he estimates at 1,000.
Another popular attraction is scoring trophy bucks.
Scorers from Commemorative Bucks of Michigan will be on hand to score turkey and elk as well as deer.
Atkinson anticipates another popular activity at Hunter’s Rendezvous to be virtual reality hunting.
“The club purchased our own virtual reality hunting equipment that is state-of-the art,” he said. “We will have this equipment available for visitors to Hunter’s Rendezvous.”
In addition, conservation organization representatives attend to provide information about the work each group does to protect wildlife and their habitats.
“Conservation organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever, as well as many others, will be on hand at the event,” Atkinson said.
An antique gun appraiser will be on hand. Visitors are encouraged to bring vintage firearms for evaluation.
Hunter’s Rendezvous raises money for Dowagiac Conservation Club’s Youth Education Fund, which supports hunter safety classes, Youth Fishing Day and Wildlife Encounters, a program that brings live animals into area classrooms for educational and interactive presentations.
The Youth Education Fund also supplies Tracks magazine to area schools to serve as a teaching tool.
The fund also sponsors youngsters from the area who wish to attend Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ summer camp.
Money is also raised through a silent auction. Atkinson said, “Area merchants and conservation organizations have donated numerous items, including hunting equipment, limited-edition prints, apparel and more, to be sold.”
A drawing also raises money. This year, three items will be raffled — a freezer filled with meat, a meat smoker and a Weatherby 20 gauge shotgun. The popular 5555 Bucket Raffle — five chances for $5 for five bucket items — will also be held, with the drawing at 5 p.m.
“The entire event is designed to educate young hunters,” Atkinson said. “To that end, Dowagiac Conservation Club will be signing up youngsters for one-year, free youth memberships to the club.”
For additional information about Hunter’s Rendezvous or Dowagiac Conservation Club youth education programs, call Atkinson at (269) 424-5186 or Furmer Reed at (269) 646-9839.