Dowagiac Conservation Club to host 22nd annual Hunter’s Rendezvous

DOWAGIAC — An event designed to raise funds to provide outdoor activities for local children will be taking place later this month.

The Dowagiac Conservation Club will host its 22nd annual Hunter’s Rendezvous from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26 at the clubhouse, 54551 M-51 N., Dowagiac. The event, which is open to the public, is free to enter.

“It’s a fun annual event that we host,” said co-organizer Adam Maxey. “The community is always really supportive of it.”

The event will feature many activities throughout the day including 50/50 raffles, bucket raffles, an antique gun appraisal, a trophy barn display and trophy barn raffle, and a silent auction featuring a number of outdoor items, sporting tickets and more. Food will also be available at the event.

The main raffle will feature a fully-stocked freezer, Ruger .450 Bushmaster with Vortex Scope, a four-person salmon charter and a Yeti T45 cooler. Tickets to the raffle are $5 and available now at Imperial Furniture, 57530 M-51, Dowagiac.

Many children’s activities will also be taking place throughout the day. Activities include a trail cam photo contest, a youth sportsmen photo raffle, a youth turkey calling contest and hourly free children’s raffles. The Potawatomi Zoo will also have a biological display at the event.

“We’ve tried to make it so that there is something for everyone,” said Craig Lyons, co-organizer of the Hunter’s Rendezvous. “There are things for the kids, things for mom and dad, grandpa and grandma. There are things for all age groups to do.”

All proceeds will support the Dowagiac Conservation Club’s youth education programs, including hunter’s safety courses, sending children to Michigan United Conservation Clubs summer camps, archery classes and more. 

“[These programs] get kids outdoors. It gets them out of the house and lets them experience things they might not have otherwise,” Lyons said. “They give kids something to do and a place where they can learn safely from trained instructors.”

Both Lyons and Maxey partook in activities at the conservation club growing up, particularly hunter safety courses. Speaking from personal experience, the organizers said that the youth programs are beneficial to area children and worth supporting.

“The biggest thing is getting kids outdoors and seeing what else is out there,” Maxey said.

“As adults, we can see that this is a great thing,” Lyons added. “It’s all good for the kids.”

Both Lyons and Maxey said they would encourage the public to attend the Hunter’s Rendezvous because it will allow community members to support local youth, while also enjoying a fun event. 

“It’s just for the youth,” Maxey said. “Our main goal is to raise money to continue hunter safety, to continue the youth camps and any other youth events we decide to start here. To me, that’s what this is mainly about.”

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