Conservation club to host 27th annual Hunter’s Rendezvous

Published 12:40 pm Monday, January 29, 2024

DOWAGIAC — An annual event to support local youth will be returning to Dowagiac next week.

The Dowagiac Conservation Club will host its 27th annual Hunter’s Rendezvous on Saturday, Feb. 10 at its club grounds, located at 54551 M-51 North, Dowagiac. This event will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is open to the public. Admission is free to all.

The event will have a variety of activities occurring throughout the day.  The club’s trophy barn will be open with various displays and will house certified scorers.  If you have a trophy you would like scored, you can bring it to the event and have it completed for free.   People who bring any type of trophy for display, by 2 p.m., will be entered into a free raffle for a .410 Turkey Gun.  

For youth aged 16 and under there will be free raffles just for being in attendance and hands-on activities and presentations for the kids to experience throughout the day, including four-30 minute presentations by Blandford Nature Center of Grand Rapids on Birds of Prey and Mammals & Herptiles, starting at Noon.  The Department of Natural Resources will have a representative on hand to answer questions and share information.  Weather permitting, Bad Axe Billys will be on site with free axe throwing.

In the main raffle, participants can enter to win a Savage 110 Apex Hunter XP .400 Legend with Vortex Scope, sponsored by Chapel Hill Guns & Ammo, a chest freezer filled with meat donated by Clear Water Meats, River Charter donated by Gold Coast Fishing Company, or a Recliner donated by Imperial Furniture.  Only 1,000 Main Raffle tickets will be sold at $10 per ticket.  Presales can be made during business hours at Hales Hardware or Imperial Furniture, both in Dowagiac.  The DCC will also host a silent auction and bucket raffles with various items including gift baskets, apparel, handcrafted items, outdoor equipment, and gift cards to various businesses. 

Back by popular demand, we are asking for photos of “Youth in the Outdoors” to use for a slideshow during the event. Photos can be of kids hunting, fishing, boating, archery, or just enjoying nature. Submissions can be sent to dccyouthfund@gmail.com This year will also feature a Bonfire with smores; additional food will be available for purchase.

During the event you can also register for the 11th Annual Squirrel Hunt that takes place on Sunday, Feb. 11.  Cost for the two-person team is $40.  Contact Adam Maxey at (269) 340-2358, for more information.  

The Hunters Rendezvous is the club’s primary fundraiser for the youth education fund which initiates various programs throughout the year.  The ultimate goal of the fund is to educate youth by providing an opportunity to safely explore the joys of nature. Last year, the DCC hosted a youth archery program, purchased nature books to distribute to free little libraries, sent four youth to MUCC summer camp, donated $3600 to Cassopolis 5th grade students to spend thhree days at camp, purchased saplings from Dowagiac Union Schools Environmental Club to donate and contributed to our Southwestern Michigan College scholarship. 

For additional information about the Hunter’s Rendezvous or the Youth Education Programs at the Dowagiac Conservation Club, contact Craig Lyons at (269) 876-7998 or Adam Maxey.