By Jim Smith
GRAYLING – Since the early 1940’s, Michigan has offered Hunter Safety Training programs to young, would-be hunters, helping to make hunting one of today’s safest sports. Anyone born after 1960 is required to obtain the Hunter Ed “Orange Card” in order to purchase a Michigan hunting license. This is especially important for hunters wishing to hunt in other states. Michigan’s “Orange Card” is accepted throughout North America as evidence of some of the finest hunting safety training available.
The Grayling Sportsman’s Club has been an authorized provider of this training since its inception. The training program at the Sportsman’s Club is unique in that it not only provides the classroom exposure but offers a field day where the students have the opportunity to experience live fire with .22 rimfire rifles, shooting clay targets with a shotgun, loading and firing a black powder muzzleloader and training with several different types of archery equipment. All of these activities are closely supervised by several certified Department of Natural Resources Hunter Safety Instructors who are also members of the Grayling sportsman’s Club.
The Club is fortunate in the fact that every one of the classes is attended by at least one DNR Conservation Officer who takes an active part in both the classroom field presentations. Not only do they present a review of hunter ethics and an explanation of new, and sometimes confusing, game laws, but they provide an early connection between young hunters and the Officers who try to keep the sport safe for everyone.
The Grayling Sportsman’s Club is located on Old Lake Road near Hansen’s Hills. The Club offers skeet and trap shooting to the general public on Wednesdays and Sundays. It also has a one hundred yard rifle range and an indoor/outdoor pistol range. The Club operates year round with some very interesting winter skeet leagues. Anyone wishing to shoot is invited to show up with their shotgun around noon on Wednesday or Sunday, walk in the door and join the crowd.